Top Fucking 5 Undeserving Surfing World Champions of All Time

2 10 2009
Mick Fanning celebrates with the Brazilian fans in 2007. Pierre Tostee/ASP

Mick Fanning celebrates with the Brazilian fans. Pierre Tostee/ASP

Now that Mick Fanning has made the world title an actual race again after back-to-back wins at Trestles and France, I thought it would be relevant to take a trip back to memory lane and critique the most undeserving world champions in ASP history. Perhaps undeserving is the wrong word. All five tallied enough points to win the title, but all of them left surf fans empty inside.

5. Mick Fanning (2007)
Don’t look now but Fanning’s back in form and ready to rock us to sleep with his ultra-quick yet relatively conservative approach. Fanning attacks crappy, two-foot surf like the Kardashian sisters attack black, professional athletes. His head is huge. To his credit, the dexterity and strength needed to keep that bobblehead from tipping over and smacking his board every time he hits the lip is extraordinary. Twenty years from now we might look back and realize his main contribution to the sport was a sandal with a bottle opener on the bottom. Bottoms up.

4. Damien Hardman (1987, 1991)
This two-time champ was the ultimate three-to-the-beach competitor. His Brillo pad, curly locks looked like pubic hair trying to escape the nether regions. He made up for quality with quantity. Hardman clearly wasn’t lactose intolerant because he could milk anything thrown his way. It’s rumored he once did thirty-six turns on a 15-yard ankle-high wave in Chiba, Japan. One year later Slater won his 1st of nine titles and surf fans worldwide rejoiced.

3. Barton Lynch (1988)
In 1988 surfing was like NASCAR. It was huge. Florescent colors and mullets were the norm. There was an ASP contest every other weekend and surf companies were thriving. That same year the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan and President Ronald Reagan was trying to remember his wife’s name. The lanky Australian won just two of the 24 ASP events but took home the trophy anyway.

2. Peter Townend (1976)
In 1976 America celebrated its bicentennial and there were 14 events on the IPS tour. Peter Townend didn’t win any of them, but somehow still won the first-ever professional surfing world title. The VCR was introduced the same year and no one has used the recording device to study his surfing since. I kid Peter. Nice man. Really. I kid.

1. CJ Hobgood/Osama bin Laden/Halliburton (2001)
Right now Ceej is one of the 10 best in the world, and probably the best goofyfoot since Occy, but in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks sports took a back seat. The tour was reduced to 5 events and CJ won the title with an asterisk attached. The real winners were the terrorists and defense contractors. This week an arm of General Electric (a defense contractor) loaned Quiksilver $200 million so they can keep the lights on (pun intended). The hopes of another title for CJ are as dim as Osama bin Laden’s Tora Bora hideout..–Nug

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56 responses

2 10 2009
ross

I say BS to this idea that Mick is undeserving. Somehow in the last few weeks, with the rise of Dane, speed, power and rail have all been relegated to the trash bin by some. Nobody in the world can fast and precise as Mick and that’s something. Now for me, I would prefer Dane,Kelly or Joel as world champ to Mick but if Mick wins I don’t have a problem with it. I can’t point to any heat where Mick has gotten “pushed” or his opponent has bee “robbed” so where he has been earned and is correct.

2 10 2009
Mike

So far off base Nug….

To frame Fanning with Hardman is obtuse.

But one continuity exists…. Both competed on a tour with poor waves, both had their acts down cold and both were fit.

After that, the comparisons end. Fanning is a top tier, elite talent. Damien was a formula lucky to have an era when Curren had become disinterested and Occy was distracted with filming free surfing. Sunny had not yet gotten it together and Kelly was busy rising. A perfect window for a mechanical champion.

Mick has torched Dane, ran away with the 07 tour and would be considered top 5 at every venue in quality waves.

Nug, you are so infatuated with the trampoline act that you’ve forgotten the circus and the trampoline act can’t stand on it’s own or else the “Air” specialty events would have already supplanted the CT.

Blaming CJ for a shortened tour is equally assinine. He and Damien have been contenders in everything before and since, including waves of serious consequence…. something Hardman was not well known for.

2 10 2009
Mike

My bad, did I forget to mention that the Hobgood’s have won huge events?

Please tell me Nug which event Dane has won….. I seem to have forgotten his exhaustive competitive success history on the CT.

