Hot Seat – Mick Fanning

While Australian superfreak Mick Fanning remains steadfastly in the hunt for a world title, as much as any self-respecting bloke from Down Under, he still understands the value of cutting loose. And when Mick cuts loose, well, look out, because you might get a little more than you bargained for. Even Stiffler and Frank the Tank would have a tough time keeping up with Fanning, a party animal the likes of which we haven’t seen in years. Already famous for his stripping antics and his classic off-the-cuff acceptance speeches at award ceremonies Mick always makes life interesting. Just ask Kelly Slater, who was once interrupted by a slightly inebriated Fanning during his SURFER Poll acceptance speech. When Kelly asked what would happen if he were to come to Australia and act similarly, Mick’s response was, “You’d get laid!” Well, damn it all, we think its high time Mick gets credit for turning up the notch on the ol’ fun-o-meter. What better way than a visit to the Hot Seat. –Chris Mauro

So apparently you and your buddies are spearheading a whole new movement on the tour?

Yeah, why not? We’re only young, and we like to have fun all the time. But we keep it under control. Like, if there’s an event I want to do well in, I’m dead sober for two weeks leading up to it. Then it’s either letting out the frustration when you lose or celebrating when you win.

But we keep getting post party reports about your stripping activities. Apparently after a few beers you get allergic to clothes?

Nah, it’s just that I’ve always sort of been in the nudist camp. Why not, y’know, I’ve got a pretty crip rig (laughs). I think it’s the best one on tour.

Hmm, I wouldn’t know. But that would explain why you posed nude in the Australian Sportbook wouldn’t it.

Yeah, uh, that was a bit weird. Kinda heavy actually.

It caught us off guard. But apparently it’s a big honor Down Under to be included in it, as it’s full of world famous athletes posing in weird ways, so we’ll let you slide. The shots are too risqu for us anyway.

It is a big deal, but I’m still pretty freaked out by it–kinda over it now.

Fair enough, so we know you’re always going to be a life of the party candidate, but who’re some of the others who know how to have a good time on tour?

Well Parko [Joel Parkinson] and Dean [Morrison] do for sure. Hedgy [Nathan Hedge] is pretty out of control too–he’s worse than me.

Who’s the most obnoxious?

Probably me.

Speaking of your friend Parko, how does a laid back guy like him get waves in a place like the Gold Coast where you basically have to be a prick to catch waves?

Oh, don’t let Parko fool you mate. He’s the worst person to surf with in the world (laughs). He’ll cut anyone off–a total asshole. And Dean is by far the worst guy at Kirra.

Out of all the guys on tour, who’s the worst drop in king?

Joel is. For sure…He just goes. He doesn’t see anyone.

Is the tour more exciting for you young guys with Slater hitting his stride?

Yes and no. Yes because he’s so damn good and no for the exact same reason. There’s a pretty good rivalry between all of us, even me, Joel and Taj. If one of us wins it’s all good, we’ll go big and celebrate…

But underneath?

Ah, deep down we always want the other guy to lose.

Are the Cooly Cats still spitting the winkle?

Probably. Cooly is home to some of the creepiest people in the world.

How much Cooly talent is coming up behind you Parko and Dean?

There’s plenty, the Harrington twins are really hot, and there are a few others too.

And they have an appreciation for the wild side?

Oh, they’re way worse than us. The Harrington twins are the worst kids in the world. They’d be streaking across the stage at the SURFER Poll naked no problem.

You’re part of the new crop of Australians having a big impact on the SURFER Poll, is that something you’re pretty proud of?

Yeah, it’s cool. We’re all pretty fired up about it. We didn’t realize how much the SURFER Poll meant until we got here. Of course, I don’t remember much of last year…it was one of those dickhead moments in my life.

You mean, because you told Slater he’d get laid. But that was all time.

Yeah, but, still…my sponsors were like, “Hey that was pretty cool…but maybe you should have a couple years off, eh?”

Oh you’re fine. You killed it this year. Your speeches are always, well, interesting.

Thanks. I was actually surprised you guys invited me back.