Surf Europe: How are you Mick?
I’m good, I’m just about to jump on a plane and go on a holiday with my wife Karissa.
Where you off to? Indonesia, Hawaii? Byron Bay?
Nah, don’t think the wife would appreciate that. We are actually going to Thailand, no surfboards, no chat about swells or heats or that bollocks, just some books and plenty of r and r, that’s the plan.
It didn’t look like the day you won your third title was very relaxing? Can you remember what was going through your head when you were waiting for the score after your quarterfinal with Yadin Nicol?
Yeah that day was amazing, but it certainly wasn’t relaxing. After the quarter I was just waiting I guess. Usually when the score takes so long, it usually means you don’t get it, so my heart was already half ripped out. But then I asked Parko and Knox and they thought it was enough, and then I could see Occy in the judges tower and he was jumping around then he gave me the thumbs up. But there wasn’t any deep thoughts going on, I just wanted to know either way.
And your thoughts on controversy over whether it was the score or not?
Throughout your career you have scores go either way all the time. You take the good with the bad and there is always going to be different opinions. I try not to caught up in that and just go by what the judges are throwing. If I don’t get the score I think I try to figure out why and improve, but everyone has their opinion. Parko said yes, so that’s enough for me.
What people might not realise was how flogged you got that day, getting smashed time and time again at 10 foot pipe?
I didn’t realise myself how flogged I was getting. I was just so pumped on adrenalin. In the first two heats of the day I didn’t really feel it but then the semi against JJF I felt every bone get adjusted with every wipe out. I was totally spent. I was sore for a while after the event too.
What about the month leading leading up to Pipe? What was the strategy to keep your shit together and not get caught up thinking about the world title?
I guess I wasn’t too structured early in the piece. With surfing the whole Triple Crown it was a good distraction some days and having not done too well at Sunset I think that was good to finally narrow my focus in the last week with training and determination and then every surf revolved around Pipe and Backdoor as soon as I was out of Sunset. But having good people in the Rip Curl house definitely helped and Kekoa Bacalso and Burger really kept everyone laughing through the six weeks.
But how did you put being so close in Portugal out of your mind?
Look I was bummed as you can imagine to be so close then have to wait to go again was hard. I didn’t know how I was going to deal with it, but luckily after I took some time to myself the first person I saw was Taylor Knox and he put it all in perspective really quick. It still took a week at least to come around and be pumped and psyched again.
To us, even if you’d lost it seemed you would have been pretty calm and philosophical about it? How have you managed to keep such an even keel all year?
To be honest the World Title wasn’t the be all and end all of the whole year. I had a great year personally and felt I had grown a lot from the great things I did all year. My main goal though was to perform when it counted. To not be scared of failure and try to live in the moment. Also I made a goal to spend some sort of time each day to myself just breathing and that keeps you calm.
What’s a third world title mean to you personally?
I guess when you reach a goal in life you can be very proud. But it just wasn’t me, I had a great team behind me that really pushed me to be a better person. Just talking in my career life knowing that someone in your camp is going to go the extra mile for you it makes you realise that if they believe, then I should too. Also personally I just felt I had my ducks in a row in life, personally away from surfing I felt calm and for me that is a huge step in the right direction (laughs) And to do the amazing things I got to do this year just made it so much sweeter! To just go and live and to not have my mind thinking about the tour was a great feeling and a huge weight off my mind.
How does it feel to match Andy in terms of world titles?
I haven’t matched Andy and never will. Yeah we have the same amount of titles but we both did it very differently. Andy is such a huge inspiration for me and always has been since the day I met him. I actually had his World TItle jersey from the Showdown year hanging in my room as inspiration. I stayed with him that year in the Red Bull house and that 6 weeks of my life I learned so much I can’t even begin to start. To see that and remember his determination and will power just got me fired up. But in no way what so ever would I ever say I matched him.
How were the celebrations? Can you can confirm or deny your good mate Dingo had his tackle out on the dinner table at 7pm Lei Leis?
You know the rule, what goes on tour stays on tour.
How do you top 2013? I suppose the question is, what do you want your legacy to be?
I haven’t even thought about it. Legacy, jeez I haven’t even thought about it, so I couldn’t tell you right now. As I said 2013 was a massive year personally, professionally and I did things I couldn’t imagine I would ever do. If I do half the things I will be happy and if I improve in different areas then that will be satisfying again.
Sweet thanks for your time, enjoy the holidays and watch out for those ladyboys…
Cheers, and you’d know….