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Mick Fanning is current world number one

Leading the world tour ratings is bittersweet. For a stint, you’re on top. But there’s pressure. And the fact that, this early in the year, it can shift at every event. For what it’s worth and whatever it might mean, Mick Fanning is currently the world’s number one surfer. Since the white-mopped kid busted onto tour 10 years ago, the power, speed and fluidity in his surfing has not only matured, but also continually adapted (slob air-revs, thanks!). After tasting victory at Bells earlier in the year (made all the sweeter by a win over Kelly in the final), Mick threw down enough of his magic at the surrounding events to slide into the number one slot, post-Fiji. It ain’t the first time he’s been here. D’you reckon he’s letting it faze him?

Stab: What’s it mean to be current world number one?
Mick Fanning: At the moment, I’m not thinking about it. The way I look at it, I’ve got three results out of four. When it comes down to it, you wanna finish the year with at least nine results. So that’s three results I don’t have to get now. I’ve got those ones in the kitty. It’s all about making up the numbers. It doesn’t matter who else is in the race, you still need those results. I look at it as a whole. Once you get down to the last two or three events, you start looking at who’s in the race, but until then everyone’s just building points. If you can get third or better in each event, you’re doing pretty well.

The break between Fiji and Chopes is two months. How do you keep your head clear in that time? I’m just cruising, y’know? I’ve got a couple of trips that I’m gonna do. It’s so early in the year, (the title race) is all so close that you can’t really start stressing out about it yet. There’s still a lot of work to do, so it’s still business as usual.

You had a dig on the big day in Fiji. It looked immense out there. It was massive, man. For me, I just wanted to go out there and have a look. I just wanted to get at least one wave. It was serious. I think they were some of the biggest waves I’ve ever seen. It was exhilarating. From being there, then watching the replays, it was just so much bigger when you were there.

Did they make the right call not to run? When Bede and Kai and those guys surfed it, the wind was pretty bad coming up the face. I guess, because you’re looking into the wave from the channel, it doesn’t look as bad, but they all said it was really hard to surf. Even when they called it off, it wasn’t super amazing. It wasn’t til another hour into the freesurf that guys were getting really crazy ones. It’s a 50-50 call but at the end of the day, they made the right call, even if just based on safety. Those top big-wave guys were wearing life vests and we didn’t have anything. If we did go, it would’ve been crazy, but we got to watch crazy surfing anyway. Win-win.

Does Kelly want it as badly as ever? I don’t know. You never know with him. I think last year he wasn’t all that psyched at the start of the year, then when he didn’t go to J-Bay and people were talking about him, that pissed him off. Then he just came out firing and smoked everyone. So It all just depends. He was on point in Fiji, which you expect. He’s got such a good rapport with Tavarua.

Who else impressed you in Fiji? Gabe (Medina). Everyone was watching to see how he’d do in those sort of waves and he really stepped up and surfed great. He did some great tuberiding and some really big turns. The Hobgoods are always amazing out there, as well. And, John John (Florence), too. I surfed with him before the event and he’s so relaxed, he finds the craziest waves and he just doesn’t seem to freak out. He’s really calm. It’s pretty crazy to watch.

Has your competitive surfing changed in the last year? I think now, I don’t really freak out about getting the result. It’s more about going out and putting on a good show. I’m only trying to impress myself. I’m not really worried about what other people are thinking, I’m just going surfing.

Would that be different if you didn’t have an ASP world cup sitting in your trophy room? I don’t know… it’s a hard one. Maybe it would be, maybe I’d be more furious. At Snapper when I lost, I didn’t take it too well. But then I looked at it and thought, if that’s as bad as it’s going to be, then I’m doing ok. If the results come, they come. As long as I’m surfing well, I’m happy.

Who’s gonna win the world title? You? Hopefully! (Laughs). As I said, it’s still a really long way to go, and it’s close. With Kelly and Joel tied at second… I think we’ll probably know after these two events. That’s when we’ll see who’s really taking control. Maybe this time off will be good for everyone. Hopefully everyone comes out guns blazing like it’s the start of the year again. – Elliot Struck

Drop Mick in any ocean situation and he'll make something glorious happen. Like this high-line to blowout during the Volcom Pro, Fiji. Sequence: Joli


    1first !
    Seen that the other day.

    • jokerman

      blah blah blah kiddo

      who cares?

  • joker


  • we will see..

    3x champ

  • Teddy B

    Go Mick ! Love to see him as 3X World Champ

  • weblost

    Micks a legend , no bullshit, just pure surfing. a true champion.

  • Nostra Damus

    He won’t be champion this year, he lost it last year, and now he’s out of the race, even though he is first today! The same for Parkinson, those guys won’t come back. JJF for champ this year, or Taj, but no Fanning, and no Parkinson.

