Mick Fanning Says No World Champ Should Be Crowned This Year
Low def, high voltage surf talk.
We love the authority and insight that surfing’s heavyweights bring to pivotal moments— opinions backed by experience, smarts, and the scar tissue of life.
Last year on the Stab in the Dark all-stars trip to South Africa, Mick Fanning famously tore his ACL during a session at a righthander peeling alongside a breakwall. Out of the water for over nine months, in that period we’d been planning some Stab projects on the other side of his recovery. That was, of course, before the world locked down and we started operating in isolation.
Earlier this month, I texted Mick and asked how he’d feel about co-hosting interviews with me for a new Stab show. We’d each bring some subject matter to the table each week, ask some hypothetical questions, include some Stab reader questions. Mick is cut from a different cloth to most pro surfers. In my experience, many would feign a vague interest and get bogged down being too busy and eventually walk away from such a project.
Almost instantly, Mick confirmed. He was in. He immediately began rattling off names of surfers we should interview.
One of those names was WSL commentator, Ronnie Blakey. Ron was friendly fire. He’s been a long time pal of ours for decades and Ron also doubles as Mick’s media manager.
“Ron will be perfect,” texted Mick. “The first question is: How to conduct a good interview?”
Within moments, Mick had texted a handwritten A4 piece of paper full of questions for Ron.
Ron was as generous with us as he is in life. He’s a true gentleman. (When we had Ron host our Stab the In the Dark premiere in Sydney last year, Ron donated his $600 hosting fee to a local youth suicide group. When the fires hit the north coast of NSW over the summer, Ron offered up his beach house to any local families who had been displaced.)
Enough fawning already. Welcome to our Pilot episode of Stab Unplugged with our first guest, Ronnie Blakey. The goal of this thing is to make sense of what’s happening in the surf world right now and to head-on the topical and timely issues of the day.
Mostly, we want to focus on the 2020 Tour and the repercussions of the surf industry apocalypse.
Next up, Mick and I are interviewing John Florence. Please DM your questions as recorded audio to Stab’s IG if you have something you’d like to ask.