2 10 2009
Blasphemy Rottmouth

Mick Fanning suffers from the vacuum left behind when Slater and Andy don’t win. Being spoiled by the reign of Slater and mini reign of Andy leaves us pining for someone to pick up their torch. Mick may be an upper shelf talent, but he doesn’t combine power and progressiveness like Kelly and Andy. The torch burns too bright for his limited range.

I have to hand it to him though, Mick is cashing in, just like Hardman did. Mick’s window is this: Slater is on the declining end of his career, AI is busy eating, Jordy and Dane are still young and on the rise towards their potential, and there isn’t anyone else on the current top shelf that can match Mick’s drive. It’s simple.

Trust me, as soon as a young gun, be it Dane, Jordy, Julian, or that freaky little Brasilian grommet comes into their own and wins a title or two, Mick will be relegated to the second shelf of after-thought champs. Where he rightfully belongs. 20 years from now, will you be able to tell me of a single wave that Mick rode that would be considered iconic? Slater and AI have dozens – some in the same heat against each other.

There will never be another Michael Jordan, but we at least have Kobe and LeBron. There will never be another Slater, but we can hope for something close… and Mick ain’t even in the same gym.

That’s hope we can ALL believe in. Yes we can.

2 10 2009
Public service announcement

Right now, live on the web we have Alana on Bruna, girl on girl heat in Australia.
Fwop, fwop, fwop…

2 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Are you serious? Or just trying to stir the shit? Interesting topic though. I’d like to see you take the whole list of world champs and rate in descending order from most to least worthy. Actually, that would be an interesting project for Lewis too. Could he pull back from the darkness faced by such a subject matter? Or would he find a way to take the piss out of Tom Curren?

2 10 2009
Mike

I had time to think about this while “working” today…..

Rabbit was hardly the scorching star and without gamesmanship had little. Derek Ho lucked into a title. Occy’s was a gift and far too late (Slater had gone on hiatus).

Barton earned his.

No way to vacuum curren, he changed two generations.

3 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Hey Mike, what’s your take on Sunny’s title? I once asked him if he’d still have won the title if Slater had been on tour. His answer was something along the lines of “Yeah, I would have kicked his ass!”

Do you think any of the champs who are no longer on tour would challenge for a title today if they were in their mid-20’s again?

3 10 2009
Mike

Hey Dave, I was torn over adding Sunny to my list. I like his moxie, but the truth is that when the Momentum generation first came on, Sunny was primed and didn’t win. In Slaters competitive infancy, Chris Brown was the only one to step up and take him on. Eventually Shane Beschen replaced Brown while the Dorians and Machado’s were too in awe of their friend. Really the whole movement deferred to Kelly when it still wasn’t clear that he was the movement. At that critical point, Sunny lacked the flair to keep up with the Momentum kids and that hurts his proclamation.

If you watch “In the Wind” and “Black and White”, you see each half of that historic final at Lowers between Brownie and Slater….. who won? Hard to tell, such insane surfing. But continue watching “In the Wind” and it’s clear Chris Brown owned Sunny.

I think Sunny came on a few years too late, he would’ve been more relevant during the Tom Carroll era… Cram, Burness, Page, Gerr, Willie Morris, Price, Shimooka, Elko, etc. I think he could have ridden out the eighties as a top 5 annual presence, but the Slater/Brown crew came with another speed that Sunny couldn’t match.

That was the dividing line between eras…. Positional surfing lost out to explosive speed and ambition.

Curren would be able to transition, Occy would have thrived and Nicky Wood would have a shot transported in time…. all three had enough electricity to transfer eras.

Call me crazy, but Bertleman, Lydell, and Buttons had similar ceilings, just too early with poor equipment.

The kids today are so lucky, we spent so many years testing board design and the whole trip is laid out so easily that they just have to surf. The money is there and the push is external to a great degree. Every generation has it’s advantages, we surfed alone…. but I rode some dogs! Now I make a phone call and a new 6’2″ paper thin is ready to glass, same as the one I just broke.

Interesting debate Dave.

3 10 2009
Mark

David Eggers was world title material at one time. And talk about competitive drive bordering on animal intensity. Too bad he turned left at the green light instead of right.

3 10 2009
Mark

And BTW Nug. B.L. is still lighting it up on the north shore today.
And how can you dispute him clinching the world title with a win at perfect Pipe on the last day of the season?

