Control - The Mick Fanning Interviews
From the pages of Surfing World magazine
When Mick Fanning took out the Quiksilver Pro France, the result shot him into the box seat for the World Championship heading into the last two events of the season. Up until that point he’d been the year’s most consistent performer, making the finals of all seven contests bar one [in which he finished ninth]. However, wins equate to massive points and with Kelly, Joel, Jordy and Taj all on his tail with at least one victory each, Mick needed to make a decisive move heading into Europe. In the sloppy, wind-blown shoreys of Le Penon, Hossegor, that’s exactly what he did, defeating Gabriel Medina in the final and throwing down the gauntlet to all challengers. If they wanted the Title, they had a fight on their hands.
It’s been the exact sort of campaign we’ve come to expect from Fanning; results based around a committed athletic routine that has already bagged him two World Titles. But 2013 has marked a turning point for the 32-year-old. In the downtime between comps he has travelled with Taylor Steele shooting for his first major film project in years. The result is Missing, a soul-searching global escapade that sees Mick surrender his life completely to the whims of a crazed and bearded Californian for weeks at time. Never knowing where he may be going or what he might be up to next, the film showcases a lesser-known side of Fanning to the public. That of the compassionate, curious and free-spirited wanderer.
That Mick can straddle such contradicting mindsets in what could well be a World Title year is a mystery to nobody who knows him. He’s experienced enough to know when and how to switch on and off. Indeed, when Surfing World sat down with Mick twice in the past month we were presented with two very different Fanning mindsets.
The first interview, recorded with Sean Doherty in Portugal, finds Mick in an engaging and open mood, the World Title potentially only a few heats away. The second interview was recorded at his home only days after that chance slipped through Mick’s fingers and the attention of the surfing world turned to Pipeline and Kelly Slater.
Interview by Sean Doherty
SW: What did you think when they pitched the movie at you?
MF: What happened was I went into Rip Curl at Easter time and we were trying to figure out a new campaign for this year and we came up with an idea, and they said, “Who do you want to work with?” and I said, “Taylor”. It went back and forth for a while and Taylor was like, “Why don’t you do a bucket list trip?” and I’m like, “Okay, what can I do?” So I had a look around and looked up bucket lists and there were cool things on there and there were things where I’d just look like a spoilt brat, so I went, “You know what? I’m going to let you decide what we’re going to do. We’ve got three weeks, don’t tell me anything, and I’ll be ready to surf anything from massive tow to one-foot shit. And I don’t want to know anything. I’ll be ready, surprise me, let’s go with it.” He was like, “For real?” And I was like, “Yeah, let’s do it.” I had no idea what was happening so I had to pack everything from cold to warm, from small boards to big boards. Taylor showed up the day before we left and stayed at my place and I still had no idea where we were going.
At what point did you get the first idea of where you were going?We got to the airport and Taylor said, “We’re in check-in counter J,” and he’d still be leaving me hanging and I looked and it was Johannesburg. And I’m like, “Okay, buckle up for a long flight here.” But each night he wouldn’t even hint at where we were going the next day. I wasn’t allowed to know anything till we got to the airport. It was just incredible the shock value. We got to Joburg and I asked, “What’s our connecting flight?” and he said, “No, we’re staying here tonight.” Okay. Must be a morning flight, that’s cool. He said, “Leave your boards here, you won’t be needing them.” The next morning we went back to the airport and got on a flight to Rwanda.
Was that the biggest surprise of the trip?
There were a few I guess, but the gorillas in Rwanda, that was incredible. When we were flying there, things started clicking in my head and all I could think of was the genocide that went down in the 90s, and I’m thinking, this is going to be really confronting. And I was really freaking out and Taylor could see that and he goes, “No, it’s cool. My Mum’s been.” I walked out of the airport and I still felt unsafe, but I stood by the side of the road for a little while and all of that disappeared. Within half an hour I fell in love with the country. It’s the most inspirational place I’ve ever been. The way they’ve turned the genocide around, they’re so happy and excited to see people from outside countries, and they’re a bit shy, they’re not in your face, but when they get to know you’re just cruising they were so cool. We were driving up to the mountains to see the gorillas and we stopped on the side of the road and went into this little village with a tiny little pub, a single little room, and we ordered some beers and the locals came in and we bought ‘em a round of drinks and they all started singing because it was their Independence Day.
