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a post by mike mantalos

One interesting aspect of the surf blogosphere for me has been interacting with a group of characters that reminds me of my buddies back home. Our conversations on flat days at home were funny on levels that I never thought could be duplicated. Every personality celebrated it’s own quirks and that allowed the discourse to meander without any boundaries.
Maybe the fun on the beach was a verbal exercise that equated the same experience we felt in the water. Everyone just does what it is that they find amusement in.

I’ve found the blog narrative has not only replaced the fun we had on the beach, but has expanded that comedy with a more diverse social sampling.

As some of you know, one commenter and I had a running war at a notorious blog. It was a classic confrontation between what is labeled conservative and what has succumbed to being called liberal. While most of humanity does not lie in either camp fully, the true puppet masters of our world create the diversion of disharmony amongst the sheep to keep those sheep from coalescing against the universal enemy.

If you think about it, it’s a game plan right out of organized religions handbook.

But I digress.

My blog nemesis and I have shared some ugly times, though I maintain that my effort was educational.  As many in education know, if you clown someone hard enough, often enough, they’ll surely see your side of the equation.

Or not.

Funny thing is, off the computer we’ve become friends.

Unfortunately, the concept that blog commenting is free from civility on some sites is confusing to my “enemy”.  As a sick human, that makes it even funnier for me. And unlike the guys on my old beach, satire and veiled humor isn’t so easy to recognize online.

This blog “enemy” of mine has also pissed off a lot of other guys. There have been idle threats of parking lot confrontations and water borne violence that are as funny as their premises.

In college, we had a guy named Gordon. Gordon was a geek. A surf Geek. He could be embarrassing socially, but was the first guy to volunteer to help you move or drive you to the airport. One night at a party, a “cool” guy from a lame fraternity who was intimidated by our crowd tried to gain some credibility by joining in on the clowning of Gordon.

I stopped half way through a brilliant insult of Gordon to look the frat boy in the eyes and seared one sentence through his soon to be departed memory.

“Gordon may be a geek, but he’s our geek”

The party stopped and Gordon never knew how many people loved him more than at that moment the clowning stopped.

Gordon died of a massive heart attack after surfing 4 mile some years later and we all miss him. I wish that I had been there to surf with him one last time. He was always so happy.

Today, I got a call from my blog adversary. The lightness in his voice was telling and I detected his true happiness with his life.  He had made some tough decisions and left his home in search of greener ($) pastures, though he knew the compromise to his surfing was at great risk. After spending so much time chasing money away from his heart, he returned to his island a broken man.

But his voice is no longer broken. The urgency is gone and his resignation to a slower pace includes daily surfing that I would kill for.  There, on a crowded island blessed with surf, my friend is finding his footing and living his dream.

He asked this morning if I would be bummed to hear about his experience considering the sad state of this winter here in Cali. Shit, I need help with my depression and it’s not as if him scoring is keeping me from surfing. I told him to bring it on and tell me a tale.

5 minutes later, I knew that he was truly happy. He was surfing fun waves and allowing life to unfold without forcing it.

It seems like I’m forcing everything and not a lot is working.  And I’m only where I am because of money. All my bullshit is literally whipping back into my face as I realize that Mark is having more fun than I am.

And isn’t that what it’s all about?

I’m putting my 3 mil on and going for a body surf with my puppy Cooper. I have to find the simple pleasures in my life again to remain pure with myself. Yeah, I could work until I pass out tonight, but I’ll never remember any of it like I will the smile on Coopies face as she gets mauled in the shorebreak.

Mark also taught me that all the stupid enemies I may confront over a keyboard are actually closer to me in lifestyle and perspective than 99% of the world. We’re all just extended cousins fighting for evaporating resources, but our essence is eerily similar. I’d probably even enjoy surfing with Nick Carroll, odd as that might read.

Regardless, some may think that Mark is a geek, but he’s our geek and he’s scoring good surf.


71 Comments Post a comment
  1. Buccaneer #

    Ode to Mark….

    Tis a thing of beauty.


    January 19, 2012
  2. Davo's Liver #

    You two should get a room already.

    January 19, 2012
  3. I digress.. I digress..

    everything now a days is about a fucking digression..

    I wonder when all this started..

    fuck this shit..

    I digress..

    January 19, 2012
  4. Buccaneer #

    Just fucking with ya Mike.

    Your story about the geek friend reminds me of a guy we knew around the local spots that was, for the most part a pain in the ass.
    But he put in his time and was tolerated.
    Some blow-in came through one day and started paddleing around our geek friend and snagging waves.
    Well we blocked the blow-in and let our geek friend get his share untill the blow-in got wise.
    He may have been a human bouy, but he was our human bouy.
    Sadly he had a heart attack in the line-up a couple of months ago and won’t ever be our bouy again.

