Mick Fanning will call time on his illustrious surfing career in the next two years, ruling out a tilt at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
But the champion Australian believes he can win a fourth world title and has set his sights on a maiden Hawaiian Pipeline Masters crown before bowing out.
Fanning, 36, contemplated retirement during his six-month sabbatical last year, but could not bring himself to quit.
“Definitely (retirement) in the next couple of years,” Fanning said.
“There’s other things I want to do while I’m still able-bodied.
“I think there were just a few too many ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ as to whether I’d go down that path, you know, ‘am I done on tour?’
“You know when it’s time.”
Fanning said two shark scares in three years at the J-Bay Open – fighting off a great white in the 2015 final and being plucked from the water last month – had not impacted his desire to get back into the water.
It hasn’t been an easy return to the elite tour.
He sits 11th in the championship race midway through the season, failing to progress past the quarter-finals of any of the six events so far.
“My whole goal for the year was just to perform to a standard I was happy with, not really concentrating on results,” Fanning said.
“But there’s been events where I wasn’t that happy with performances and there’d been other events where I’d been really happy with how I surfed.
“The tour’s a rollercoaster anyway, but overall I’ve been having fun.”
A veteran of 16 years on the world tour, Fanning believes he’s physically steeled to return to championship contention, but not yet fully devoted mentally.
The Gold Coast local is under no illusions about the difficulty of winning his first world title since 2013, saying the standard of surfing has “gone through the roof” over his career.
“It’s a matter of wanting it that bad that you wake up and dedicate your whole life to it,” he said.
“That’s probably what’s not there at the moment, which is fine.”
Fanning will contest the Tahiti Pro from August 11 and has identified the season-ending World Surf League event in Oahu, Hawaii as his biggest fish.
But the Olympics would be a bridge too far, he said, instead backing Matt Wilkinson and Julian Wilson to lead the Australian charge.
“Pipeline would be one. If I could win that, that would be the cherry on top of my whole career,” said Fanning.
“Even though there’s a few cherries already.”