Did you know the story of Rwanda before you left?
Not really. When I found out we were going there I got online and started reading up about it and… you read things on the internet and you always take it with a grain of salt, but driving up there our drivers were telling us their stories and how they lived through it all. Everyone went through it. Everyone had a horror story. It was so sad. I was tearing up in the back of the car listening to it. They said all the unrest stopped nine years ago. One of our drivers, a guy named Jean Paul, he told us 15 members of his family had been killed. A million people died in two months, in this tiny country. It was horrific.
And the gorillas, did you get all David Attenborough with them?
Seeing the gorillas was… you just felt so insignificant. But I was full David-Attenborough-close, sitting like you to me away from them while they were just doing their thing. The big silverback was sitting there and you could see his mind ticking over the whole time. He’s sitting there making plans. Everyone else is just eating, rolling around, doing their thing.
Did the silverback get jumpy at all?
The big guy was sweet, he was a cruiser, he barely moved. He rolled around on his stomach for a while and chewed on his nails but there was another gorilla who had a girlfriend and they were literally rooting right there, but they had to do it out of sight from the big guy because they’re all his girls. So they did the deed, did the dirty, and then she walked over near Taylor and kept nudging toward him. Then the big guy came over and was leaning on Taylor. It was awesome. It was exactly like Gorillas in the Mist. You come through this clearing and suddenly there they are.
So what did the trip do for your perspective on the world?
I got home and I felt that even though I travel the world for most of the year, every year, it was as if I’d never even travelled before. It was the best trip of my life. I went through Joburg Airport four times in a week. The first few times I went in through customs I was a bit sketched whether they’d take me in for a secondary check, but by the end of the week the guy almost knew me by name and I felt like high-fiving him. “Mick, how are you, bru?” But every day had a crazy story. We visited so many different cultures, and it made you realise how easy and accessible the world is, but also how different the world is, even from just one town to the next.
What about the waves? One session that really stood out for you?
The last day. It was a mission to get there, but I had an hour to myself on this beachbreak, just getting pitted with not another soul in the water and just us on the beach. The whole thing sunk in right there. I’m seriously the last man on Earth here, just getting barrelled in a lightning storm.
Most guys who’ve embarked on a big movie project halfway through a Tour season have dropped down the ratings in concrete shoes trying to juggle the two. It seems to have had the opposite effect for you.
I was having a fun year already at that point. I’ve been enjoying my surfing and enjoying everything I was doing.
Was the break of routine healthy?
Yeah, that was it I think. It got me excited to live. I saw the trailer this morning for the first time. I haven’t even seen the film yet. But every day was a journey. Learning about yourself in different situations, learning to keep your cool, and we got ourselves in some pretty wild circumstances but it always seemed to work out.
What was the wildest situation?
The scariest thing was the Running of the Bulls. Fuck, I was over it. It was amazing, but I’ve never been so scared in my life. When I first found out when Taylor goes, “We’re going to Pamplona,” I’m thinking, well, that only means one thing. Can I please be wrong about the Running of the Bulls? Can it be the tomato fight instead? Sure enough it was the bulls, and all I’m thinking is a bull horn through the leg. What would happen if I got gored? I’m thinking, I’m not doing it. I’m not putting myself in that situation. I even told them I’m not doing it. Then Taylor comes up to me and goes, “I wouldn’t put you in a situation like this if I wasn’t willing to do it myself. So I’m in too.” We had a night flight from South Africa up to Spain and the whole night I was dreaming of bulls running straight at me. The next thing, we get to Pamplona and the place is going nuts. Everyone is in red and white and we have a couple of beers but we all knew the next morning we had to be fresh because we were going to have 100 tons of beef running at us. They let off a firecracker behind the bulls and you see people running and you’re thinking, I’m going to hold off and suddenly there they are. They’re right next to you and all you see is horns. It was so scary. There were no places to get out and it was uphill and it was heavy. I looked around and suddenly Taylor’s gone and I was like, holy shit, this is radical. I caught up with Taylor and he’d tripped over this drunk guy. We were high-fiving thinking it’s all over and we’re walking past this place they call “Death Corner” where the bulls have to dog-leg turn and all go bowling over and hit the wall. All of a sudden we heard all this screaming again and another six bulls appeared and we’re stuck on Death Corner. Taylor ran and dived through this fence and I looked around with nowhere to go and just snuck in behind someone and just starfished against the wall and screamed and held them out in front of me for protection. It’s going to look so bad. I spoke with Taylor about the movie and he said his idea was to capture the real Mick.
