Between battling sharks face-to-face and winning 3 championship titles, Mick Fanning‘s career will be remembered as one of the most prolific in surfing history.
The New South Wales native recently announced that he will be stepping aside from the world of competitive surfing, telling the Sydney Morning Herald that he’s done with the grind of competing “day-in-day-out” on tour.
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 @ripcurl_aus @redbullau @reef @dhdsurf @dragonalliance @creaturesofleisure @vertra @fcs_surf @skullcandy @mercedesbenzvans_au @opkix @grapes @mfsoftboards @balterbrewers
Fanning began competing on the WSL in 2002 and has been a fixture on the tour during his 16+ years of competition. During that time, he was named Australian Male Surfer of the Year 6 times along with winning the overall ASP title 3 times. He will compete in the Rip Curl Pro @Bells Beach as his final event.
Fanning gained international fame when a video of him punching and kicking a shark during a competition at Jeffry’s Bay in South Africa went viral.
Find the entire Sydney Morning Herald article here: Australian surfing star Mick Fanning to retire after Bells Beach