New Frontier: Surf and Free Dive Norway

Ultimate Adventure Bucket List 2014: Surfer Mark Healey recommends surfing and free diving in Norway. Plus: his must-have gear pick.

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A surfer in the Lofoten Islands, Norway

Mark Healey lives to discover new things. Hence an unusual pick at the top of his surfing bucket list: Norway. Only in the last few years have photographs of people surfing massive waves leaked out of the Scandinavian country, and they’ve caught the attention of big-wave surfers worldwide.

“It’s such an opposite environment than what I’m mostly used to,” Healey says. “I have no idea exactly where I’d want to go; I just want to go. The whole point in wanting to go somewhere is being surprised.”

Stavanger, on the North Sea, is the nascent center of surfing in the country, and it has a smattering of surf shops and photogenic breaks near fjords. The possibilities beyond, however, are virtually endless. Norway has some 15,000 miles of coastline, and the few local surfers you’ll encounter tend to be overjoyed to share their discoveries.

Mark Healey
Mark Healey is the consummate waterman. He has surfed some of the world’s famed big breaks, like Waimea, Jaws, and Mavericks, free dived with sharks—and caught a ride on the tail of a great white—and he regularly spearfishes for dinner, holding his breath for up to four minutes at a stretch. One of his recent accomplishments was, after 17 years of visiting Tahiti, catching the biggest waves he’s ever caught at the notorious Teahupoo break.
Mark Healey's Gear Pick: GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition
“They always say the best camera is the one you’ll actually use,” Healey says. “To take pictures and film, I usually have my GoPro. They’re my sponsor but I always used them beforehand. It’s so easy to capture your experiences and your trips without lugging around a bunch of crap. And they’re so durable. I still haven’t broken one—and I’m not nice to them, either.”

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