If you’re a regular-footed Millennial and Mick Fanning wasn’t up there as one of your favorite surfers, I’d like to know why. In those early ’00s, there wasn’t another surfer in my eyes, on tour or off, as exciting to watch. Before Mick, Myself, and Eugene had been christened White Lightning, there was Fanning The Fire, released in 2002. Faster than a cheetah, quicker than a hummingbird, and sharper than the blade of a samurai’s sword, with that WOW factor that would lead to world titles. Fanning was the shit.
I went to the Southern California premiere of Fanning The Fire as a 13-year-old grom, at San Diego State University. I even got to talk to the future world champ, take home a signed poster, and you better believe I rumbled with the other groms to take home a good amount of shwag during the product toss. However, what I remember most vividly of the experience was that Mick was a fucking animal in the water, and also that he was a kind, easy-going man on land. From that moment on, my admiration grew, and this 30-or-so-minute flick became one of my favorites. I’m stoked to have come across it, and I hope you enjoy this trip back to the future, just as much as I did.