RIP: Mick Fanning’s career!

"Over-surfing is a self-indulgence..."

Mick Fanning’s career, whose chiseled, slightly melancholic good looks, baritone near-bogan twang and pure speed down the line made it an unforgettable presence on the Association of Surfing Professionals/World Surf League’s Championship Tour died early yesterday at its home in Coolangatta, Australia.

It was 17.

Fanning’s career, born in 2002 with a wildcard win at the Bells Classic, often played out as morally anguished though usually displayed grace under fire. Sometimes it was filled with booze and boozy slurs. Sometimes it was clean and precise, headed to the gym for much training and sweating, but it was always there near or at the top of the professional surf ranks.

In its most memorable role, punching a South African shark in the nose in 2015, Fanning’s career garnered international acclaim for being cool, calm, collected.

It won Surfer Poll’s number three that same year for its performance as a focused Australian Gold Coaster who incurs the wrath of the ocean while defending itself and its fellow competitor Julian Wilson’s career.

Throughout, its persona as the embodiment of Australian decency made it a persuasive advocate for Red Bull, Rip Curl and Stance socks amongst others.

Its honors included Micktory, Tales of a Fucking Jew, White Lightening Strikes Twice, and Micktory III.

In its leisure time it supervised the brewing of beer.

Fanning’s career highlighted that the professional surfer’s main obligation was to entertain, never to bore, and to perform with precision, professionalism and charm. ”Over-surfing,” it once said, ”is a self-indulgence, while under-surfing comes either through a lack of talent or a lack of courage.”

It sometimes succeeded and is survived by Kelly Slater’s career and Martin Potter’s slightly agitated aspiration.

Funeral plans are still incomplete.

mick fanning
Mick and ol pal Joel whom you'd presume won't be far behind Mick…  | Photo: WSL

Tears: Mick Fanning to retire at Bells!

Three-timer sees writing on wall, preserves legacy… 

Twenty minutes ago, via the magical news-feed-to-the-world-called-Instagram, Mick Fanning announced he’d retire after his sponsor’s event at Bells in April.

Yeah, we all knew it was coming. Ain’t no surprise.

The almost-thirty-seven-year-old,three-time world champion had seen the writing on the wall, as they say, and had figured retirement, while still competitive and a world title chance, the most elegant option – before his legacy was evaporated by younger and more gymnastic surfers.

As we all know it’s been a hell of a past few years, the shark at J-Bay, an older brother gone, a divorce and so on.

From Mick aka @mfanno. 

It’s time.

I’ve decided the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be my last event as a full-time competitor on the World Surf League Championship Tour. The tour has given me so much but I need a fresh challenge. I still love the game but can’t find the motivation and dedication required to compete for World Titles anymore.

My time on tour has been incredibly rewarding and I have so many amazing memories, all of which wouldn’t be possible without some very special people…

My Mum, Dad, Sister and Brothers. I love you.

My sponsors that have stood by me and continue to back my goals.

My shaper Darren Handley and his entire team for the care and hard work they put into every single one of my boards.

My fellow competitors on tour, you are like brothers and sisters to me.

My very tight support crew that have been there in good and tough times, thank you for always being honest with me.

And thanks to the fans and everyone that has encouraged me and cheered me on for all these years.

I’m looking forward to life away from the tour while keeping a close eye on things. I’m so proud of our sport and the way it continues to evolve. The performance level on the Championship Tour and the Big Wave Tour is remarkable. I can’t wait to watch it all go down as one of the sport’s biggest fans. I’m also looking forward to evolving my own surfing in new ways, visiting unfamiliar places and taking on different experiences.

I will be competing at the opening event at home on the Gold Coast and then wrapping things up at the Rip Curl Pro. Bells Beach is where my Championship Tour career really kicked off, I’ve always loved the place and it seems a fitting stop to finish things up. It’s gonna be a big fun party and you’re all invited to come. Hope I see you there.

Cheers and thanks for the memories.


Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson from Doped Youth from BeachGrit on Vimeo.

Griffin Colapinto
Griff's last-minute frontside huck to beat Jordy Smith at Haleiwa last year.

Watch: Griffin Colapinto in “This Boy is Special!”

The WCT's hottest new talent since Filipe Toledo… 

Wasn’t it a thrill, back in December, when the San Clemente teenager, Griffin Colapinto, became the first American mainlander since Kelly Slater to win the Triple Crown.

Griffin, who was nineteen, combined with Kolohe Andino to make it a San Clemente one-two. His success in Hawaii wrapped up a spot on the 2018 WCT.

In this five-minute short  by the WSL, we meet a kid who took his scrubbing brush and his hammer and his garden shears to his surfing and shaped it into something that separates him, clearly, obviously, from the hundred other teen prodigies.