    • curren

      You don’t know surfing u pathetic half man, mick will win and u can can suck a dick hahahahahahahahaha fuck off

  • cary

    homeboys trippin if he thinks taj is comn in before fanning or parko

    • WCT viewer 9+ years

      In my very small opinion, I think Taj is surfing insane this year.
      I do appreciate Mick, Joel, Kelly, and JJ, but Taj has upped his game. It seems like he’s taking his turn an extra 3-5 degrees, implementing a tad more pressure, and looking a bit more aggressive. Like the famous post goes, Anyone But ADS.

    • Luis

      That’s a quick-witted anwesr to a difficult question

  • Jim Bob

    hmmm Bit slow in the Stab office this week?

  • johann

    kelly gonna be champ, evidence, Teahuppo, Hawaii, the us plus a final in hossegor he has never won next year JJ and gabe for sure. Fanning is out for the next even parko is so boring too see.

  • BoB

    Mick should have never won at Bells, Kelly will win the title AGAIN, and John John will keep it in the USA for the next ten years. Maybe 2012 will be when the next Aussie champ is born.

  • bASS

    Nobody talks about KOLOHE anymore huh? GO GABE

    • curren

      that’s cause his turns are weak as piss

  • dan

    yeah its about time the industry got of kolohe’s balls.

  • joker

    John john is easy the the best all round surfer I think if we have a couple of big swells at chopes and pipe this year the title could be his.

  • Fred Lang

    Hang on, are we back too , top turn slash to top turn slash 96 era [wait a minute im watching Adam melling 2012 , ah no my mistake its Dick fanning , mmmmm awkward, surfing is meant to be progressing an Dick fanning an parkinson are not , world champion i would hope not!

    • lee

      Your a goose, obviously you dont get proper surfing.. get back to watching your teletubbies kiddy

  • samgreen

    Yeah forget that Kelly Mick and Joel are the 3 best rail surfers… if you can do an air reverse on a 2ft wave and an air reverse on a 4ft wave that doesn’t equate to being exciting and super well rounded…

    If you can mix it with airs when it’s 3ft, turns when it’s 6ft and barrels when it’s 10ft you are well rounded – The top older guys are stronger in the bigger stuff obviously but John still has a ways to go – one day he probably will be most well rounded by a mile and Medina probably will be the first world champ from Brazil, but it’s not sacrilege to suggest that guys 10 years older than them still have an edge in certain conditions.

  • Ben cousins

    Fanning and parko not progressive. Are u kidding me Fred Lang! Behind slater these two Aussies have dominated the progressive contest scene for the past 10 years. Progressive surfing isn’t only air reverses mate.

  • Colic Nephretic

    Samgreen sounds right, I almost thought it was my post…
    Seriously, that’s the way it’s gonna be, older guys still have the best in huge surf, and they know a few valuable things that help when it comes to handle pressure and heats, but overall, JJF is frightening, Medina is still waited in big surf, but looks frightening and a guy like Josh Kerr shouldn’t be counted out…
    JJF, Kerr, Taj, Medina, one of these four guys is the 2012 world champ…or 2nd behind Slater…


    Well said Mr cousins airs are great but if you can’t mix them up with some quality stylish turns on the face and through the lip then ones surfing can become ugly like say Jadson andre.

  • Jimmy Hogan

    Look the facts are parkinson an fanning are well off the mark in retrospect to progressive surfing in today terms [like 10 years]yes peanut asp rateing,s state diffferently [what the fuck do they mean anyway its a forgone conclusion slater wil win his one horse race again, who cares]If ur confused with any part of my statement please refer to marine layer productions

  • Mick Cribb

    The age old debate of tricks vs power and flow has been debated for years. Others like Kelly have it all. I wouldn’t underestimate Mick and Joel’s surfing as I have seen all the surfers above in real life surf and all together at the same time. There is nothing so pure in surfing than seeing Mick or Joel completely have the beach at standstill by just a turn or one wave. I have seen Gabs and John John in the same line up on the same day with the wow factor with their airs. You can’t really appreciate it fully until its live in front of you especially turns are completely underestimated.

    They may not be as innovative but watching them destroy a wave with style is just as exciting as flick turns and the same air reverse. The reason Kelly is so amazing and successful is he has both which is just insane. The best thing is they all add to surfing and I’m definitely enjoying watching it.

  • Buzz Lightyear

    Kolohoe’s turns are a joke, Im 41 and my turns are significantly better…and Im living in Vegas

  • otto

    kolohe is a pussy. nice airs and whatever, every kid can do them but none of them is as gay as he is.

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