There’s a feeling that you get typecast as simply an athlete and people struggle to see what’s going on behind that. Would you agree?
I think I do. Everyone’s sick of that side. I think I’ve grown as a person and I don’t want to be seen as that. Surfing is my job but it’s not who I am and it’s not the thing that defines my life. It’s just something I do. It’s more the other things in my life that I’d like to think define it: trying to be a good husband, a good brother, a good friend, they’re the things I hold on a pedestal, rather than chasing World Titles.
So you feel you’ve grown as a person over the past few years?
Yeah, I guess it’s just being happy with where I am in life. When you’re younger you don’t appreciate the different things. But today if you take surfing away, shit, I feel I’m doing okay in life – I’ve got a great wife and family and friends and everything I could ever want. If I fell off Tour tomorrow I’d still go to bed happy every night. I’d be content. But also too, I think it’s worked in my career where I don’t feel I have to prove anything to anyone. Everything I do is for me now. I don’t have to sit there and say I’m better than you, I’m better than that, I just go and surf and if I do things I’m proud of I’ll hold my head high. If I make mistakes I’ll uppercut myself. But I do it for different reasons now.
Has that thinking made this year on Tour easier?
This year has been one of those years where I feel like everything just flowed. I haven’t stressed about anything. I’ve felt like Forrest Gump, whatever I’ve wanted to do I’ve just done, and it’s been freer and mentally refreshing.
Is there one heat that sums up 2013 for you?
I’ve had a lot of close ones and I guess the most recent one was in France against Ramzi Boukhiam. He started with a nine and I fought back and got into the lead but with nine minutes left he only needed a three to win. At La Graviere, a three can be hard to get sometimes but it came down to the last few minutes, he had priority, and I was sitting nowhere near him and I thought, whatever happens here, happens. I’d done everything that I could control and from then on… there was nothing I could do. I just had to go with it and the three-point wave never came.
Phil McNamara has done the Tour with you as coach for the past two years. He was your coach as a kid at school… what’s the idea of having him tour with you now you’re 32?
Phil’s always been a huge mentor for me ever since I was a young kid. I’ve always respected what he says. He’s a “no bullshit” sort of guy. He wont blow sunshine up your arse if you don’t deserve it. He’ll tell you like it is. I appreciate that. I got to the end of 2011 and I did a lot of that year by myself and I was exhausted. I didn’t even make the top 10, it was my worst year on Tour. I was speaking to Kolohe about this just before in the water. I was done. I had nothing. I had no desire. The heats I surfed at the end of the year, I didn’t even want to be there, and I just needed a break and I spoke to Phil about it and I just needed someone to bounce ideas off and rely on during the year, and he wasn’t happy in his job at the time and I said, “You wanna come work for me?” and he was like, “Let’s do it.” You see a lot of people thinking about this and that, but he shuts that down and says, “No, this is how it is, and this is how it’s going to happen.” And for me, having him there is really calming and he gives me confidence. People think that he’s telling me to do this and that but most of the time he’s just going through all the things we’ve done over the years and reminding me of what’s worked and what we’ve enjoyed. It’s a back and forth thing. It’s forever evolving which is cool. He’s one of those guys who just makes you feel like you’re doing the right things in life and heading in the right direction. Even when things are going shithouse he just seems to say the right things at the right time.
You’re unique in a way on Tour in that you’ve basically kept all your management in-house – your Mum is still your manager and your school coach is still your coach.
I think my sponsors appreciate it more because it’s me they’re talking to. It’s not secondhand and it’s not someone else’s idea. Most of my contracts these days are negotiated in 10 minutes and it’s cool cause I’ve been with them all for so long. The team I’ve got is really good and they tell me the truth. Mum’s straight down the line and looks after the legal side, Ronnie [Blakey] does the media and Phil takes over to keep me sane. It works. If I had a manager in that sense maybe I’d be doing different stuff, more mainstream stuff, but that’s not me. I think at the end of the day I’m a simple guy who likes doing simple things.
It’s now nine years since anyone other than you, Kelly or Joel has won the World Title and this year it’s you guys again battling it out. How’s this era going to be remembered do you think?
