Juice. Every Last Drop Of The Search.
03/03/2022

Juice. Every Last Drop Of The Search.

Mick Fanning, Conner Coffin and Crosby Colapinto on a multi-stop strike mission along the Californian coast.

*New Search Episode Drops*

Sick. You know the deal: A location shrouded in secrecy, the Rip Curl team embark into the unknown and are thusly plied with exotic ocean vistas and 6ft plus of pumping surf. But where? Camera angles are cropped tight, a 3x time World Champ threads a funneling tube that fills your entire screen… Does that warble in the lip look familiar? You immediately tap into your inner Sherlock Holmes/Nancy Drew, fire up Google Maps, and delve into the depths of your mental surf spot rolodex… You’ll figure out where they are this time, you curse out loud, “OR MY NAME ISN’T-… Wait, what? Is that the Golden Gate Bridge?”

Alright, you caught us! This episode doesn’t abide by our traditional recipe. The crew are very much on the beaten track, gargantuan Californian landmarks are dotted along the way… but that doesn’t mean they aren’t Searching with a capital S. This is the full surf gamut, a multi-stop, strike mission, careening down Highway 1. A relatable, gritty road trip with bucket-list destinations, good grub, and an all-star cast that operate in an elevated state of perpetual wave-lust. The spirit of adventure, fun and mateship are at the fore. It’s a regular surf-eat-sleep junket that abounds in the kind of car park banter and feverish spot-checking delirium that only surfers blend up, and chug down. So buckle up. You’re riding shotgun with the sultans of slash, the titans of tearing, the kings of… well, you get it.

From youngest to oldest, enter San Clemente’s baby-faced ectomorph, the 2019 Pro Junior Champ, one Crosby Colapinto. Doe-eyed and humble on land, it’s evident Croz is soaking up every bit of his idols’ surfing savoir faire. But when the SC local buries a rail, or levitates from the lip, there’s no doubt he’s earned the right to be in such good company. The other Californian native on board is Conner Coffin. 2021 Rip Curl WSL Finalist, armed to the teeth with local knowledge and time-logged in the Pacific, he’s a smiling assassin with face-melting guitar chops and a sea-parting carve of biblical proportions. Last but not least, the thrice world champ and affable fixture on The Search, Michael Eugene Fanning.

Crosby, on Search missions with heroes:

“I really liked going on this trip because I’ve never been on a trip with Connor and Mick before and I felt that I really learned a lot from just being around them both and hearing what they both had to say about surfing. With both of those guys as guys I looked up to my whole life it was cool just hanging out and having some good laughs.”

Surprisingly, this was the first time this trio had teamed up for a Rip Curl trip. The expected group dynamic was turned on its head when the sage, well-respected, Mick, claimed early on to be “Mason on this trip”. This gave Fanno full license to operate with unabated froth, hyping up sketchy waves from lookouts and dragging the local boys out come hell, high water, or full stomachs. Surfing’s hairy history of grom abuse was continued with Crosby being dutifully renamed along the way. The flatulent young buck let one too many jam tarts loose in the car (while the windows were still intact) and Mick’s laconic aussie wit reared its head. Crosby’s crop-dusting saw him dubbed “Crop-sy” for the remainder of the trip. We’re yet to see Croz update an IG handle or refer to himself in the third person as Cropsy, but watch this space. On top of that, MF launched an impromptu game of who-dares-wins offering Cropsy a cool $500 to drink bootie juice… read on.

Bootie Juice:
/ˈbuːti dʒuːs/
Noun: 1. The tepid, liquid concoction that pools in the neoprene footwear of surfers in dank climates. Like a fine wine; The older the booty the more potent the juice.

We can confirm Croz didn’t imbibe and is still in good health, thankfully.

At one surf pit-stop. Mick narrates aloud while he mind-surfs a shifty beach-break. “Ohhh chip into that one, have a little hack-slash” he chirps from underneath a bounty of winter layers. “That one spat its head off!” he hoots. I guess if it spits, there’s pits? It’s hard to argue with such a decorated and positively brimming surfing champion, but to the untrained eye the conditions are well, uninviting. There are a mix of swells butting heads out there, a persistent foamy surface, just clumsy, disorganised, near double overhead chunks of ocean heading vaguely shoreward. Nonetheless, the froth is contagious, and it only takes a couple more onomatopoeic declarations of approval and the call is made. All three are out there and whadaya’know? Suddenly the conditions look markedly better, Mick fulfills his car park surf prophecy and hack-slashes a slopey Californian wall. It’s a subtle reminder of the veteran’s ability to continually visualise-and-realise, and the power of the positivity. Having a summited the peaks of his career amidst injury, finned foes, and personal loss, it’s no wonder staying chipper on The Search is a walk in the park… even when the rental SUV is shucked open by rock-wielding burglars mid-surf. One man’s smashed car window is, as MF puts it, another man’s air conditioning.

Conner:

“It was epic getting to jump in the car with Mick and Crosby! It’s been hard to put trips together with covid so with both of them being in town it was a good reason to go up the coast and find some wavs. The boys were ripping, we laughed a ton, and ate some really good food! I was super stoked to take the boys to Rincon and show them around my hometown but the fog was so thick it kinda screwed us up! It’s always sick hanging with Crosby and mick and I look forward to doing more trips soon!!!”

Conner deciphered the forecast for the tail-end of the trip and spotted a good little Rincon swell nestled in the isobars. It was settled, and a classic dawn patrol followed suit. The three amigos put on a clinic for all to see, only you couldn’t see… There was such heavy set fog the scene was reminiscent of Dr Dre’s Up In Smoke tour. The group scored tantalisingly rippable walls in a greyed-out, horizonless, vacuum, without the anchoring view of land and regular line-ups. ‘By the end I didn’t even know where I was, ' said Mick afterwards. And that was that. Saturation point. The surfed out blissful feeling we all know and love. Off the grid and re-energised by nature. If Mick, Conner and Croz can find it at crowded Rincon then we can only deduce one thing… The Search is everywhere.

Mick on Crosby and Conner:

“It was really fun to have both of them on. I obviously traveled on tour with Conner but I’d never really done a trip with him. The only time I’ve really surfed with Cropsey was when he’d come to stay at my house with his brother… and a couple times in Hawaii, we had some. I’d make him get up early in the morning and come surf with me on dark out. I love surfing with Cropsey, love surfing with Conner. They’re both incredible surfers.”