    January 19, 2012
  5. I miss Mark.

    January 19, 2012
  6. Buccaneer #


    Mark has been lurking around at Rottmouths old grave lately.

    I think he just checked in to quit again or something.

    January 19, 2012
  7. Mark was an asshole.

    But he was OUR asshole.

    And he had some all-time comments on my blog, Nugable and PostSurf… ALL-FUCKIN’ Time. His stories about the old days on the North Shore (one in particular about Laird jumping out of a limo that was swooping into Foodland, and as he exited, Laird’s hair maintained its perfect posture).

    Mark needs to write those stories down so his kids can remember them. Send them to Pete, Dumbth Chronicles, or someone to edit (Mark is no professional writer) and publish that stuff.

    Reading the voice of the common surfer vs. a propogandist writing for The Industry is a million times more interesting.

    Keep up the good work Mike, Pete, and the lot of ya rat bastids.

    January 19, 2012
  8. here we bloody go again, one word from mantalos and the rest of you bad bastards and I’m a champion on stats .. the people you meet when you don’t have a shotgun!

    January 19, 2012
  9. Davo's Liver #

    PB – You’re headed for one of those “there goes the neighborhood” experiences. We’ll bring the party favors, I’m afriad you’ll be stuck with the cleanup.

    January 19, 2012
  10. Buccaneer #


    Don’t shoot!!

    We’re just the piano players!!

    January 19, 2012
  11. Hippy #

    that was a good album

    January 19, 2012
  12. Buccaneer #

    And I,at least, have been reading if not commenting.

    So keep it up.

    January 19, 2012
  13. Davo's Liver #

    And yeah, everyone has a Mark somewhere in their closet. I too would like to see some of Mark’s experiences on the rock put to words. What happened in the basement in Alabama not so much.

    January 19, 2012
  14. Buccaneer #

    Hippy, don’t get me started on Elton.

    I did see his debut at the Troubadour in 1970 and it was one of the craziest rock blowouts I’ve seen. And I have seen a few.Including Jerry Lee Lewis in his prime who Elton was obviously emulating.

    A couple good years after that and it was over for Elton.

    January 19, 2012
  15. mark #

    Not a professional writer eh Brew? Have another drink old man and down some more pills.You are no longer relevant now that your blog is done and all you do is gossip like a little girl on twatter with comments that are even more boring than an Elton john-Madonna bitch slap fight.

    Anyway life on the Rock has been good lately. 5 to 8 with light and variable wind conditions and mostly westerly swell direction for over a month straight. That week of Da Hui Backdoor Shootout was bookended by identical conditions the week before and the week after. I am literally as surfed out as can be and looking forward to a break so I can make some car deals and pay some bills. I’m not a 99 week unemployment guy like buc and Chris nor did I inherit a Beverly Hills flower business like Mike.

    And btw I miss you too Seaman. Coolest guy I met on the web.

    January 19, 2012
  16. mark #

    And btw Blas it wasn’t a limo it was a black Lincoln Continental sedan and it was at Kammies market ( R.I.P. in loving memory ).

    But his hair WAS perfect.

    January 19, 2012
    • See… classic… Mark, we all love you in a very non-heterosexual way. Hit the keyboard when the swells subside, and if you see Jamie O, tell him I said hi. Had a nice little chat with the bloke the other night.

      The stories that man can tell…

      January 19, 2012
  17. Hippy #

    built my own ship Mark and it’s sailing along on this flat lake called pacific.

    January 19, 2012
  18. Hippy #

    Madman across the water Bucc, he was dead by the next album.

    January 19, 2012
  19. Mark, the man. the myth. The legion… Putting that drunken, pilled up, meaningless old fart blast, Rottkamp, right in his place.

    Mike, take a lesson from Mark. Put in the hard yards. Make some bank. And go surfing, you mushroomed out parking lot kookmeyer. 😉


    January 19, 2012
  20. Surprised Roller can make a comment with the Wiki lockout in full force.

    January 19, 2012
  21. Not a lockout, stained seaman slurper,….

    Wiki is pau for the day in protest of farking left wing POLITICIANS being douchenozzles.

    Yes, politicians… Something that’s somehow gone missing from those barney parking lot OWIEs that Rottkamp loves so much.

    January 19, 2012
  22. – and like an apparition of a mighty tempest, they wafted away ..

    January 19, 2012
  23. Jamon Bagel #

    Actually the Roller wafted them away. Happens every time. The guy’s like a fart in a diving bell.