Some quotes:

“This kid is… special!”

Forehand air, backhand airs, power hacks, there is no real weakness”

“Really aggressive throw tails.”

And from Rosy Hodge, the journalist entrusted with the post-heat interviews at tour events.

“Griffin, you better get used to those moments, because you’ll be dong them all year on the WCT.”

Although this profile short doesn’t take the viewer especially deep into Griffin’s life, you do leave the cinema with the feeling that this is a surfer who approaches his game with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe.

Watch his last-minute Hail Mary at Haleiwa last year to beat Jordy Smith for proof of the instinctive trust he has in his surfing.

Want a little more?


Revealed: Tyler Wright’s secret fling!

The world's most powerful surfer comes clean!

Do you train? Like, go to the gym and stuff? What about dance? When the beat drops are you out on the floor, waving your hands like you just don’t care? Well guess what world champion surfer Tyler Wright does? She trains by dancing and not just any dancing, not the dancing you do right before last call, but the best sort of dancing.


It’s true and revealed in this morning’s Newcastle Herald.

“Dancers are athletes, they’re as gnarly as you get,”‘ Wright told the paper. “Surfing isn’t an up and down sport; you move in every direction and having your movements analysed (by a ballet dancer) helps show how you can better use your whole body.”

As further reported…

She says her fling with ballet shows a more thoughtful side to her that people might underestimate.

“I’m more analytical and calculated than people think on the work side of life,” the Culburra Beach product said.

“I love details, I’m fascinated by them, they’ve always held my attention and we (Wright and coach Glenn Hall) spend hours on it.”

Wright has been on the tour since 2011 and, with Kelly Slater’s artificial Surf Ranch added to the WSL schedule and surfing part of the 2020 Olympics, is excited by the direction the sport is heading.

“It’s in a full growing stage, it’s fascinating and everything’s changing but the integrity of it all is still there,” she told AAP.

“It’s clear that I’m a big fan and if people want to bring up (negative) points they better be ready for me to counter them.

“(The Olympics) gives everyone a platform to fall in love with the ocean, to fall in love with surfing and I just think surfing is such a good thing for people.”

I remember a few years ago when NFL offensive linemen took ballet in order to improve their footwork. I thought the idea funny at the time but have since come to love and appreciate ballet. It really is one of the world’s premier arts and while I would not care to see Tyler Wright dancing at the Bolshoi it will be interesting to see how she incorporates the fluid movements into her surfing.

Also, the staunch defense of Surf Ranch and Olympic Surfing… ooo-ee! I would not care for Ms. Wright to counter me.

Also, if I was present for an hours and hours long detailed training session between Ms. Wright and Mr. Glenn Hall I would probably download a video game on my phone and play it.

The battle of the sexes and war between countries! Who's gonna win? Guy or gal? Brazilian or American?

5000 spectators for Uni-sex Surf Ranch event!

Guys and gals compete against each other in May teams contest!

Earlier today, a little after midnight if you’re west of the date line, the WSL announced a teams event at the Lemoore tank on the Cinco de Mayo weekend of May 5 and 6.

And in a very inclusive, non-discriminatory kink unique in world sport, the guys are going to compete against girls.

The USA team, which includes Hawaii if you’re wondering, is captained by Kelly, Brazil has Gabriel, Australia, Stephanie Gilmore, Europe, Johanne Defay and Jordy Smith will captain the Rest of the World, although the only WCT surfer not from Australia, Brazil or Europe is the French Polynesian Michel Bourez.

“This technology has captured the imagination of the global surfing community and created a number of new opportunities for the WSL,” Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO, said, cutting through the jargon.

Read about it here. WSL Announces Founders’ Cup of Surfing Event for May 2018

After reading that press release, I had a few breezy questions which I threw at the WSL’s Dave Prodan, who answered with typically good-natured, Soviet-era evasiveness.

How many spectators are going to be allowed in?

“Expecting 5000 in attendance.”

Ticket prices:

“I don’t not have but, on background, probably fair to assume a tiered experience.”

Is there a practice day scheduled? Will waves be served at random or will they be identical?

“Lots of practice days scheduled for all CTers ahead of Founders Cup for both May event and September CT.”

How many sessions? How many waves per session per surfer?

“Ample hopefully. Their preparation is a priority.”

Who can Jordy pick? Michel?

“WSL Commissioner’s Office has a criteria for surfer selection and region.”

Which is?

“TBA upon reveal of full teams.”

But only one non-Australian/Brazilian/European surfer on tour apart from Big Joe Smith.

“QS surfers in play as well.”

And waves? Identical or random?

“Identical. For now.”

Register for tickets here.