Stab Magazine | "This Retirement Thing Is Kinda Pissing Me Off!"

“This Retirement Thing Is Kinda Pissing Me Off!”

The highlights from Kelly’s speech at Mick Fanning’s retirement party.

news // Mar 31, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The pre-event sobriety of a WSL banquet was tossed out the door.

Even Kelly Slater sipped a glass of Shiraz.

The gossip-riddled World of surf had been in a frenzy earlier in the week, Whatsapp group chats pontificating that Kelly Slater might show up to Bells to surf in the event.

What about Mikey Feb! Was the forecast so good that Kelly was going to re-enter the event?

Kelly’s surfing earlier in the week at (supposedly) Thirteenth beach (a few clicks down the road from Bells) was in fact a miscommunication: Kelly had been surfing 13th Ave at Palm Beach, on the Gold Coast, and not the Victorian version.

Turns out Kelly had been laying low on the Gold Coast, rehabbing his foot and staying close to a sick friend, then flew over to pay his respects to Mick’s career.



As Kelly took the mic, a couple hecklers lobbed a few rib shots. 

“You know, I’m gonna get serious here for a minute so just shut up,” Slater began. 

“The one thing that stands out about Mick—and I’m not gonna take long—but one thing that stands out is: everyone likes you, Mick.

And I think that says a lot.

Everyone gets in their little cliques, and everyone has their own little thing, in different countries and all this stuff, and I think every guy on tour likes Mick Fanning.

And that’s a true testament to yourself.

And to your mother. Liz. Everyone likes your mother. That might be why everyone likes you, actually.

I’ve really enjoyed the time surfing against you. It’s always brought the best out in me. I’ve had a lot of interviews lately of people calling to ask about you and the one thing I keep saying is every time I surfed against about you it brings the best out.

I don’t get nervous, because I can’t surf nervous, because I know I have to be on to beat you—I have to be on my game to beat you. I think we end up just about even but I think you just got me, I think you’re a couple ahead of me.

It’s pissing me off, man! This retirement thing is kinda pissing me off! He’s out!

This is one guy who can turn it on and turn it off. He’s completely totally focused in the contest in his zone. He gets intimidating, you don’t want to talk with him. In the water he’s like (under his breath mumbling: ‘fucking cunt’) and he gets out of the water and he’s happy Mick.

I think it’s good when there are guys who can leave it in the water, and Mick’s one of those guys and I really appreciate that. And, I think everyone enjoys watching you surf and seeing you compete like that.

It’s been an amazing career and I’m really proud of you. Thanks for all you’ve given me, as a friend.

Mick and I had a funny little thing a couple years ago—we both got kinda drunk and almost got in a fight—and he called the next day, we kinda cried it out, said sorry. That’s kinda how it is with Mick. He called me up the next day and he was like, ‘No, we gotta talk, we gotta talk.'”

We had it out and it was cool, it was all done. It’s not like, what’s that guy thinking next time you see him?  Mick’s a real straightforward guy. And thanks for that, Mick.

Love you, bud.”


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