Sometimes I sit and wonder why it’s happened that way, but first and foremost, we’re all super competitive with each other and I think when it comes to competing we’re pretty arrogant. We’ve all gone through our hard times in losing. Kelly had the Andy years where he didn’t know how to deal with it, and Joel was so close so often, and for me I’ve been sat on my arse a couple of times. I think we’ve all gotten to a point where we know what works for us in different ways and the consistency has gone through the roof. You saw it with Joel last year and me this year, there are no throwaways, not one. And it’s one of those things where you make decisions that work for you. You have so much confidence in what you’ve done before that you simply keep moving forward.
You guys have also moved the peak age of surfing performance from the mid-20s to late-20s to… well, nobody knows where Kelly is going to finish at.
Late 70s, still going for World Titles.
But do you see the effect this is having on surfers in line-ups all over the world?
I think the world’s changed. It’s not just us. It used to be if you ate organic food you were a hippy stoner. Surfing was all about surf all day, party all night, and that’s all changed and we’ve gotten more mature. Maybe it’s to do with social media and the fact you can’t just go mad because people are going to find out about it.
I dunno about that. But I think we’re a lot smarter with the world and our place in it. You can still go out and have a few beers and have some fun but instead of waking up the next morning and cracking beers again… yeah, might give that a break.
The four-day benders are gone.
Thank goodness for that. I think everyone is more health conscious. But look at it now. Since when has going to the gym and getting fit been cool? That shit ain’t ever been cool and now it is.
Your first World Title was defined by that focus on athleticism and had a lot to do with making being fit cool. You were that guy. But you also had the gnarliest focus of anyone on Tour. How has that changed in the years since?
I feel right now, over the last couple of years, I’m fitter and more aware of my body than I was then. I also remember seeing a quote from Barton Lynch. He said, “Do you want a World Title like, I-want-an-ice-cream World Title or I’d-walk-over-my-Grandmother-to-get-it World Title?” That’s how I was. I was so focused and I didn’t know how it would work, but after coming back from injury after 2005 and 2006 I learned a lot about my body, how it would feel better if I did this and that, and I started recording it and I saw what made me better. I was so focused on it though that the next year I tried to throw it all away. And you’ve got to remember, I wasn’t the first guy to bring a trainer on Tour – Taj was. I still don’t have a trainer on Tour while Joel does. I had the exercise thing down first, but in those years I still lost running races to Joel.
Looking at what Kelly has done in his career, it seems your surfing could also maintain a place for you on Tour when you are 40, but would you want to be there?
Nah. I’ve already made that decision. I’ve got so many other things I want to do. I look at Joel with his family and I get insanely jealous. There’s that, and Taylor Knox’s only been off Tour for nine months, but seeing the places he’s already visited and the waves he’s surfed, I want to do some of that. I’ll probably still have a competitive urge but there’s so many other things I want to do while I’m in good condition.
It’s been a good year for you, but it started on a shitty note when your dog died before the season started. Taylor had been with you for years.
It was the night before Snapper. It was heavy. Karissa was in Mexico for work during the week before and she kept ringing up asking about Taylor and it was like she was a dog whisperer, she sensed something was up with him. As soon as she got back he stood away from his food and she’s like, “He’s not right.” So we took him to the vet and he was over it, he didn’t want to get in the car and I’ve never seen that happen. The vet said, “He’s on fire right now,” so we took him to hospital on the day of the ASP Banquet, checked him in at four in the afternoon and we had to be at the banquet by six. I wanted to be there for Joel, you know, be there for my mate, but I couldn’t stop thinking about my dog. We took him home from hospital and he was great the next day but the night before the contest he was panting so we took him back in at midnight. They said, “Look, he’s not going to make it. We can hold on but he’s going to be in a lot of pain.” I looked at Karissa and we made the decision. It was time to let him rest. It was so heavy. For months I was rattled. My shadow wasn’t there anymore. Your dog sees the real you in every emotion, if they could talk they’d tell you how it is. But it was fucked, I hadn’t cried like that for a few years and it was hard. The worst thing was I had to surf my heat the next day. You’re down the beach and you’re trying to be happy for people but I just didn’t want to be there.
Speaking of tears, you got quite worked up on stage in France when you won the other day. What were they over?
It was a bit of everything. Ever since I won my third French contest I haven’t had a result there, and the last time I’d won was 2010 and that was just before Andy passed. Every time I went there I always thought about how good he was in that part of the world. He was the guy I looked to at that spot because he could adapt so well.