Seems to me that you are attempting to stir it up a la Lewis Samuels. Nice effort bro but you need a couple more seasons in the minors.

3 10 2009
Mike

Mark is right, Lynch won in an era of both Sunset and Haliewa….

The reduced Hawaiian schedule hurts the CT credibility. Too many Pipe specialist wildcards who can’t qualify anywhere else….

One wildcard per venue…. makes those trials so urgent. If you look at it objectively, wildcards are a total joke. Wanna surf the CT, qualify.

3 10 2009
Mike

Eggers=Todd Marinovich.

4 10 2009
Felix

Shut Up And Surf!!!!

5 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Mike, what about Pottz if he were in his 20’s again today? I think he might be able to hold his own… And Gerr?

Totally agree about Bertelman and Buttons, way ahead of their time.

5 10 2009
Mike

Lowers, mid 80’s, solid swell. In that era, you knew everyone out and Pottz shows up. Starts launching giant airs off the first hit…. at the apex of his ascent, he would bail. Still photo phony. Meanwhile, on the left Christian is launching multiple functional airs each wave. Christian changed the sport that summer and those afternoons shooting with Flame fucked Lowers for good, crowd wise. Strange as it reads, most people wouldn’t walk farther than Uppers…..

Pottz had an element of media creation (gotcha’s young gun) , Wardo if you will. He won a title, but didn’t have a motivated Curren or Occy. All he had to do was look more radical than Damien H or Derek Ho. Remember Dave, there were an enormous amount of contests (33?), and a few wins and some high places were all you needed once the points were adjusted.

Gerlach surfed well and still does, but wasn’t at that elite level. Dino, Eggers, Archbold,….. good for Cali, in the pack just behind the global elites.

5 10 2009
Blasphemy Rottmouth

I think the point of this post was well-intended. Who are the 5 worst ASP champs of all time? Everyone wants to talk about the best of the best or who coulda – shoulda – woulda won.

But, who was the worst of those that actually DID win?

I think this list is a great place to start. Mike and Dave, who would you replace on this list?

5 10 2009
Mike

PT, hands down.

Damien H…. ever see a picture of him tubed?

Put Rabbit and Derek Ho on the list and free Mick and CJ from Nug’s poison pen.

Seriously Mr Nugable, both are perennial top 5 talents for most of this decade. Your infatuation with everything Dane has clouded your vision.

Can’t wait for the Brazilian grom to qualify…… Julian better get on tour quick before his window closes. This kid will destroy careers while throwing away 9’s. Shit.

5 10 2009
Blasphemy Rottmouth

I’ll concede to replacing Mick with Derek. However, even if Slater, Curren, MR, or Bridgett Jones won in 2001, they would have at least had asterisks beside their title. No one wins a legitimate title in a 5 contests. That’s like awarding Parko this year’s title after Jeffrey’s Bay. Sure, it looked like it was mathematically wrapped up. But then your homeboy Mick Fanning would never have his present longshot. CJ could have easily choked it away, just as Parko is perilously close to doing now. It wasn’t his fault that the year was shortened, but if we’re going to call any Championship since Midget’s victory back in 1923 an undeserving one, then that would have to be in the top (bottom) five.

But what do I know?

P.s.

Mike,

Rest easy, for I do not yet ride a long board.

5 10 2009
Blasphemy Rottmouth

P.p.s.

When is Mark going to stop fucking toothless alligators down in Smyrna and drop some of his tour knowledge up in this piece?

5 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Firstly, I think that all of the World Champs deserve our utmost respect for having attained the highest peak of our sport. Although this has been the most entertaining debate about surfing I’ve been involved in, on or off line, in quite awhile, it pains me to write anything negative about any of the 16 surfers on that list.
Having said that, I think we all agree to leave PT on because of lack of wins. He’s a great guy and great competitor, but my personal Top 5 through the 80’s were Curren, Carroll, Cheyne, Elko and Pottz, so even if he won twice, I’d have to leave the Ice Man on. Even if CJ rips, a season based on 5 events isn’t much of a season, so I’d leave him on.
Who would I put into the last 2 spots?
I’ve never been a big fan of Shaun Tomson, and taking the title off of PT couldn’t have been that hard. I am a big fan of Tom Carroll, but even if he went on to dominate at Pipe and Sunset, he won his 2 titles when the Hawaiian events were off limits to ASP surfers and the season ended in Australia. And finally, Occy, Sunny and CJ (another reason to leave him on) all won theirs without Kelly on tour, which definitely warrants an * next to their names…
Just sayin’… And yes I know that’s 4 for two spots, but I don’t actually want to pick any of them! Ok, maybe Shaun, but TC, Occ and Sunny, are you kidding? If only BL hadn’t won his in Hawaii, it would be a lot easier!

5 10 2009
Mike

Davo, I agree we are splitting hairs and no disrespect to those named…. I spent that era a reclusive dick who lived with disdain for everything we discuss now.

That written, Shaun and MR defined the late 70’s. Bugs and PT played second fiddles literally, racking up 2nd’s and playing a volume game. In my view, Tom Carroll’s campaign ended that era and while he still remained cutting edge at Pipe, his tour act was obliterated by the Curren momentum.

Split the eighties in two and hand the pre ’83 crew an invite into the Free Ride generation as their surfing did not eclipse what had been done until that point. Curren and Occy changed the playing board. Elko was a holdover. As Kelly and Brownie blew up the paradigm early in the 90’s, Occ and TCurren also signaled a new dawn and left the dead wood to drift.

I agree on your point with Sunny and CJ, but I think Occy transcends the discussion to a major degree because his act throughout those periods was so dynamic. Billabong literally floated their video relevancy on Occy. His “championship” does not define him the way PT clings to his…. or Shaun. He had the luxury of being the best, most explosive and for sharing the rare air of being Currens only threat.

Curren, Occy, Cram (the eighties Taylor Knox), Pottz and Elko were the eighties elite and you’ll all clown me, but Barton wasn’t far off that pace. Nicky Wood paddled out one day at empty Lennox with me and he should be on that list…. fucking ridiculous…. but I digress. Horan should be on that list, but his beligerence with equipment shadows his talent… fucking should’ve, would’ve, could’ve.

I wrote earlier about the number of contests in that time and I may have inflated the figures… but consider the Mainland USA had 5 contests (Steamers,HB,Stubbies,New Jersey,Sebastian inlet) and one year 6 (Pennsylvania pool). Japan had 2, Hawaii included Sunset and Haliewa added to pipe, Durban and Outer Kom, 3 French events, Burliegh, Bells and the COKE ( we need that contest back…. the Banks v Col Smith final was sick)… errr was it banksy and… fuck too much weed). Anyway, heaps of events. Oh yeah, Cornwall.

Just pulled a video of the poor man I disparaged as Dave the Mailman. Fluent in five languages and smart enough to jump this sinking ship (USA) deserves respect. Apologies extended.

Glad to read that Blasph isn’t a log…

5 10 2009
Mike

One last breath…. Nug compare CJ to 9/11….

If 19 supposed hijackers infiltrated America’s best security efforts, caused the traumatic event independently and drew a superpower into 2 Viet Nams (potentially 3 with ObamaBush bullying the next victim Iran) added to this our modern depression ( don’t listen to news about the “recovery” boys ) and now private police corporations taking over a Montana rural town…..

The terrorists have won. They changed our way of life, 19 hardly capable scruffs without disguises and barely an initial weapon. Boxcutters, how mortifying. Scoreboard “Weekend at Bernies” Bin Laden, no asterisk needed.

“YES WE CAN, HOPE FOR CHANGE”…..

Just don’t count on Money allowing it.

And now back to our regular programming.

5 10 2009
Marv Albert

I am drunk.

Heh heh.

And as such, I would like to proclaim CJ the winner of this Mundaka event. You hear’d it here first, folksth. And fuck thossch pussys at Stab for censoring comments like Surflie does.

Were am me ambien??… ahhh, yesshhh – Chris Davidson vs. Nathaniel Curran is up soon.

Ahhhhhh.

6 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Hey Mike,

Apologies accepted, but I never get too bent out of shape by critical comments about me on-line!

As for the discussion, since I was born in 1970, obviously I was too young to witness and remember most of the action we’re talking about here from first hand experience. I only got to see the guys in action as a teenager at the early 80’s OP Pros, and I was on the beach watching Eggers pull backside airs at 6 to 8 foot Pipe during the Pipe Master in ’86… and still lose!

Pretty much agree with everything you say, even that BL was a deserving Title holder and that he wasn’t far off from the level of surfers you mentioned. I especially appreciated Barton for being the “thinking man’s” surfer. The guy could actually complete a coherent sentence and had a wicked sense of humor!

Also, you’re right about Occy as well, since he definitely had the talent to win one before his meltdown, it was only justified (karma at work) that he eventually win one after his comeback! And Nicky Wood was amazing, and has there ever been a more mystery and mystique surrounding a surfer’s significant other than there was for the Black Widow? I don’t think so.

Ah, the good old days!

As for the number of comps, you’re pretty much spot on. The 1982 IPS Men’s division had 12 events with a total prize purse of $338,100, while the 1983 ASP circuit had 16 contests plus four “specialty events” in Australia for a total prize purse of $487,900. So before and after the schism, there were more or less 30 events on the calendar, which allowed some guys to pick and choose and win events or place highly because not all the other contenders were there.

6 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Mike,

One more question… What video did you find of me out there on the web? Was it from my fat, pasty white period where I lived up to my nickname of the Big Lebowski? Or was I a little more fighting fit? I’d be interested to know!

6 10 2009
Mike

Davo,

You were interviewed in French, long hair and semi beard. I could tell that you were accessing your thoughts and converting them to french, same as I do in Spanish. As for fighting fit…. maybe not, but I was studying your delivery.

One of the most important and versatile skills for the future is being fluent in multiple languages. Good on you, very few future doors will have opportunity, but translation skills will be a growth vocation…. word to the wise.

Interesting debate, one point to clarify. I’ve clowned Rabbit enough, but one thing he did deserves total respect. His last year on tour he trailed Tom Carroll and realized that his seed would prevent him from meeting TC until a possible final…. which would have sealed the championship for TC. He entered the trials and smoked his way into TC’s draw. I’m blank about who he lost to, but I think he came within one round of making that heat the World Championship.

I was a disallusioned Rabbit fan at that point, disrespected him after meeting him and going for a surf. But I’ll always remember how rad his plan was and was rooting for him to pull off the heist. If he had made it to that fateful heat, it would have been one for surfings lore.

Compliments on the party commentary, though you sound like groupie Mark at times, but it’s sad that your piece about a peripheral aspect of a poorly run contest was as interesting as anything that happened during that final day.

Have fun at Sopelina…..

Oh, and don’t forget about Brazil, two events in ’83. Man that was a crap itinerary and the ASP still hasn’t got it together. Even yesterday, Parsons hadn’t made the final decision on how to run the first round.

Dave, why can’t the ASP have a consistent format to run in? Why do I bother?

6 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Mike,

I think that interview was from the Lacanau Pro a few years back. Unless I was trying to find a translation for a specific English phrase in French I wasn’t accessing thoughts, I was quite a few beers in, and if I remember correctly had someplace much more important to be than in front of the French dude’s camera. Though I do access thoughts and translate in Spanish and especially Portuguese! Wish a was Dutch though. Even the Dutchies working in McDonald’s speak about 7 languages fluently!

As for Bugs, even today he is a nightmare to be with in the water! He’s got a blind spot bigger than TC, K9 and the Wolfpak/DaHui combined at Pipeline! However, he is a classic character and great story teller. Hopefully I run into him in the next few weeks and get a chance to ask for his take on your story about he and TC.

Which brings me to my “piece” about the Pro France parties… I admit it, I am not a writer! Having said that, at least you got the gist that the party scene was no more exciting than the actual contest this year, and therefore a huge waste of money better spent elsewhere! And yes, I know there’s quite a bit of name dropping, but Joe Q. Public does want to know what was up with the pros, so kind of a Catch 22 situation going on there. When I do have to write stuff, I prefer doing interviews. I actually got a half decent one with Hoyo a few days after Nug posted my other stuff, but apparently Nug has been too busy with his real job to put it up, or he just think it sucks! Who knows?!?

And the ASP formats… Don’t get me started. I’ve been over this one with Brodie extensively, so won’t go into detail, but as far as I’m concerned there are many better options out there. Brodie and I agree though that the new one “sucks”! The reason it took so long to decide which one to run in Mundaka is because of extensive lobbying necessary to get the surfers to agree to run with it, since the forecast looks sketchy at best and NOBODY wants to surf heats in Sopelana or So Poo Lana as the Top 45 fondly call it.
And why does that and other questionable situations exist within the ASP? One word, POLITICS! Just as in the real world, politics messes things up on the Dream Tour too! Maybe one day it will be a perfect world, until then be prepared to keep calling Bullshit on it!

6 10 2009
Dave Mailman

BTW, if any of you aren’t yet “following the fish”, you should be… Hilarious!

http://followthefish.tv/?p=142

6 10 2009
Mike

Dave, you misunderstood me….. we surfed with bugs in fun peaks and rode home on our bikes wondering if we could be world champs. Then he got kinda sloppy that night and did some shit I won’t print publicly. He left Newport with NO respect. Now it could’ve been a bad day (and nights) for him, but world champs shouldn’t get out surfed by an entire pack of kids.

Crammy, on the other hand was a straight up good guy.

6 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Mike,

Well, I guess we’ve each known a different Bugs! I’ve seen him in spitting, solid 4 to 5 foot Anglet Les Cavaliers barrels win the Grand Master division of the first Quiksilver Master comp in ’99, and again picking off gems in the free surfs with the Top 45 in the water at the Search event in Mexico. As for the nightlife, while he still likes to have a good time on the odd occasion, he’s definitely mellowed with age… on all levels! Although, I can imagine what kind of trouble he and many others were capable of getting into in Newport back in the day!

As for the Crammy Cutback… the stuff of legend! Never met the man himself, but had a poster of him laying rail in Hawaii on my wall as a kid!

6 10 2009
Mike

Notice what your writing Dave…..

Spitting forehand barrels…. totally pedestrian at head high River Jetties, hung over and so full of himself.

Cram was one genuine dude and killed it, a pleasure to have in the hood.

If we ever meet, I have stories….

7 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Mike,

OK, you got me on the Rabbit. Hope we do meet someday. I’d love to hear some good stories about Cram, and any dirt you have on Bugs!

7 10 2009
tim baker

Nug, let me tell you a few things about Mick and you decide whether he deserved his world title or not:
– When he was 17, his older brother Sean was killed in a car accident. The two brothers dreamed of doing the pro tour together. Mick went ahead and did it for both of them.
– In 2001, he was diagnosed with scoliosis, curvature of the spine, and despite almost constant pain, and requiring regular chiropractic adjustments and painkillers just to surf, in the space of a month he came second at the Quiksilver Pro at Snapper to Taj (then a WQS), won Margaret River (WQS) and won Bells as a wildcard, and went on to win the WQS by a country mile.
– In 2004, after finishing fifth and fourth in his first two years on the ‘CT, he ripped his hamstring muscle clean off the bone going for a floater off the coast of Sumatra. A surgeon drilled a metal hook into his hip bone and sewed the muscle back on, Mick was out of the water for five months, had only been surfing again for three months when he went in the 2005 QS Pro at Snapper (now a WCT) and won it.
– He finished third in 2005 and 2006, and from mid 2006 to the end of 2007 didn’t finish worse than a quarter final, apart from a 17th a Trestles in 2006, and won the world title by the biggest margin ever. He has won almost every event on tour, bar Pipe, where he has come second, and made finals at Haleiwa and Sunset.
Find one elite surfer who has anything but total respect for Mick and his surfing and I might listen. But don’t take my word for it, here is what Taylor Knox thinks: ““Man, I am learning a lot from surfing with him. I mean, what’s there not to like?  Fast, on rail, and radical with precision.  People that surf a lot know that’s a hard combination to put all together.”

7 10 2009
Nug

@Tim
I appreciate the input. In fact I’m seeing a lot of good comments. Not the usual Internet babbling you see on most sites. Good stuff Mailman, Blas and even you Mike (I kid).

An argument can be made that Mick belongs nowhere on this list. And you make a fairly good one. It is clear Fanning has overcome quite a bit of adversity and I respect his surfing. He is one of the 10 best in the world right now but I’m not all the way sold on him being a legend yet. Let’s be frank. Most of his wins came at beachbreaks in smaller surf. Look at 2007. He won at his home break, Brazil and France. What won him the title in 07 was his amazing consistency, Kelly’s on-again-off-again disinterest and Andy’s march towards rehab.

