We are very stoked to announce Joel Parkinson, one of the most successful and popular surfers of this century, has just signed a long-term contract extension to keep the Australian a key part of the Billabong team for the foreseeable future. “Parko,” 32, captured his first Association of Surfing Professionals World Championship in December of 2012, and has been ranked firmly inside the list of the top five surfers on the planet for most of the new millennium.

Joel, a resident of Coolangatta on the Gold Coast of Queensland, has been a part of the Billabong family for most of his life, having first gained sponsorship by the iconic surf company in 1992 at just 11 years of age. The partnership has spanned Parkinson’s ascent up the ladder of surfing achievements, including two World Junior Titles, a maiden victory on the ASP World Tour as a 19-year-old wildcard at the Billabong Pro Jeffery’s Bay in South Africa in 1999, eleven more event wins in the years since and a string of elite tour rankings including four runner-up finishes -- before securing the elusive World Title crown just over a year ago. Parko finished a solid third place in on the ASP Tour in 2013.

But competitive consistency is just a portion of the Parkinson package. Joel is known worldwide as a one of the finest ambassadors the sport of surfing has ever known, a family man and proud Australian who is also one of the best righthand point performers alive today, honed in the perfect tubes of his home break of Snapper Rocks. His cheerful surf-stoked demeanor and omnipresent status in surf mags and videos has made Parko a favorite of young surfing fans around the globe, while his classic surfing skills in waves of consequence (including three Vans Triple Crown wins in Hawaii) keep older surfers enthralled as well. By virtue of his many facets as a surfer, Parkinson is regarded as one of the top sportsmen in all of Australia.

“I’m over the moon to know I will continue to be partnered with Billabong for many years to come,” said Parkinson from his home on the Gold Coast. “I’ve felt like I’ve been a part of a great big surfing family since I was a scrawny 11-year-old grom. When I got my first Billabong team sticker on my board it was one of the biggest moments of my life at the time, and I am happy and proud to still be flying that flag all these years later. It’s been a really good partnership for a long, long time, it’s helped me get to places I could never have dreamed, and I am seeing a lot of good things still to come in the future.”

Billabong CEO Neil Fiske is likewise enthusiastic to know the relationship will be ongoing for quite some time to come, calling Parkinson an ideal match for the brand.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have Parko sign again with Billabong,” said Fiske. “Champion surfer, great all around guy, fantastic ambassador to the sport. He is class all the way.”

Parkinson’s devotion to the pure fun of grassroots surfing with his best mates will be clear when he kicks off his 2014 competitive campaign not in a World Tour heat, but representing his beloved Snapper Rocks Surfriders club at the Australian Boardriders Battle Final in the Cronulla area of Sydney on January 25 & 26 during the Australia Day long weekend. Parko’s squad will compete against rival clubs from around the country in the traditional Aussie format, going against both young grom hopefuls and reigning World Champion Mick Fanning (and close friend and neighbor) in an epic two-day final showdown for precious surf club bragging rights.

Joel’s 2014 ASP campaign and quest for another world championship will begin on March 1 with the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast.