World No.3 Mick Fanning.
World No.3 Mick Fanning. John Gass

Mick Fanning enjoys time at home

MICK FANNING is enjoying his time at home and trying not to think too much about competitive surfing with the first event of the 2011 ASP World Tour still two months away.

The two-time ASP World Champion from Tweed Heads has the luxury of having February’s Quiksilver Pro at his home break of Snapper Rocks, but after a year of relentless travel in 2010, Fanning is just trying to savour every moment of his holidays.

“It has been good; good just to come home. I have been away a lot this year, so it is good to just come home and relax and spend time with friends and family, so I am just trying to enjoy my time off really,” he said.

“I am still enjoying the break and there are a few different things that will come up soon, but I think if you start thinking too far ahead too early you can start to burn out too quick, so I am just enjoying surfing and working on new boards and not doing too much.”

Fanning finished 2010 ranked third in the world, defending his 2009 world title and won one event, the Quiksilver Pro France.

Rest would be high on the agenda of every world tour surfer at the moment, following a rollercoaster year that included Kelly Slater’s history-making high of winning his 10th world title and the devastating tragedy of Andy Irons’ passing.

Fanning may be resting, but he hasn’t been idle and said he was keeping his surfing fresh by trying plenty of different boards from his shaper Darren Handley, of DHD.

“We have been sort of trying some new things while we have got time to play around,” he said. “It is nothing too extreme; it’s just always good to keep things fresh.”

Last season was a “transition year” on the ASP World Tour, with a revised judging format, a reduction in the number of surfers, plus the implementation of a new world ranking system.

The surfers will head into the Snapper Rocks event with a good understanding of the tour and its judging, which wasn’t there at the same stage last year.

“At the start of 2010 everyone was sort of saying, ‘What’s going on? Where’s it going?’, stuff like that, but then once we figured it out, I think the judges were learning a lot too ... once they told us what they wanted to see, everyone who did that got good scores,” Fanning said.

Another Tweed Heads surfer, Josh Ker, will make a welcome return to the tour after dropping off after 2009 due to injury.

Kerr, based in California, had a famous quarter-final heat against Fanning at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast on his tour debut in 2007.

Fanning said it was great to have a surfer of Kerr’s quality back on the tour.

“It was unfortunate with his injuries that he had to fall off the tour and I think he will come back extra hungry,” he said. “He’s a great surfer with a lot of potential and it is good to have another Gold Coast guy on tour.”

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