At age 36, Michael Eugene “Mick” Fanning is walking away from the World Surf League Championship Tour.
In a long post he shared on his Facebook, he said that the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach would be the last time people will see him as a professional surfer. Although he acknowledged how much the tour has meant to his career, he needs a fresh challenge since he could no longer “find the motivation and the dedication required to compete.”
He then proceeded to thank his parents and siblings, as well as his sponsors. He also gave his surfboard shaper Darren Handley and his team a shoutout, along with his fellow competitors in the tour.
“I’m looking forward to life away from the tour while keeping a close eye on things,” he wrote. “I’m so proud of our sport and the way it continues to evolve.”
He said he’s walking away knowing that the game is in good hands with up-and-coming surfers ready to conquer the circuit.
The opening event in the Gold Coast will be his penultimate competition event before wrapping things up at Rip Curl Pro where his Championship Tour career really started when he grabbed the title at Bells Beach in 2002. He said that it’s only fitting that he will finish his career there.
“It’s gonna be a big fun party and you’re all invited to come. Hope I see you there,” he said.
As to what he plans to do now that he’s got a lot of time in his hands, Fanning wrote,” I’m also looking forward to evolving my own surfing in new ways, visiting unfamiliar places and taking on different experiences.
Fanning’s girlfriend, Breanna Randall, said that she’s proud of “McMuffin” for what he has done. “Cheers to you, cheers to your journey,” the 25-year-old model said. “And cheers to the amazing experiences ahead.”
During his career, Fanning won the world titles three times between 2007 and 2013.