• Can Joel Parkinson Make a Comeback At the 2010 Billabong Pipe Masters?

If anyone doubted that Joel Parkinson had made a recovery from his severe foot injury this year watching his opening round at the Reef Pro Wednesday should put their concerns to rest. His return debut in big Haleiwa was nothing short of spectacular.

“I’m slowly starting to feel my surfing free up,” Joel has noted. “I’m still a little sketchy out of the lip, but it feels good just carving around and going rail to rail and doing some big safety turns.”

That would be an understatement typical of Parko’s humble but confident approach. In fact he scored a perfect 10 (the only one of the event) and the highest heat scores of the contest so far. Last year he got two perfect 10’s at the Pipe Masters on his way to a Van’s Triple Crown victory.

“I’ve been surfing a lot in the past three weeks,” Parko continued. “I’ve had probably a dozen surfs in the past three weeks and each one gets better and better.”

The specialists and the physiologists all appear to be pleasantly satisfied with the healing process. The deep, slashing gash has been considered a very serious injury from the onset, with a long slow recovery period. But their recovery timetable so far has been spot-on, which has been a reassuring sign.

Will he prove once again that he is a Triple Crown Master capable of taking the crown? His debut at Haleiwa sure seems to indicate an affirmative. One thing is sure: come December 8th and the opening of the Billabong Pipe Masters, no place on earth could test the level of his recovery like the jaws of Pipeline.