The Surfersvillage Interview: Mark Healey
The progression from grom to big-wave hell-man was natural for Mark Healey
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 April, 2017 - Mark Healey in his preparation for big wave surfing has adopted several non-surfing practices, most notably yoga, free-diving and some weird breathing technique with a difficult name that lets him stay underwater for minutes so he can spearfish, tag sharks, or just generally be a bad-ass.
The dimunitive goofyfoot was raised on the North Shore and with the world’s most famous waves in his backyard, the progression from grom to big-wave hell-man was natural.
But Healey will be the first to tell you that big wave surfing isn’t just something you fall into, or take up on a weekend once you’ve finished that deck project. No. Healey and the close-knit crew of hellmen are some of the most well-prepared, fastidious, equipment obsessed surfers on the planet. And that attention to detail, spills over into many other aspects of Healey’s life.
Mark joined us for The Surfersvillage Interview.
How would you describe what you do for work to a very small, inattentive child?
I do what people are incapable or unwilling to in the ocean.
What is that you do professionally that you are most proud of?
Probably my shark tagging. I got to be the first person to ever put tags in Pelagic Thresher Sharks as well as the first shark tagging project ever in Japan (Scalloped Hammerheads and Galapagos Sharks).
What are you currently working on that you’re really excited about?
Through my business Healey Water Ops (HWO) I’m putting together the most exciting and inspiring experiences in the ocean all around the planet. My clientele base is very high end, so I can let my imagination run wild. Basically putting together dream trips where money is not a hindrance at all.
At Maverick's © Overfelt/Mavericks Invitational
Tell us what has been your biggest mistake and what did you learn from that mistake?
Putting faith in certain people at a certain startup brand that I was sponsored by. Lesson learned, always listen to my gut instinct right off the bat.
Share with us your biggest Rocky Balboa moment (you know, punching meat in a freezer then running up the steps of City Hall with your own special theme music blaring.)
Untangling a ball of knotted anchor chains and lines on the narrow bow of a boat in a storm in the middle of the night. It ended up being four different sections of line and three different chains in the biggest knot ever. We needed 130m of anchor line to set the pick in this storm in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Still not sure how I pulled it off, without falling overboard, haha.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? Selling shoes?
I’d be working in a scientific field. Probably biology related. Or a full time stunt man.
Mark Healey's 10ft gun during massive Cloudbreak © Joliphoto
OK, you get to drop into five moments in history – surf or otherwise. Please name them and why.
- Stepping off the Apollo 11 onto the moon
-In the first canoe of Polynesians to put eyes on Hawaii
-Meet Jesus the day he was flipping tables at the temple
- Crew member on ‘The Bounty’ when they rolled up on Tahiti
- Right now! We’re living in the fastest changing years of human history. This shit is wild!