    January 20, 2012
    • Mr. Burns #


      January 20, 2012
  24. Jamon Bagel #

    P.S., nice post, Mike. With one exception, this has been a solid crew for years….

    January 20, 2012
  25. smyrnajeff #

    This seems like a decent spot. Maybe i’ll hang for awhile.

    January 20, 2012
  26. Hippy #

    PB…. where are your locals?

    did Roller run them off before he commented?

    January 20, 2012
  27. Hippy Mike,

    It is a tragedy really how you failed to even mention one of the the hugest part of the whole Hawai’i Mark experience!!!

    Sure, he did what any productive person had to do in the latest recession past,.. in order to feed and clothe his famlia, he moved to where the jobs were, Alabama.

    The one thing that you forgot to mention is, one of the most massive wins that will go down in history,..

    The absolute blowout of the LSU Tigers by Mark’s beloved sweet home Alabama,… Crimson Tide.

    This. Was. Historical…. and Mark must be frothing forevas!

    That memory of yours, Mike…. you’re slippin’ Joe, you’re slippin’.

    January 20, 2012
  28. Davo's Liver #

    Don’t say you weren’t warned Pete. The roller is the internet poster version of the Dutch Rudder.

    January 20, 2012
  29. roller is ok davo, he’s just misunderstood – and I got plenty locals hippy (somewhere) .. and splendid to have to here jeff. we do poetry on mondays, happy to share.

    January 20, 2012
  30. Jamon Bagel #

    DL, you’re almost right. Now if you’d said, “the perpetual, painful, doesn’t-stop-even-when-the-chafing-is-unbearable Dutch Rudder,” you’d have been in the ballpark..

    January 20, 2012
  31. I’ve often wondered the pros and cons of having a blogging adversary..

    Food for the soul.

    Sorry to hear about your friend.

    January 20, 2012
  32. While the couple of kookmeyers up in here are busy fellating each other, too ghey to actually surf, the news world marches on.

    “His father was a liberal, educated Black man”…


    January 20, 2012
  33. mark #


    Love you like a brother and I dislike far left weirdo’s as much as you but I am pretty sure that the PIPA bill was introduced by a republican congressman from Texas.

    Hey Pete what do you Aussies think about our American political system? It seems to me we are fucked. The republican candidates are all fatally flawed yet the Obama administration is so in bed with the national news media that all of their flaws are covered up so the average American dolt doesn’t know them until it is too late.

    Anyway seems to me the best thing to do is hunker down, take care of my loved ones the best I can and surf the North Shore as much as possible.

    January 21, 2012
    • Rolls
      All we ever get is bad news about the US so nobody bothers thinking about it too much – and our politicians are all deadbeats with their hands out so we just wait for that thing that comes round to come around.

      January 21, 2012
  34. mark #


    The state of Alabama has produced the past three national college football champions ( Bama,Auburn and Bama ) and a fairly decent 48 year old screwfoot who can still hang in 8 foot Country conditions, 10 foot when he’s been sober for a few weeks and on point and down to only 6 foot during Heineken-Vicoden-bud benders.

    Must be somethin in the moonshine down there.

    January 21, 2012
  35. Buccaneer #

    Who is the republican alternative??

    Yeah, I thought so.

    January 21, 2012
  36. mark #

    I’m as disillusioned as you Buc.

    But can you answer one question for me? When President Obama promised to post all bills online for 5 days, in their entirety, before congress voted on them and then completed the stimulus bill around 2 pm eastern time on a Thursday afternoon and required that Congress vote on it by noon Friday were you upset? Regardless of whether it did or did not benefit you were you upset?

    Close to a TRILLION dollars of our money. Me and you. Basically funneled directly to public employee unions who were in large part responsible for Obama being elected and no one who voted had read the bill and none of us, the people of America, knew what was in it. Obama said it was an emergency and there was no time to wait not even FIVE days. Do you agree with that? How many horrific events in history have gone down because the government told us it was an emergency and there was no time to wait? The Iraq war maybe?

    You live in Oceanside right? Are you familiar with the retirement plans of Oceanside city workers? People who get their paychecks from YOU. It is fucking CRIMINAL. And naturally when you have these giant blocs of voters who are sucking on the teet of the taxpayers with sweet deals that most private companies, especially in today’s economic climate, would never consider then they are going to vote fort\ the party that keeps the drinks flowing right?

    I am glad that I am heading down the back end of life with all the bullshit and LIES spewing from both parties but I worry for my daughters future. I wonder if Matt Bransons Cock Ring can put me and the family up in his shed if the shit hits the fan up here?

    Only problem is jumping off those damn rocks at the Ox.