In what ways did Andy’s passing change you?
I think I’d already changed a little bit before then, but it was definitely something that hit me. It hit me hard, thinking about my life as a professional surfer and whether it’s all worth it or whether it’s something I have to do. There were times I’d say, “Am I doing this for the right reason or am I doing it to keep a contract?” So it changed me in that way and sometimes I have to ask myself, “Do I really want to go to this event, and what would happen if I didn’t?” It has changed a lot of people and it’s fucked you have to lose someone so special to realise sometimes those changes are for the better. I wish they could just get a book and smack you over the head with it instead.
And this thing we’re not going to mention by name [the World Title], how are you sitting with it?
I guess, no matter what, I’ll still feel like this has been the best year of my life. Everything that’s gone on, I feel like I’ve really grown as a person and if it happens it happens and if it doesn’t I’ll still smiling… probably not for about a fortnight, but the smile will come back. But look where we’re sitting right now. How beautiful is this? I’ll still go home and hopefully be the same person. I really want to do it, but I can only control what I can control, and if it falls my way I’ll be holding a big silver cup, and if it doesn’t I’ll be holding a small silver can. I think surfing-wise, this year has been the happiest for me and I’ll look at it as something I’ll always be proud of.
Joel’s Title last year was closure for him obviously, but was it in a way also closure for you after you two fought for that World Title in 2009? You had to take that from your good mate.
It was one of those things that throughout all last year I just wanted to beat him so bad, but that final day at Pipe I’d let it all go, so I was stoked to be sitting there on the beach cheering him on. To see him achieve that and the emotion that he went through, I was so proud of him. It gave me a bit of closure. That was a real test for us both in 2009. But this year he has grown as a person too. He’s seen a different side of things as a World Champion. It was weird, I’d never watched his documentary when it came out, mainly because I was there. But about six months later I sat on the couch and watched it and I started crying in front of the TV. I was just stoked that I could be there and see it. I wasn’t a part of anything because I spent all year trying to stop it happening, and I didn’t see too much of him that day at Pipe because I was nervous as hell, but it was incredible to see how happy he was. He surfed a perfect year and to win... you could see the release when it happened. When that hooter went he was suddenly a foot taller, all those years of tension were gone, just like that. You watch him surf now, he’s a different surfer to the one he was last year.
Interview by Vaughan Blakey
SW: Take us through the heat with Kai and the emotions that followed after the Title slipped through your fingers.
MF: Going into that heat I was feeling really good. I’d changed boards from what I’d ridden earlier in the morning. I went for a quick surf up the beach to feel it out and it was nice under my feet. I saw Julian get his last one against Joel and I thought, “Wow, there are some fun ones,” and they were breaking right in the spot where I wanted to sit. So it was all looking promising but then Kai and I paddled out for our heat and the waves just stopped. It went from pretty consistent sets to absolutely nothing. Kai got busy on a couple of smaller ones and surfed a really smart heat and with 10 minutes to go I hadn’t caught a wave. I remember thinking, are you kidding me? Of all the heats for the ocean to stop breaking! I caught a half decent wave with six minutes to go, I tried to do what I could to stay in it but it wasn’t enough. Kai surfed a great event, he got quick waves and built pressure and it was epic to see him go on and win. To see the outpouring of emotion from Kai at the end of that contest was really cool.
How do you break down a heat like that, when there’s really not much you can do differently?
To tell you the truth I was so bummed. I had to walk away from the competitor’s area and have a break from everyone. I walked around the back of the event under the scaffold and just took a few deep breaths and thought, shit, how am I gonna get through this? I didn’t know how I was gonna walk back into the contest area. Then, Taylor Knox appeared out of the blue and he looked at me and gave me a big hug and said, “Don’t even worry about it.” And at that point I realised it was okay and that these things happen. It would have been great to wrap it up there but now it’s going to Pipe.
Did you hang around after that heat and watch the other World Title contenders fall out of the race?
I watched Jordy surf and then at the end of the quarters they had a break so I went home and watched it online. It was wild. Kai just took everyone down.
