|Nickname White Lightning|
Name Mick Fanning
Weight 75 kg (165 lb)
|Years active 2002–present|
Height 1.75 m
Career earnings $2,448,120
Spouse Karissa Dalton (m. 2008)
|Born Michael Eugene Fanning
13 June 1981 (age 34)
Penrith, New South Wales, Australia (1981-06-13) |
Residence Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia
Best year ASP World Champion – 2007, 2009, 2013
Movies Mick, Myself and Eugene
Parents John Fanning, Elizabeth Osborne
Siblings Peter Fanning, Sean Fanning, Edward Fanning, Rachel Fanning
Similar People Kelly Slater, Gabriel Medina, Joel Parkinson, Julian Wilson, John John Florence
Inside the mind of surfing legend mick fanning
Michael Eugene "Mick" Fanning AO, nicknamed "White Lightning" (born June 13, 1981), is an Australian professional surfer. Fanning won the 2007, 2009 and 2013 ASP World Tour. In 2015, he survived an encounter with what is suspected to be a great white shark during the J-Bay Open finals in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.
- Inside the mind of surfing legend mick fanning
- Kelly Slater vs Mick Fanning Hurley Pro at Trestles 2015
- Early years
- Professional career
- Encounter with shark
- Personal life
- Career victories
Kelly Slater vs. Mick Fanning - Hurley Pro at Trestles 2015
Fanning was born on June 13, 1981 in Penrith, New South Wales, Australia, to Irish parents. He learned to surf from the age of 5 in south coastal South Australia, but did not focus on surfing until his family moved to Tweed Heads, New South Wales, when he was twelve. He grew up with fellow professional surfer, Joel Parkinson, in the Gold Coast/Northern Rivers region and attended Palm Beach Currumbin State High School together. On the Queensland border, Fanning had access to surf north and south and he began to make a name for himself. In 1996 he established himself as one of the best surfers on the Queensland points by placing in the top three at the Australian National Titles. Tragedy struck in 1998 when his brother Sean died in a car accident along with fellow surfer Joel Green.
Fanning received a wild card entry at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach in 2001, winning one of Australia's leading contests. He finished 2002 as Rookie of the Year, winning the Billabong Pro at Jeffrey's Bay and earning himself a place on the 2002 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour as World Qualifying Series (WQS) Champion.
Fanning suffered a hamstring tear in 2004. It was surgically repaired and he made a comeback to become one of the leading surfers on the ASP world tour.
The year 2007 marked Fanning's sixth year on the ASP World Tour since 2002 and his ninth year on the ASP WQS since 1998. He began his 2007 World Title campaign (WCT) with a victory at the Quiksilver Pro, the first event on the 2007 ASP World Tour, putting himself on top of the ratings. He won the Santa Catarina Pro in Brazil on 6 November 2007 placing above Taj Burrow and Kelly Slater therefore clinching the 2007 ASP world title. In 2008 he suffered a mid-season groin injury. He slipped to eighth position on the end of year ratings. In 2009, Fanning reclaimed the ASP World Champion crown at the Pipeline reef break on Oahu’s North Shore. Although Fanning was eliminated by fellow Australian Dean Morrison in Round 4, his points lead from winning three of the last four events was enough to secure victory. In 2013 he had a victory in Round five, and made the quarter-finals at the Billabong Pipeline Masters.
On 3 December 2015, Fanning claimed his first World Qualification Series (WQS) victory in Hawaiian surf by winning the 2015 Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach, Oahu.
According to an interview with WideWorld magazine, Fanning's favourite surf spots in Australia include Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast, Bells Beach in Victoria and Gnarloo in Western Australia.
Encounter with shark
On 19 July 2015, Fanning encountered a shark two minutes into the J-Bay Open 2015 finals at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa. Fanning was in the water with Julian Wilson during the final when what is suspected to be a great white shark swam next to him. Fanning punched the shark and tried to wedge his board between the shark and his body. The shark eventually bit off Fanning's leash and Fanning started his attempt to flee back to shore. Wilson paddled towards Fanning to assist him and was praised for his action and hailed as a hero. Much of the early coverage characterized the encounter as a "shark attack." Based on analysis of the video and the fact that Fanning was not bitten, some marine biologists believe the shark had no intention of biting him.
A response team quickly rescued him from any further danger by scaring the shark away with a boat and picking up both Fanning and Wilson, who was still in the water nearby. Both surfers escaped unharmed and were given a shared victory, splitting the prize-money. Following the ordeal, Wilson gave a tear-filled interview. When he was asked, "You guys are locked in a title battle right now, and to put things into perspective does that mean anything to you at this point in time?", Wilson replied "No, not at all, I'm just happy he's alive." The event was cancelled.
The next day, Fanning returned to Australia. He wondered why the shark did not bite him and told reporters: "I'm just lucky it wasn't my time." The story received international news coverage. Fanning returned to the water to surf again less than a week later, dedicating it to his late brother, and also surfed Ship Stern Bluff on 27 August, a break notorious for great white sharks. Fanning later competed in the Billabong Pro Teahupoo, which took place in August 2015 in Tahiti. Fanning would go on to take a victory at the Hurley Pro at Trestles Beach and finish the year 2nd in the ratings.
Fanning was married for eight years to entrepreneur Karissa Dalton. On 31 January 2016, Fanning announced that he and his wife were divorcing.
Fanning is co-owner of Balter Brewing Company with Joel Parkinson, Josh Kerr and Bede Durbidge. Fanning is a supporter of the National Rugby League club Penrith Panthers.
In 2017 Fanning was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to surfing as a professional competitor at the national and international level, and as a supporter of a range of charitable foundations.