How I Became Mick Fanning’s Fin Courier
There are worse gigs to land.
So we are filming the Electric Acid Surfboard Test (EAST) with Mick Fanning in the Maldives.
This year, Stab asked 12 big and small name shapers across the globe to produce boards for our Mick to ride over the course of two weeks in the ruler-groomed, gently-spinning reefs of the Maldivian atolls.
The shapers’ brief?
Other than being prescribed a set color palette, length of board and FCS compatibility, there were no parameters.
Shapers were free to go as lysergic as their appetites so desired – and they went pretty turbo. There are plenty of whack channels, flyers and asymmetrical quirks that, taken as a whole, resemble the Adams family of surfboards.
Back to how I became MFs fin courier.
This year, Taylor Paul is running point on the EAST production.
It is fair to say TP is probably the least Ashton Goggans-like character on Stab’s team (who ran EAST’s production previously, now No Contest), and TP’s big schtick was putting a major emphasis on pre-production and planning.
Lower down the wrung on Ashy’s hierarchy of needs.
So when Mick’s fins didn’t show up after his Qatar airlines flight, none of it could be chalked up to a lack of organization, just an old school, vintage jinxing.
Always touch wood.
So Mick arrives in the Maldives with no fins.
While EAST is Stab’s experimental property, worlds apart from SITD’s more HP-oriented angle, it is not about to be Mick slipping about on a bunch of frictionless boards intended to be steered with rudders, as entertaining as that may be.
We need a workaround ASAP.
‘Is anyone traveling to the Maldives in the next three days?’ we ask our IG followers.
Can we express deliver them directly?
Probs not, this is the middle of the Indian Ocean, and they will need to change hands several times making it high-risk and slow.
‘Ah damn, well it looks like you’ll have to send me over to hand-deliver them’, I kid cheekily in the Byron office.
Kid gets cold reception.
The earth continues its orbit around the sun and Mick’s fins get no closer.
TP waits by the phone, Qatar calls, ‘we regret to inform you…’
We’re out of options.
Late that night, I am buzzed by Stab’s Head of HR, Tom Bird.
‘Get your shit together. You are leaving at 7 tomorrow. Do not fuck this up.’
I sleep not.
Next morning I hop in the metallic bird.
Male-Como Maalifushi (via seaplane).
I have about 15 sets of fins with me on carry-on. They never leave my sight.
‘Do not fuck this up,’ plays on loop in my head.
I perspire a great deal the entire way.
When I step off boat at Como Maalifushi I breathe again.
God damn, Tropic Surf.
Staff hand me Mai Tai.
I drink it.
I shit you not, this is the nicest place I have ever seen.
Six star, lux AF, above water villas furnished with sand whiter than albino pubes, teeming with similarly albino hermit crabs, reef sharks, turtles and jungles of pandanus and palm surrounded by turquoise lagoons.
For the record, I would be happy to sleep on a bit of damp cardboard on an exclusive Mi Goreng diet if it meant surfing the atolls with Mick.
I am way too scruffy to be here.
Staff drop me to my garden villa.
I slap myself.
The rest is history really.
I deliver fins to Mick.
Since, we have surfed nearly every day, getting choobed together, fist bumping, you know, goofballin’.
I’d say we’re pretty much best bros now.
Here is a picture of me lathering him in suncream.
So that’s the story of how I became Mick Fanning’s fin courier.
The best gig I’ve ever got.
I will be extending my fin courier services to anyone traveling to tropical lux surf resorts in the near future.
You can hit me at [email protected]gyouth.com.
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