Mick Fanning has taken #thesearch very seriously over his season away from the 2016 WCT. In the video below Mick returns to the Emerald Island where his family roots grew, charges thick slabs coupled with some classic white lighting rail work on some of Ireland’s finest setups. Check out the video alongside images of his time spent in the land of Guinness.
After a whirlwind 2016 in which Mick had a close encounter with a shark at Jeffrey’sBay, separated from his wife and lost a brother, he decided it was time to take a sabbatical from the world tour. It was time to reset, get back to the basics and get to know himself again. He spent the year traveling the globe, venturing to places he’d only dreamed of in the past…During that time, it only made sense that he returned to his roots – the land of theIrish. Because as you’re reading this, he’s facing one of the hardest choices of his life– will he return to the tour in 2017, or will he hang up his jersey forever?
MICK: People probably look at it and think it was last year that prompted this [year off] when it actually wasn’t. It was something that had been building for two or three years, and I think that the events from last year were the final nail in the coffin. Like, “Just take a break, go do you for a minute. Fill up your fun tank.” Because I got to the end of  and, once I finally got home from Pipe, I just had nothing. I was totally empty. I often try and help other people because I always feel like I’m in a place where I can do that, but this time, I couldn’t even pick myself up.
Something had to change. Just to be out of the spotlight and outside of my comfort zone, be in places where I wasn’t getting looked at. Because it felt like people were looking at me going, “Is he OK?” They don’t always have to say something, you can just tell by how people are looking at you. And I don’t need to be reminded of it every day because I am thinking of it anyway. But when you walk down the street in Dublin and not a soul knows who you are, you’re just a passing person. And that’s really refreshing.
MICK: Once I took the shirt off at Bells, it felt like this whole weight lifted off me. At the time, I was lost a little bit in what I wanted to do. I had all these bright ideas of doing this and doing that, and then as time wore on, I found that I was happy just being wherever. I didn’t have to go and chase all these different things. And while I was still busy, I was busy doing things that I wanted to do.
Look, being on tour is a really easy life. But, in addition to constantly trying to get yourself to 100-percent peak performance, you’re always focused on the next day. Like, “Is the event on today or is it going to be on tomorrow?” You don’t actually stop. Even if you lose your heat, it’s like, “OK, when am I getting home? What do I have to do for the next event, how do I get my body right for that event? Do I book accommodation? Are my boards ready? Is my mindset right?” But now, I can actually stop and be more present. And that was one thing I’ve learned — is that you can just be here. You can be here today and deal with tomorrow when it comes.
“So, what is next for Mick Fanning? What direction will he travel in 2017? Forward —and that’s about all we can say for sure.” – Taylor Paul, writer
Big thanks to Rip Curl for all the fresh stories, video’s, and Imagery.