How Cooly Kids set themselves up for life
Beachfront mansions, luxury apartments, multimillion-dollar business ventures - life's cool for the Gold Coast surf stars known as the "Cooly Kids".
Former world champions Mick Fanning and Joel "Parko" Parkinson and fellow former pro surfer Dean "Dingo" Morrison have done quite nicely for themselves since hanging up the contest rashies.
All three are enjoying life as family men with the comfort of knowing that their financial futures are well and truly secured - with plenty of time to go surfing.
The talented trio were dubbed the "Cooly Kids" after growing up together in Coolangatta and then bursting on to the world surfing stage as teenagers.
All three retired from the World Surf League tour in recent years, but have shrewdly parlayed their prizemoney, endorsements and fame into lucrative investments that have set them up for life.
Fanning and Parkinson, along with fellow surfers Bede Durbidge and Josh Kerr, were among a consortium of co-founders of Gold Coast boutique beer company Balter, which was sold late last year to brewing giant CUB in a deal reportedly worth up to $200 million.
Both still have their fingers in plenty of pies.
Fanning - who lives in a $5 million beachfront mansion at Bilinga with partner Breanna Randall and their baby son Xander - is listed as owning a multimillion-dollar property portfolio including several units in sought-after Rainbow Bay.
His business interests include his own Rip Curl surf shop at Coolangatta, an MF-branded surfboard line and stakes in burger chain Fritzenberger and healthy pet food company Scratch.
Despite retiring from the pro surfing tour two years ago, Fanning retained lucrative sponsorships with the likes of surfwear giant Rip Curl, Red Bull and Mercedes.
A prolific social media user, he also uses his influence to spruik everything from campervans to BBQs and golf gear.
Parkinson, who also retired from the WSL tour in 2018, has kept major sponsors Billabong and JS Surfboards.
His diverse investments include stakes in Gold Coast Airport cafe Blackstone and French coffee and surfing lifestyle company Sunday Collab.
He and his family - wife Monica and children Evie, Macie and Mahli - recently sold their riverfront mansion at Tweed Heads and bought a multimillion-dollar apartment in a new boutique luxury tower to be built at Rainbow Bay overlooking Parko's home break, Snapper Rocks.
Morrison - who at 40 is a year older than his fellow Cooly Kids - dropped off the world championship tour in 2011, but went on to forge a respected career as a big-wave surfer.
He's a shareholder in wildly successful Gold Coast-based surf and fishing label The Mad Hueys, and recently started The Wave of a Lifetime surf school, which specialises in jet ski tow-in tuition and has boasted clients including Liam Hemsworth and Liz Cantor.
Seven-time world champion Steph Gilmore - also a de facto "Cooly Kid" - is the world's highest-paid female surfer, earning an estimated $2 million a year from sponsors including Roxy, Weet-Bix and Nikon.
Parkinson said he was conscious of the importance of setting him and his family up for life after surfing.
"One negative of being a professional athlete is that you don't have time to develop a skill set in anything else, so you have to make smart business decisions along the way," he told The Sunday Mail.
"I've definitely made some decisions that didn't go so well (a reference to his ill-fated investment in the Gold Coast Titans which went bust before being bailed out by the NRL).
"But I've been lucky enough to have a few things go my way. Mick's done incredibly well - he's such a smart guy - and Dingo's really starting to kick some goals with his business.
"I wanted to build a lifestyle for myself and my family.
"I didn't want to be slaving away in a 9-to-5 job into my 50s and 60s; I wanted to be able to go surfing and enjoy life "
Parkinson said he had been retired two years "but it feels like a lifetime ago".
"Being on tour was amazing - like a paid holiday, really - but I don't miss competing, and life after surfing is pretty enjoyable," he said.
Originally published as How Cooly Kids set themselves up for life