Free Fly Makes a Statement Signing Mark Healey to the Team
Leading adventure brand Free Fly is proud to announce the signing of big-wave surfer, free diver, and award-winning spear-fisherman Mark Healey as the brand’s first-ever surf athlete and ambassador.
Healey, a surfer and professional waterman, embodies a deep understanding of ocean and water-based pursuits and brings authenticity and joy to chasing adventure that aligns perfectly with Free Fly as they look to expand in new markets. Additionally, Healey will leverage his decades of industry experience to provide unique insight to support product development and design for future product launches catering to surf-oriented pursuits.
Mark Healey expressed his enthusiasm for joining Free Fly, stating, “Free Fly is a natural fit for me because we share a deep love for pursuits on the water, from fishing to diving and surfing. I’ve always gravitated to brands that prioritize quality, innovation, and sustainability, and Free Fly embodies those values.”
Healey’s deep connection to the wild and untamed elements of the ocean is a natural fit for Free Fly, a family-owned brand launched with the mission to celebrate life’s best moments outdoors through comfortable performance clothing designed for adventure.
Sterling Boyd, the CEO of Free Fly, commented on the partnership, saying, “We are thrilled to have Mark Healey join the Free Fly team. Mark’s remarkable journey as a professional big wave surfer, avid fisherman, and family man aligns perfectly with our brand’s values. Mark will be invaluable for the team as we expand our product offerings to reach customers in all types of water-driven adventure pursuits.”
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Interview with Mark Healey
Congrats on the partnership with Free Fly. What are you looking forward to, particularly relating to product development?
I am stoked to be working with Free Fly because of our shared passion and understanding for a life lived on, in, and by the water. I’m super particular about product performance and love the process of testing out new ideas to see how much we can get out of a new kit. I’m looking forward to bringing my background in fishing, diving, and surfing to explore the unsolved issues of adventuring out in the water and help the team build innovative, sustainable, and quality products for water enthusiasts.
What are your favorite Free Fly products at the moment — and why?
I’ve loved the Elevate Hoodie and Latitude Shorts because they are perfect for everything from throwing on at the beach after getting off the water to spending a full day out on my new boat chasing pelagics. They’ve pretty much become my daily kit. Both pieces are built for durability without sacrificing Free Fly’s unique comfort, making them perfect when I’m on-the-go moving boards, strapped into the rod fighting a big fish, or carrying packs.
Shifting to the Surf Sector
The recent hire of former Quiksilver Head of Sales, Mike Reilly, allows the team to be well-positioned for wholesale growth and expansion into surf markets. We caught up with Mike to find out more.
What makes Free Fly a great brand for the surf sector?
At its core, Free Fly has built the brand by catering to water enthusiasts with an affinity for adventure pursuits, and we see surfing as a natural segway for our brand because our customers are already pulling us into that world. Our customers love chasing stories around the water, from fly fishing to deep-sea fishing, traveling with your family, or enjoying a day at the beach or on the boat. I believe there is an opportunity for Free Fly to offer a differentiated product within core markets that leverages unique materials, delivering a level of insane comfort and performance in UPF protection gear unlike anyone else. There are a myriad of brands in our space offering very similar product and story telling and we believe Free Fly has a strong point of difference to help bring newness to the surf market.
Which products do you think surfers will love — and why?
For surfers, apparel that delivers soft, comfortable sun protection and tremendous versatility in wear is crucial. A great example is wanting an item that will protect your skin during those long hours spent on the beach in between sessions and out riding waves. Our new Elevate Hoodie is designed for that, with a unique blended material that includes viscose from eucalyptus to deliver lasting durability with lightweight, buttery soft sun protection. The versatility of its clean look makes it right at home; hitting the beachside bar post-ride session and all-day comfort make it the perfect travel piece for days at the airport between surf destinations.
Welcoming Surf Photographer Christa Funk to the Team
Free Fly has just announced the newest addition to its growing ambassador team, Christa Funk. Funk, recognized as one of the best in-water surf photographers globally, brings years of experience and authenticity to the team as a water enthusiast and artist well-known for capturing the beauty of waves, surf breaks, and jaw-dropping moments experienced in big-wave surfing.
Hailing from a background as a competitive swimmer and later serving in the United States Coast Guard, Funk’s journey into the world of water photography is nothing short of inspiring. While stationed in Hawaii for active duty, she noticed fellow surfers donning helmets and cameras on the big surf breaks and decided to kickstart her career in surf photography. Besides growing her career in photography, she is also a well-respected all-round waterwoman with a love of surfing, spearfishing, and free diving.
“I’ve always had a passion for the water, but it wasn’t until my time in Hawaii that I saw the potential to merge my love for photography with the adrenaline rush of big wave surfing,” said Christa Funk. “Joining Free Fly’s ambassador team feels like the perfect alignment of values, as they share my joy for all water activities and endeavors in the ocean.” As Free Fly continues to grow its ambassador team, the addition of Christa Funk signifies the brand’s dedication to supporting athletes and creators who embody the spirit of adventure with an appreciation for the beauty of the natural world. “We’re delighted to welcome Christa Funk to the Free Fly family,” commented CEO Sterling Boyd. “Her remarkable journey from the Coast Guard to becoming a leading in-water photographer mirrors the resilience and passion we value at Free Fly. With Christa on board, we are excited to amplify our presence in water adventure communities.”
About Free Fly
Founded in 2011, Free Fly was born on the water and built for adventure. As a family-owned business based out of Charleston, South Carolina, Free Fly delivers buttery soft performance apparel crafted with natural fibers and sustainably sourced materials. They keep their styles simple, and that’s why they stand out, offering distraction-free comfort when you’re out there doing what you love. From guide-tested hoodies and gear to everyday sun protection, Free Fly delivers next-level comfort for all adventurers.