Deano couldn’t believe Mick missed this swell! You could hear his mad cackle echo all the way to NZ on this one! (Juan Medina)

Dingo Morrison Opens Up About His Best Mate Calling It Quits

Then proceeds to get funnelled out of his mind at Kirra, in the new issue of SW!

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The first time I saw Mick was at Cabarita. It was an ACC event and he was lurking around with his brother Sean. He was really tiny, a couple of years younger than me, which doesn’t seem like much now but I think he was a 11 and I was 13 so that’s a pretty big gap at that age. His brother was a bit older and he was in the comp so I was more interested in how he surfed. I think they were living at Ballina, but not long after that they moved to Palm Beach. We all went to the same school and pretty soon Sean and Westy and a bunch of other guys became the guys we looked up to. We were just this gang of kids hanging off all those older guys, so that’s probably when we really started to become friends.

Mick surfed well probably from the moment he stood on a board, but I remember one day at Greenmount when we were maybe 14 or 15, and I’d just had a wave and was walking around the point. Mick took off and I saw him absolutely tear the bag out of this wave as good as anyone was surfing at that time. Like, guys on tour or anyone. And I remember thinking, “Wow. He’s better than everyone… already!”

Around that time Kalani Robb was a huge deal, and he and Shane Dorian saw Mick catch a wave at Kirra and, so the story goes, one of them said, “That kid is gonna be world champ.”

After that there was a period where things got on a roll for all of us. Joel and Mick were winning comps and we had the Cooly Kids thing in full swing and we were all on tour and having a ball, but the thing that means the most to me is that we stayed close friends throughout all of it. Mick is the kind of friend who is always there for you. He never lets you down. He’s always got your back. There are times when I don’t think I’ve been as good a friend to him as he has been to me, but he has been there for me through everything. His mates and the people he’s close to, no matter what’s happened or what you’ve done, he goes out of his way to make sure you’re ok. It’s a trait I really admire and appreciate.

Mick Fanning, everyone’s mate. (Corey Wilson)

I wonder how he’ll go with his transition off tour, mostly because he’s excelled so much and been so dedicated to surfing that he has to apply that energy somewhere. I think he’ll succeed in business for sure, but as far as his surfing goes I think he’ll let go and get a lot better. He’s great at airs and charges so hard, so whatever he focusses on he’ll keep getting better at.

Mick has been one of my best mates and I’m always grateful and thankful that we got to share the whole experience along the way.  And how’s this? The other day I was walking around Greenmount and I saw him take off and rip a wave to pieces. I was almost in the same spot and there was nobody around, and I was thinking to myself, “Fuck, he’s better than everyone… still!” It’d been more than 20 years since I first thought that about him. It was a pretty special moment. – Dean Morrison

 SW 396: The Mick Fanning Special Edition available online and in stores now!

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