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Mark Healey Will Teach You How To Keep Calm In Heavy Surf

Story by The Inertia.

Check out Mark Healey's Guide to Heavy Water here. Enter code INERTIA10 at checkout to save 10%. Remember when Mark Healey ejected 20 feet into the air from a boat at maxing Maverick's? Or the time he stroked into a wave widely regarded as the biggest ever surfed at Puerto Escondido? Or that bomb at Pipe he impossibly threaded from Third Reef to the beach? Blown out of a tube zipping closed with style and aplomb.

We do, too.

Mark Healy's Guide To Heavy Water
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Learn to push yourself, keep calm, and manage fear in heavy surf, from one of the best big wave icons.

Healey's CV is a somersaulting highlight reel of unthinkable feats - or a series of nightmares depending on how you look at it. Which is why he is the perfect instructor for our newest course, Mark Healey's Guide to Heavy Water.

When we sat down with Mark in his surf dojo in Haleiwa, where he lives with his partner, their baby girl, and a friendly goat, Mark made it clear that he couldn't wait to share hard-earned knowledge with anyone interested in progressing their surfing. He's learned the lessons the hard way, so you don't have to.

"You want to know your boxing coach can take a punch to the face," he told me.

451701 WSL / Ted Grambeau

Healey has survived the haymakers. From two-wave hold-downs at Maverick's to natural disasters in Nias to surviving the rocks at Jaws, Healey has developed a disciplined practice rooted in mental toughness, intentional breath work, and general ocean awareness that he shares in great detail in his brand new, 21-chapter digital course.

"I learned a lot of things the hard way in situations I had zero playbook for," says Healey. "I've realized over the years that because of technology and travel, my friends and I have probably been exposed to more large surf situations than any humans that have lived on the planet. So I wanted to take all of that experience and share it to help your relationship with the ocean and allow you to become more confident easing into heavier surf."

Healey believes that composure is essential, and it's only attainable through preparation. It's a function of careful research, studying conditions, and confidence in your physical and mental abilities. Alternatively, in Healey's words, "Panic equals death."

Healey WSL / Ted Grambeau

"It doesn't matter how many people are in the channel or on the beach," says Mark. "When things start getting out of control, the first thing that you feel is very alone. My main focus is training myself to operate in those times where I feel completely alone."

In 21 video lessons, Healey covers a wide range of topics:

  • Big wave psychology
  • Managing fear
  • Maintaining composure
  • Calculating risk
  • Reading the ocean
  • Nutrition and fitness philosophy
  • How to safely return to shore when you're in over your head
  • Tube-riding tips on your forehand and backhand
  • The importance of breathing and breathing warm-ups
  • War stories from the field

According to Mark, the lessons are scalable and apply to any skill level.

"To me, this course is for everybody from a beginning surfer to a really advanced surfer who wants to push into bigger surf. You can take these lessons and apply them to a shoulder-high day if you're a beginner all the way to a 20-foot day if you're advanced and want to get into bigger surf. My goal with this course is to give you the tools to be able to go on to do this on your own."

If you're interested in progressing your surfing to the next level, check out Mark Healey's Guide to Heavy Water. Enter code INERTIA10 at check out to save 10 percent.

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