Q&A WITH PARKO
Professional surfer Joel Parkinson graced our shores at the beginning of the 2019-2020 summer. We were lucky enough to grab him for a few minutes to find out his thoughts about the Bay, surf travel and family.
IS THIS YOUR FIRST TIME TO THE BAY OF PLENTY?
It is, I have been to New Zealand a few other times, but this is my first time to this part, to this region.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF THIS PLACE?
We just took a walk this morning to the Mount along the beach, it was beautiful. I was so surprised. There are a few little waves that I was looking at thinking, ahhhh I wish it was just a touch bigger. I am sure you guys get some really good waves, but today is just not the day.
WHAT WERE YOUR TRAVEL MOVEMENTS TO GET HERE? EASY ENOUGH? WHERE DID YOU LEAVE FROM & HOW DID YOU END UP HERE?
It was easy, I just flew straight from the Gold Coast where I live, straight to Auckland and then a little 20 minute flight across to here. Yeah we are lucky enough to have a nice little apartment here across from the beach. When I woke up I said to Ronnie, who I am here with, I was like, man I wish I had the kids here this would be amazing, so maybe next time!
DO THEY SURF TOO? HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO FIND A DESTINATION WHERE THERE ARE ACTIVITIES & NEW EXPERIENCES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY WHEN THEY ARE TRAVELLING WITH YOU?
When I travel with my family usually I look for something that has something for us all. We are a beach-going type of family, so it usually does entail somewhere by the ocean. Doesn’t always have to have waves, but we definitely get around by where the ocean is. We have done a few other trips away from the ocean and have loved those, but we love the beach so anywhere there’s a beach is where we head to.
DID YOU BRING ANY WATER TOYS WITH YOU?
I have got one surfboard with me, I wasn’t sure how the waves were going to be, so I just brought a fun little surfboard, that’s the only toy I have with me. The good thing about being a surfer is that you get to know other surfers and they usually have a bunch of toys where you go, so I always feel like it’s a bit of a borrow situation when you are travelling. But my board travelled no problem.
THE BAY OF PLENTY'S POPULATION IS ABOUT HALF AS BIG AS THE GOLD COAST. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SURFING UNCROWDED BEACHES?
I love a pretty relaxed beach vibe, with no crowd. Where I live on the coast I try to sneak south and get away from the crowds as much as I can, but it's sometimes hard to avoid a crowd of surfers on the Gold Coast, especially with how many people we have and the per capita of surfer is very high.
ANY ADVICE FOR SURFERS WHO MIGHT BE PLANNING A TRIP?
Find somewhere uncrowded is my theory. If you are going to take a surf trip, get away from people.
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