Parkinson & Fanning… RAW!

…In Conversation With The World Champs, Rivals And Best Mates.

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A couple of weeks back when Mick Fanning’s departure from the world tour was imminent, the time seemed right for someone to sit him down and shoot the breeze about one of the more extraordinary surfing careers in our Special Edition of SW. There was only one guy for the job… but when we couldn’t get Mark Richards. So we called Joel Parkinson.

While a conversation between MF and MR – the two most successful Australian male surfers of all-time – would offer insights into the sweet science of surfing and the great pantheon of surfing as a sport, a chat between Mick and Joel, well, that’s life.

Mick and Joel… where to start? From childhood mates to the modern giants of Australian surfing, from Cooly ratbags to world champions, their friendship has evolved, deepened, been occasionally tested along the way, to the point now where they’re like an old married couple finishing each other’s sentences.

They run so deep that at times it’s been hard to work out where one stops and the other starts. They’ve surfed against each other for the World Junior Title. They’ve surfed against each other for the World Title. They’ve surfed against each other to be the champion of Jeffreys Bay, Teahupoo, Bells and Hossegor. They’ve surfed against each other behind the rock at Snapper most other days. But when they haven’t been surfing against each other, they’ve been there for each other. Through lost world titles, injuries, family tragedy, departed friends and the occasional shark attack. In between the spiked highs and lows, played out increasingly in the public eye, there is daily life… and that’s when you really see them.

Joel turned up to Mick’s place on a Monday afternoon just before Bells. They’ll have a lot of these Monday afternoons in front of them. They drank a beer from the brewery they own together. There was no plan. No questions. Just the two of them in freestyle conversation. They were seated face-to-face and uncomfortably close. We were thinking of dropping this clip before Bells started but with all the hype, we feared it may get lost. Now that Mick has closed the book on his competitive career it presents us this unique opportunity to see how he felt when pressed by someone who has shared his entire journey closer than most anyone. It’s raw and mostly unedited. Cheers Mick (even though Parko’s the only bloke drinking beers through the whole clip).

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

Surfing World