You’re currently travelling the east coast of Australia, leading the Red Bull Future Surf Camps. What advice have you got for Australia’s young up and coming surfers?
I was working on certain areas of their surfing and competitive strategy. Another big aspect of the camp though involved passing on some valuable life lessons. We talked about stuff like eating well, fitness, being a good sport and working with the media.
There are a lot of young guns on the World Tour, such as Owen Wright, Julian Wilson and Adrian de Souza, who are really making their mark. Have they changed your approach to surfing and competitions eg. have you had to lift your aerial game?
I’m always trying to improve my surfing, you gotta if you want to stay at the top. But yeah, the young guys are definitely strong aerial surfers I’ve worked on adding some new tricks to my repertoire.
How do you feel about people now getting high 8s and 9s and even tens for one big air, when big carving power surfing needs a barrel and three big hacks to get the same score?
Sometimes those big scores are warranted if that single turn is truly remarkable. It’s something that creates a lot of debate amongst fans and I think that’s probably a good thing. It’s a hard thing to judge and I guess it just depends on the heat and the kind of surfing going down.
Have the judges swung too quickly to reward aerials?
I think the judging is pretty well balanced at the moment. Seems they’re looking at airs really carefully these days and saving those massive scores for really good ones.
If you were judging a surf contest what manoeuvre would you score a perfect ten to?
Be good to see a carve that’s worthy of a perfect 10. It would need to be ridiculous carve but I’d love to see it.
You were one of the first guys to really train fanatically for the World Tour and it paid off with two World Titles to your name. Do you still stick to a regular training regime and how do you keep so fit?
Yeah...I still train regularly. I’ve mixed up my training programs quite a bit so I don’t get bored. At the moment I’m doing quite a bit of yoga and working on some different breathing techniques.
You’re currently ranked number three in the World with a win under your belt. You must be happy with that position at this point of the Tour?
It’s good to get a win early in the season again. The past couple of seasons I’ve kind of been trying to recover from pretty average starts. Hopefully the Bells win was the beginning of a good roll for me and I can keep it going all year.
Joel Parkinson is right at your heels. Just how focused is he this season?
Parko’s been super focused these past few seasons and 2012 is no different. He’s had a couple of shocking injuries in past years so it’s good to see him healthy and ready to give it another good crack. He finished second last year and I’d expect him to be right up there again when Hawaii rolls around.
The pair of you are definitely the veterans on Tour. Could this be your last year fighting it out or do you believe you both have many more years ahead on the dream tour?
No way! I don’t think I’ll hang in there as long as Kelly has but I’m still winning events and enjoying my time on Tour. I also don’t want to miss the opportunity to take on these incredible new guys on.
Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
I’d love to be spending more time in Australia. I’ve had around eight to nine months of the year living out of a suitcase since I was about 18. I love travelling but I’d like to be doing more trips around the Aussie coastline.
Fanning wins the 2012 Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach