Mick burst on to the ASP World Tour in 2002 when he finished in the top five in his rookie season. Fanning looked destined for the number one berth but he suffered a complete hamstring tear in 2004 and could only get back onto the surfboard after major surgery and six months of intense rehabilitation. But Mick had become accustomed to setbacks.
In 1988, just as his fledgling career was starting to take off, his brother Sean was killed in a car accident. The brothers had grown up dreaming of conquering the surfing world together, but now Mick was on his own. Just as he did in 1988, Mick dug deep and that hard work bore fruit in 2007 when Mick was crowned world champion at the age of 26 – ending Kelly Slater’s 15-year domination of the sport. After a disappointing world championship defense in '08, Mick is now back and gunning for the top once more.