Personally, I loved ‘Vacation Mick Fanning’. Last year he gifted us some cinematic gems and the highest possible vibes, bringing a noncommittal attitude to the world tour, but still doing enough events to requalify and not soak up a 2017 wildcard spot (which world champs have the power to do after taking a year off… what a guy). I certainly also like ‘T-1000 compBeast Mick Fanning’, but there’s a lot to be said for the Vacation edition. What I don’t like, is seeing a champion and born winner lose; The 13th and 25th place finishes he’s scooped this year don’t suit him. So, what’s going on in that highly considered mind, two events into this year? Let’s have the breeziest conversation and find out…
Stab: So… how was WA?
Mick: It was alright. It’s one of those places where… I hate that wave, so it’s hard to get excited. But there’s sick waves around it.
I couldn’t figure out on the first day if North Point was amazing, or horrible. It was just slow. When they came, they were amazing, but because they were three man heats, everyone just kept pushing each other out of the zone. I think also, the WSL put so much effort into making it a possibility to surf there that we sort of felt like, shit, we better do something. They didn’t have to run there, it was on us as well, but it sorta felt like we should.
How are you feeling this year? Yeah, alright, it’s sort of hard getting back in. For me, I’m still trying to figure out if I want to be here or not. I’ve been putting everything into every heat, but I’ve just gotta change a few little things, and maybe I’ve put a little too much pressure on myself.
It seemed like last year when you didn’t have the “I’m doing a full year and going for a title” thing in your head, you looked more confident and relaxed when you did compete. I think also too, I hadn’t had that break away from it. You have a little bit of rust when you haven’t had a heat for a while and I made some little mistakes here and there (this year) that maybe I wouldn’t have made in previous years. I think that’s what has cost me this year. But it’s all learning, you’ve just gotta change and adapt accordingly.
Well, after seeing you at The Snake, and in Ireland, and Alaska, I’m not surprised you’re having an internal debate. When you’re sitting in the car park for four hours wondering whether you’re going to surf your heat or not… it gets to be a little bit much.