Die-hard surf fans who are not Australian will never put him in the same league as Occy, Sunny, Curren, MR, Slater or Andy….at least as far as world titles go.

But who knows. If he wins it this year maybe Derek Ho sneaks in and takes Mick’s spot. But If the race comes down to Pipe (and it will) Mick, even if he is in first position, will be a longshot.

7 10 2009
m

Really Derek ho and Fanning could be in that spot, but Ho wins in Hawaii and big surf. fanning does not. How can you be objective Tim when you are working on Fanning’s book. That is the problem with the surf media. You cover the sport like a fan with access…not a journalist.

7 10 2009
Blasphemy Rottmouth

Okay, Mick wins the sob story championships. Which we all know plays a huge role in the WTC championships and is a major factor in judging a person riding a wave.

We were all wrong.

7 10 2009
tim baker

I think Taylor’s comment sums it up best – “People who surf a lot know that is a hard combination to put together.” Maybe you lot need to surf a bit more, instead of being led blindly by contrived web haters trying to be edgey Samuels clones.

7 10 2009
Tim Baker's Raging Temper

Tim,

Obviously this is an emotional issue for you. I can feel the tears seeping from your fingertips onto your keyboard. Objectivity. Do you posses it? No one is saying Mick isn’t a world class surfer. He has weaknesses. Small surf is not one of them. He is a fantastic competitor.

How do you substantiate your argument? By quoting Mick’s Rip Curl teammate. Do you really think Taylor Knox would say anything negative about him? In fact the tour these days is one big lovefest, so you’d be hard pressed to find any negativity. Your reporting is about as interesting as the ASP media releases. You have become a pawn that sells the sport rather than report about it…good or bad. Can you even see that? Objectivity sailed away from your ship long ago, you old queen.

p.s. Say hello to the boys at Stab for me.

7 10 2009
Jay

Although this list is a little misguided and possibly a case of harmless ribbing.

but nevertheless

In Surfer Magazine’s 50 greatest surfers issue Mick Fanning was in the 30’s. The lowest of any world champion other than those on this list. The exception was Derek Ho. He was not listed.

Proof is in the pudding.

7 10 2009
Blasphemy Rottmouth

@ TBRT,

Lmfao!

I was going to point out the obvious to Mr. Baker, but you did it far more poignantly than I ever could have. Bravo!

However, you forgot to follow up that brilliant diatribe with an equally witty response to Mr. Baker’s “maybe the lot of you need to surf more” with the ever impressive “shut up and surf!” I look forward to his next come-back labeling us all fags.

@Mr. Baker,

“being led blindly by contrived web haters trying to be edgey Samuels clones.”

Are you the same cockswaddle who penned that frivolous piece of shit at “Inside the Goldmine,” and then commented on your own post about it not being a direct dig at PostSurf?

@Everyone else,

See you all next week. I’m going on a surfing down South. Maybe after all this surfing I’m about to do, I’ll have attained the level of zen required to slobber all over Mick Fanning’s incredible surfing. Mike says he’s hung like an ox.

Toodles.

7 10 2009
Mike

Leave me out of it, BR.

He torched Dane, that’s all I know.

DIdn’t know that Baker was writing for Fanning…. another conflicted fuck protecting his revenue stream.

I said that for you Dave M, gotta keep your slate squeeky clean, I know.

7 10 2009
Marv Albert

Will someone tell Tim Baker to sack up already? Who would you put in the bottom five? Or do you prefer being in the middle of the ASP circle jerk, lapping up everything they spew?

Your sniping is getting to be re-gawdamn-diculous. Defending Fanning’s place as one of the 5 worst World fuckin’ Champs by quoting one his teammates, is like defending Jeffery Dahmer’s recipe’s.

Speaking of which, I’m hungry. Anyone know where I can find out where Jed Smith’s brains went?

7 10 2009
Things that make me go Hmmmmm

Fanning wins Triple Crown and World Title this year with a victory at either Sunset or Haleiwa and a high placing at Pipe.

And BTW Post Clones. Without Mark and SmyrnaJeff this site will never reach the level of creative intensity of Post Surf 3-09 to 7-09.

I’m just sayin.

7 10 2009
Mark

Hey B.R. how about a top five list of all of the guys who have been with my mom?

7 10 2009
Jay

Mick will finish 17th at Pipe, like he did 5 of the last 6 years, proabably losing to a Hawaiian wildcard…again.

