Following extracts are taken from Parko + Friends with permission from Joel.
Occ's the best ever in the Bells Bowl. He was 20 years ago and still is today.
I remember his quarterfinal with Andy a couple of years ago. I was running down the hill because I was in the next quarter, and I remember he jumped off the ski straight into a 10 - footer. Andy had priority but had to duckdive it, and Occ just went thanks very much and caught it. Just upside down five or six times, half a dozen big Occy turns, and the whole cliff just erupted. I think it scored a 9.9 or something. - Joel
Traveling with Occy is the best thing you can do. I'm pretty lucky. I mean, are you kidding me, do you know how funny that guy is? He is always happy, 100 per cent always happy, always positive, always up for a laugh and a good time. This year in Tahiti was typical. He had this song he just loved, Sunshine Reggae. He'd just play it over and over and do a little dance every time. The song would finish, and he'd look around with that smile, and say, "Just one more, hey boys?" And we'd groan, and then sure enough he'd hit the iPod and play it again and do that dance and we'd all start cracking up. And he did that for two weeks. Or in the morning we'd be going for the super earlies, just as the sun was coming up. Occ would come out, whack on Barry White, like really loud. "Can't get enough of your love baby" would be blaring and we'd be sort of dancing on the way out to the boat, with the sun coming up and the and mountains behind us. It doesn't get much better than that. I was sitting with Barca one afternoon and Occ was in form and Barca goes,
"Ya know, surfers should get paid on personality." And I looked at Occy and said to him, "If they paid you on personality, Occ, you'd be as rich as bloody Bill Gates." - Joel
Occy was world champion and I was just a punk kid. I had a wildcard into the Snapper contest and drew the number on seed - Occ. I was 18 and had won J-Bay six months before and it had given me a lot of confidence. I had this roaring confidence at the time, but it wasn't until Occ came up to me that morning that I felt intimidated. Of course I'd worshipped him as a kid and I kinda knew him at that stage, but we'd never really connected. It was that awkward crossover stage from idol to mate. Tactically I was still pretty clueless back then, but I knew Snapper and I knew how to win a heat out there. I'm getting changed and all of a sudden here he comes. I'm sitting amongst pandanus and he walks over next to my car and stops. I'm looking at him and he's smacking his lips with the tackiest mouth, he looked like he'd been in the Sahara. Then he opened his mouth and it was this dark green colour. It looked like he had green clay in his mouth. Turns out it was this Bali Green protein powder he'd just scoffed. He goes, "You want to flip for priority?" I'd never heard of flipping for priority, I'd never been on tour! I think about it today and he was being a gentleman by doing it. But at the time I had no idea what he was talking about. I'm looking at this guy with green foam coming out his mouth asking me if I want to flip, and all I could say was, "Err...no?" That would've thrown my whole strategy out cause all I wanted to do was hold the inside. He's kind of looked at me and you could see him thinking, you rude little prick. Which I was, of course. And to make it worse I went out and won the heat. - Joel
Ocy is the Lion of J-Bay, the best guy to ever surf it. Watching him out here is watching some of the best backhand surfing that's ever been done. - Joel
I surfed against Occ in a heat out here last year. I was out in the water waiting for it to start and I look in to shore and here's Occ; wetsuit on, singlet on ready to go... with his shoes and socks on walking down the beach! It was the funniest thing I've seen. He walks all the way down to the keyhole in them, takes 'em off next to the rocks, sits them next to each other, and paddles out. - Joel
On the morning of Occ's birthday I got up early and went fishing in the bay and caught three tailor as a birthday present. I gutted them and threw them on ice, cause we had to leave to go surfing. We surfed all day, came back to camp and the needed to be filleted. I was busy cooking up everything else for the birthday feed, so I go to Occ, "Mate, can you walk down the beach and clean these for us?" Ten minutes later Craikey comes over the hill and he's laughing so hard we couldn't understand what he was going on about. He's going., "Occy just had a fight fight with a seagull!" Occ had just filleted the fish on the sand and put them in the bucket, but he had turned his back and the next thing there's a seagull flying off with his fish. He's just started chasing it, and Craikey reckoned it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen in his life. Occ comes back goes, "Geez, Joel I'm sorry mate." It could only happen to Occ... and that's why we love him. - Joel
I suppose I've got to thank Occ for my connection with Uncle Bryan and the Surratt family. Since I was really young I've always hung with Occ in Hawaii; he's the best guy to hang with here. After coming here for 30 years he knows all the older Hawaiian crew, the well respected local crew and underground guys I wouldn't even know if I walked past them on the bike track. You'll be walking down the path with Occ and he'll stop every 20 yards and start talking to this Hawaiian guy. "Who was that Occ?" "Oh, I surfed against that guy in the '85 Pipe Masters," or, "I surfed against that guys brother at Sunset, he's a really cool guy." And Occ underplays how much the Hawaiian crew respect him. He paddles out at Pipe and I always think his status he could pretty much well have any wave he wanted. Everybody loves him over here. He could take turns with the best Pipe guys, no worries, and not even worry about the rest of us scrubs. He could pretty much go out there and sit with Bruce and Andy, and Occ knows it. But Occ will sit out there and really wait his turn and not hassle. There'll be 16-year-old kids getting waves around him and I'll be like, "Occ, just go. You're Occ... you've earned it." I'm sure most guys in Hawaii would agree. - Joel