Parko: How to Surf your Whole Honeymoon and Stay Married

14 Dec 2018 0 Share

Pic: Billabong

Pic: Billabong

The Surfing World Joel Parkinson Special Edition is now on sale. Grab a copy here, right now. This yarn is one of many Parko stitch-ups featured... only, this time, he's giving it to himself!

Joel Parkinson: “The Moorea honeymoon. I wasn’t even going to bring a board at all, then thought about it and went, “Babe, we’re going to Moorea for four days, the kids are at home, why don’t I bring one board just in case I wanna have one surf?” For some reason Monica’s agreed, so the board got the official sanction.

I go to the garage and I haven’t got a single boardbag – I’ve only got a triple – so I’ve gone, well, I might as well fill it up with three. Mon’s seen it and has started blowing up. I wheeled out some bullshit excuse about needing to take three so they don’t get dinged on the flight.

We fly into Tahiti late at night and have stayed at the Beachcomber, which looks straight out over the reefs. I open the curtains and look out and there it is; eight foot of swell wrapping up the reef. I don’t say anything to Mon. I’m just thinking, "Holy shit, what’s Moorea going to be doing?"

We drive onto the ferry and we get across to the little bay on Moorea where the ferry docks, and on the corner of the reef pass is this sickest right, four foot and grinding. It’s onshore and wild though, so I’m going, okay this mightn’t be so bad. We drive around to the north side of the island where our hotel is and check in. We’re staying in one of those bungalows that sits out over the lagoon, but we’re on the sheltered side of the island so there’s no swell so I’m going, okay, if I can’t see the waves they don’t exist. Tree falling in the woods.

So that night we’re cocktails, nice dinner, honeymoon love. The next morning I get up at six. It’s eating away at me, so I go to Mon, “Babe I might just go and have a look at the surf. I’ll be back for brekky.” Mon was a little hungover so I had some time. I get in the car and just fang for The Right on the other side of the island, which I thought might have been three or four foot at best. I pull up and... holy shit! It’s six-to-eight foot and out of its mind. There are three guys out. Most waves I was just cruising on my six-two, do a couple of carves, then pull into the end section which would just drain out. A couple of times I pulled out thinking if I get cheese-grated on my honeymoon this marriage is over. I can’t go back to hotel sliced to ribbons sticking to bed sheets going, “Sorry, Mon, I can’t do anything."



I surf it from seven to 10am, and race back just as Monica is starting to wake up. She’s had her little sleep-in and is happy. We go and have a nice lunch and we’re sitting by the pool in the afternoon and all I’m thinking of is four stand-up barrels per wave. I didn’t go that afternoon, but I sat there stewing on it.

The next morning I get up at six again and sneak out the door. I surf till 10 again. Come back, same thing, have some lunch. If I want to surf again though I’ve got to get Mon into it, so I go, “Monica, you’ve got to come and see these waves! You’ve never seen anything like it.” I was playing any card I could by that stage to get an afternoon surf. So we drive around to The Right and it was off its tits with hardly a soul out. But there’s not even a beach there, it’s just rocks, and it’s not the prettiest part of Tahiti. It just backs onto suburbia, and on Moorea – the most romantic island in the world – it’s probably the last place you’d ever take your girl. But Mon comes down and sees the wave and even she is blown away by it. It’s a novelty wave; it bends out to sea and breaks along the beach, not into it. She sat down and read a book while I surfed from one to about five. So that night we went out and had a nice dinner. 



Next morning, up at six again. Third morning in a row I go and surf and this time it was bigger. It was eight foot with the odd 10-footer and only one other guy out. We surfed it amazing. Then at 9.30 it just goes whoosh, starts blowing as hard as it can onshore. I just go, thank you! You’ve never seen someone happier to see an onshore in his life. Monica was going to divorce me another day of this. I went back had the afternoon together by the pool with Mon then we left the next morning.

A four-day honeymoon and three of the best days of surf I’ve ever had. Monica reminds me every day and will do so every day for the next 60 years.”

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