7 10 2009
Mike

Too many wildcards…. what other sport allows amatuers to compete for a world championship?

Guys that can’t qualify have no place affecting results…. a simple equation that escapes the ASP…. another fatal flaw.

Kelly, please save any shred of relevance and have a real tour as your final legacy. The current mess is a mess, thanks Mr Bartholomew.

7 10 2009
Voice of Reality

Marv Albert….. taste any good black guys lately.

Good point about Taylor’s interdepartment memo demanding a defense of Eugene.

The same circular logic clusterfuck corporatism enables Tim Baker to claim intelligence despite obvious compromise.

Hey Timmy, the salt bush crew wants you to visit soon… bring your entourage, it’s all cool now.

7 10 2009
Tim Bakers Penis

I’m too tired, headache again… you guys win, limp is the new cool and I’m a star.

8 10 2009
Felix

swivel, stroke, drop, smile anyone . . . ?

8 10 2009
tim baker

Look, you guys don’t know what it’s like. If I say one word against the ASP, pro surfers or the surf industry they will fucking take me out. That Samuels guy is toast, and they’re watching you Nug. This thing goes all the way to the top, and you’re right, Knox is in on it too. I’ve already said too much. You’re all in danger, this is some subversive shit, you gang of crazy rebels. . ……. Faaark someone’s coming, I got to go, gotta close this damn window and get back over to surf line before someone sees. Damn mouse is wigging out … faaaaarrrrkkk …. NOOOO …. GOD ALMIGHTY …. NO …. FOR SWEET MERCIES SAKE …………………………………..

8 10 2009
skud

i think CJ should be the first one to come off this list. what if the world tour was always just 5 events? he still surfed a cumulatively better 5 events that year than anyone else, so what’s the problem? UFC championships get decided in less matches than that. and if you wanna talk about “deserving”, CJ’s deserved more than one world title as much as anyone else over the past decade (except for slater and irons, of course). he wins in big barrels and small slop, and there’s not an event on tour that he’s not liable to win or pull away with a damn good result. he’s even won Sunset on his backhand (i know, it’s not a CT event, bite me)

which is another interesting topic: how many goofy-footed world champs have there been throughout the history of the dream tour? not many. the tour is and always has been rather favorable towards regulars. 4 events at long, rippable rights where your forehand is most certainly an advantage (goldy, bells, j-bay, trestles), 3 events at heavy reef-bottom waves where barrels are the primary scoring maneuver so footedness doesn’t matter so much (tahiti, fiji, pipe), and 2 beachbreak venues that are completely give and take depending on the banks, swell, tide, etc. and you might as well throw mundaka up as a wildcard on account of it being either the crappiest beachbreak this side of the gulf of mexico or a top-to-bottom drainer you could time with a stopwatch, where again, footedness plays a much smaller role. add that all up, and you’ve got a tour that favors the regularfoots so much you’d think it was a really bad joke (isn’t it though? isn’t the “dream tour” just a really bad joke?)

yet CJ still pulled it off, albeit in 5, he surfed better in those 5 than anyone else.

and to call CJ’s hopes for another title “dim” is just plain wrong. i won’t even go into that other than to tell you to just look at the ratings and see what it would take for him to pull it off this year: a win at mundaka, and a win at portugal or pipe, all of which he is more than capable of. and for mick and parko to cough up another 17th or two (of which CJ has NONE this year). we’ve all seen crazier shit happen. he may not be the favorite to win another title, but “dim” is hardly the word i would use to describe he chances.

thats my story and i’m stickin’ to it.

8 10 2009
skud

asterisk on CJ’s title? sure, why not, it was a truncated year. but to call him “undeserving” is way out of line.

9 10 2009
Nug

I don’t care who you are Timothy. That right there was funny.

Cheers

11 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Is this 3 to the beach surfing not worthy of a second world championship?

Ok, I’d like to see the same kind of clip of Dane from his contest and freesurfing over the course of the week. It would most likely be superior to this, but still…

13 10 2009
Blasphemy Rottmouth

I once did a cutback in front of the HB pier while Mike licked an ice-cream cone next to his beloved as they prepared their paddleboat for an evening of high-seas debauchery and shannanigans.

Oh, and fuck you Tim Baker.

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