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Parko contemplated surf retirement

  • Parko contemplated surf retirement

    Joel Parkinson admits he briefly contemplated calling time on his surfing career last year.

Lacking motivation, Joel Parkinson admits he briefly contemplated calling time on his surfing career last year.

The 2012 world champion finished 14th on the world tour last year, one of the worst seasons of his long career.

A semi-final appearance at last year's Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast was as good as it got for Parkinson, who didn't make the final four in any of the remaining tour events.

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The 34-year-old admits he wasn't motivated last year and briefly thought about retirement.

"Last year was a really tough year," Parkinson said.

"Head wasn't in it from the start and I felt like sometimes I was questioning whether I wanted to be on the tour any longer and take a year. Maybe even throw the towel in.

"But, I don't know why, I found the bug again and I'm itching. I want to win. Now I can't even see myself ever throwing the towel in or retiring. I just want to keep going."

Parkinson didn't take long to throw down a warning to his rivals about his new-found hunger.

In a tough opening round heat at Snapper Rocks on Friday, Parkinson came out of the blocks to kickstart his 2016 campaign.

The hometown favourite claimed an 8.60 out of 10 on his first wave of the year before going on to defeat talented pair John John Florence and Jack Freestone to ease into the third round.

"That was a bit of a shot at everyone to say, 'I'm back, I'm not giving up either'," Parkinson said.

"That's like a final right there.

"I was really happy to get over them both."

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