Is it a better proposition to have one opponent coming into a World Title showdown? If Joel, Taj or Jordy were still in the mix there’d be a lot more head noise coming into Hawaii…
Going into Portugal, those guys really had to do something extraordinary to take it to Pipe. Joel was the closest, if he’d made the final in Portugal he would have been in a better position than Kelly is now going into the last event. I didn’t even realise that until I got home and started looking at the numbers, he was a lot closer than I thought. I guess in the whole scheme of things there is less head noise but at the same time I don’t go into an event hoping for someone to lose. I go into an event thinking I can win.
The moment you lost that quarter Kelly was on Instagram putting up shark jaws and thanking Otto and getting himself pumped up for Hawaii. Do you think there’s some sort of psychological agenda when Kelly does that sort of stuff or has the whole Kelly-mind-games thing become farcical?
Yeah I dunno. I ignore it. I’ve seen it all play out before. If you really want to get into it, if you want to play head games, well… we can all do that. I’m not fussed by him. I never saw the photo he put up.
So you didn’t double tap it?
No double taps from me [laughs]. No comments either [laughs]. I don’t buy into that shit because there’s really no use in worrying about someone else or anything beyond your control. If he’s really playing mind games, and trying to mess with people then, I dunno, maybe he’s feeling insecure? I just try to focus on me and what I have to do.
How would you describe your relationship with Kelly these days?
We’re fine. I talk to him. Around events we give each other space. I was right there when he lost in Portugal and the last thing you want is someone you’re in a World Title race with coming up and saying, “Bad luck.” I just walked out and gave the guy some space. That feels like the respectful thing to do.
Well let’s talk about this showdown, because as soon as it was clear that Kelly was a chance going into Hawaii, everyone was talking about it like a worst-case scenario. But if you look at years gone by, Kelly hasn’t won a World Title showdown at Pipeline since 1998 and he’s lost two big ones since then, against Andy in 2003 and Joel last year. Does any of that surprise you?
Not really. Pipeline is so hard. Doesn’t matter who you are. The draw is heavy, the wave is dangerous and add to that the pressure of a World Title race and you’re dealing with some pretty intense circumstances. For Kelly to win this World Title he has to win the contest. If he comes second, he doesn’t win. There’s no other scenario that can play out in his favour other than him winning the event. That’s a lot of pressure but at the same time he’s gonna let it all hang out because every heat is do or die. It’s the kind of challenge he thrives on. But it’s exactly the same for me. If I want to win the World Title I have to make the semi-finals. And Pipeline is a wave I haven’t surfed my best at. I still have something to prove out there. So I look at this contest as an opportunity. I’m competing against the greatest surfer of all time. I don’t want to sit and wait for him to lose. My whole goal in Hawaii this year is to win the Pipeline Masters and win the World Title.
YES! Because when you’re a kid you don’t dream of winning the World Title on some beachie in Europe, you dream of winning the World Title against the best surfer in the world at Pipeline!
Exactly. Last year I was in the race with Joel and Kelly and it was so enjoyable. Watching Joel take Kelly on last year was a huge inspiration and seeing him win at Pipe gave me huge confidence. The other big factor will be the support of family and friends. In Portugal I only had a few people around. It may have been a bit strange to win with hardly anyone around now that I think about it.
Oh man, I can just picture Reggae [Elliss] and Seano [Doherty] running down from the commentary booth and chairing you out of the water up to the stage to get your ASP trophy.
Pretty much [laughs]. But yeah, it’s gonna be nice to have friends and family around to support me in Hawaii.
Last year Parko had incredible public support and it’s been building around you for at least two or three weeks already. Everyone in Australia is talking about this showdown and wanting to see you succeed. Have you had any sense of that yet?
I got home from Portugal yesterday and I haven’t left the house [laughs]. I’m sure as it gets closer everyone is gonna take their sides. There’s been a lot of support online which is great.
It’ll be like Grand Final week by the time it rocks around.
Hopefully the refs don’t blow it [laughs].
So what’s the plan between now and Hawaii?
I’m gonna have a bit of a break but then I’ll definitely get over there early. I want to surf the Triple Crown this year. Last year I only went for Pipe and I felt a little underdone. The year Parko and I were in the race, I was there for Sunset and I felt really good going in to Pipe. You have to put your time in the water there, feel your big boards out and get your confidence up. When you see a Second Reef peak coming at you at Pipe, you want to know everything is right and you’re ready for it. So it’ll be a one-month build up leading into the Pipe event. Time to get focused on getting the job done.
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