It’s been almost a year since Mick Fanning anounced he’d be stepping way from the Championship Tour. I was lucky enough to catch him at the Hurley Pro last season and recall wondering if that might be his last professional surf. Since then he’s been laying low; surfing outside of his comfort zone. Way out…
A recent trip took him to his father’s family home in Ireland. It seems to have been a reflection point as well as a look ahead for Mick. The decision had not yet been made as to whether or not he’ll return to the tour. The trip is charmingly retold in the latest episode of The Search: Mick Fanning’s Irish Crossroads.
“I think the goal posts have changed. Obviously, world titles are incredible things. They’re something you strive for as a little kid, and people always ask me, “Do you want to win more?” To be totally honest, I couldn’t care. The ones that I won were amazing, and it was great to achieve something, but now it’s not my biggest desire.
I think the last thing that I really wanted to achieve was to right the wrong of J-Bay. I actually had a flash go through my head when the final siren went and I thought, “Is this it? Am I walking away right now?” And, for me, that was just the last accomplishment that I truly believed I needed to achieve.
Now I want to go and surf different waves and explore my surfing in different areas and try and create film or photos that I’m proud of. Growing up, that was never very high on my priority list. It was just contests. Where now, working with photographers like Corey [Wilson], or filmmakers, like Taylor Steele, they really put their heart and desire into creating the most amazing things, and that inspires me to be better in that area. I want to do my best so they can do their best. That’s where the goalposts are at the moment.”
There’s a certain appeal to this side of Mick. So many years he’s just been the competitor. It seems with freedom and space, he’s started to find pieces of himself and fashion them together into a version of himself he may not have known existed. I can’t wait to see what’s next.