Mick Fanning - Australian Pro Surfer

Mick Fanning
Freakish speed and talent are evident.

Mick Eugene Fanning was born June 13, 1981, in Penrith, NSW, Australia. He began surfing at age 5 but didn’t go full on until 12.Moving with his family to Tweed Heads, the tow head regular foot found surfing quickly turn into a career. Further, the insane local waves like Kirra and Snapper Rocks and fierce competition ( Joel Parkinson and Dean Morrison to name just a smidge)teeming in the lineup, Mick’s sharpened skills became part of his holistic surf package that included a style so tight and flawless that in contrast with even the most progressive surfers looked like something from the future…when radical Terminator robots gain the capacity for athletic art.

By 1996, Mick Fanning had proven effective as a competitor. He finished n the top-three at the Australian National Titles and won the prestigious Pro Junior event, but the same yeah saw life changing tragedy as well. At 17, Mick was forced to confront the loss of his older brother Sean. Killed in a car accident, Sean’s death would serve as a driving force for the budding professional contender. Mick (who has earned the name “White Lightning for his streaking lines across the wave in conjunction with his striking white-blonde locks) surfed well on the 2001 World Qualifying Series (WQS), earning Mick a wild card entry into the Rip Curl Pro. Fanning won the whole thing and dedicated the win to his late brother. The next year, Fanning won the WQS and won the Billabong Pro at Jeffrey's. J-Bay would provide a perfect showcase for Fanning’s rail-to-rail commitment and incredible speed. Around the same time, his sponsors Rip Curl put together a coming out video in “Fanning the Fire.” the short showed the world that there was a reason for the blurry photos.

The guy was a rocket ship, and he quickly rocketed up the ranks of the ASP tour , but injury would stop derail his rise. A torn hamstring while shooting film in Indo would result in surgery with metal and screws and massive rehab.

2007. Enter Mick Fanning, winner of the first contest of the season, the Quiksilver Pro.

He wouldn’t relinquish his lead until he won the whole deal. Fanning had won his first world championship.

2008 found Fanning in 8th place. He was reportedly finding the surf world’s expectations too much, but that didn’t last long as he ricocheted back to world champ status a year later after an insurmountable lead by Joel Parkinson was cut short by an ankle injury. One would imagine the win the was bittersweet for both surfers as Parko and Mick had been friends since their grommet days back in Coolangata.

Part of what became known as the Cooly Kids; Fanning, Parko, and Dean “Dingo” Morrison were fast, radical and brash. They partied long into the night and shredded all day. Their sordid exploits appeared a subtle nod to surf stars of old who made it a point to keep surfing a fringe lifestyle based more on freedom than ratings points.

In 2009, he took a verbal (albeit drunken) swipe at the Kelly Slater, the consummate pro surfer. At the Surfer Poll event at the Sun Theatre, in Anahiem, California, Fanning heckled the champ and even after being invited on stage by Slater himself, didn’t relent. Mick would later regret that night, but the surf press loved it.

Fanning finished the 2011 season in the top 10, but voiced his disappointment with questionable judges’ decisions and even another season ending injury, this time his neck.

He looked to 2012 with a fresh start with the approach of the Quiksilver Pro, held at his home break of Snapper Rocks right there on the Gold Coast of Australia.