    January 21, 2012
  37. mark #

    And why is Congress exempt from insider trading laws? And the new health care law? I’ve read the reasons they spew but the arguments are fuckin WEAK. Somethings gotta change and it seems as clear as the water at Ke Iki beach on a windless July morning that President Obama wasn’t being forthright when he was on the campaign trail.

    January 21, 2012
  38. mark #

    Also a shout out to Pete for the chance to speak. You are a class act mate unlike the Nazi over at Dumbth Chronicles that blocked me.

    January 21, 2012
  39. Mark,

    That Dumbth dipshite is blocking people from commenting? Figures….. Leftwingers are all always about blocking out competing opinions and or comments. It gets in the way of their bullshit agenda.

    Hells bells, Even the ASP and all of the corporate sponsors who pay every single pro, from touring guys like BKS, to Rottkamps fav-o-rite tog floggers JOB and Dane R, (Red Bull, Monster Beverages, Quiksilver, Vans/VF Corp), do not block out people with opposing opines.

    As to the next President, that guy who cut his teeth in the world of investment capital would be just fine with me….

    OMG. Obama must go.

    January 21, 2012
  40. Mark, i’ve met him once or twice thru a mutual friend, but do you know that Russian American car salesman named Alex?

    January 21, 2012
  41. I live for the day I can get out of the city. Now I have to chase the dollars, but one day, one day………………

    January 21, 2012
  42. Davo's Liver #

    Again, don’t say you weren’t warned Pete. You invite a pair of poorly trained primates in your house and there’s gonna be some feces to clean off the walls.

    January 21, 2012
    • fair enough davo, I don’t mind ’em as long as they get their punctuation right – even shit throwers have a technique.

      January 21, 2012
      • Hippy #

        I love bowesy doesn’t mind the shit, just throw it in formal english.

        civilized digression.

        January 21, 2012
  43. So right… Back in the day, before old rottkamp’s douche pile of a site ground to its inevitable dead end, all Dave’s blotted liver ever posted up was, meaningless, inane, kiss ass pap.

    Burned out losers full of caca de caballo?… Yup, Some things never change.

    “What is all this “bro” shit anyway”?

    January 21, 2012
  44. Speaking of digression, Mike… but, how did you farking miss the fact that Mark’s second home Alabama absolutely stuffed all, absolutely blowing out and embarrassing LSU in the National Title game?

    Could it be due to those “macho” cargo short, as well as those ghey turquoise togs you roll around town in?

    January 21, 2012
  45. Hippy #

    Burro, I have no idea what you’re talking bout…. but as for Bama Tide.

    Mark knows so precious little about sports, let alone football, that I chose not to expose one of his other weaknesses. It was like tip toeing through a 300 lb humpty dumpty who fell. Eggshells everywhere, so I mentioned my dog for a happier ending.

    January 21, 2012
  46. mark #

    @ Mike

    I know enough about sports to realize your Bears fuckin SUCK.

    January 21, 2012
  47. ~ america sleeps ~

    and a calm is upon the waters, even the unruly lay quiet .. comatose even.

    January 21, 2012
    • Davo's Liver #

      Some of america knows better.

      January 21, 2012
  48. Buccaneer #

    Ya killed it!!
    I have never seen a better takedown of some fuckwit when you called out Mike on those suck ass Bears.
    So important and relevant to whats going on.
    Have a drink have a drive go out and see what you can find.
    Old song, you might not get it.

    January 21, 2012
  49. Hippy #

    Hey davo, think we should kick in and get Petey a cleaning lady.

    you guys left this place a mess.

    January 22, 2012
    • Davo's Liver #

      You started it.

      January 22, 2012
    • That can be easy fixed hipster .. look! All tidy now

      January 22, 2012
      • Davo's Liver #

        You give it the ‘ol surf club after party cleanup didja?

        January 22, 2012
  50. Hippie Mikie and his dog.

    Funny thing about Cooper, these days Coops gets in the water FAR more often than Mike ever does.

    But not to worry. I’m working on a prototype of a product that will get him back in the surf…

    Currently converting one of those ball tossing tools for pets to hold sacks of mushrooms and a huge spliff, so as to punt them out in the lineup, just to get old Mikie off the sofa, and back in the water on a regular basis.



    January 22, 2012
  51. Yea Hippie Mike,

    Keep rolling….

    Just. A. Little. Bit. Further.

    And you’re ALMOST, back in the water!


    January 22, 2012
  52. Hippy #

    bark bark

    January 22, 2012
  53. mark #

    @Roller @ 3 comments ago ( since Pete doesn’t put exact times of comments up )

    Your funniest comment since the heyday of Taj’s Burro.

    January 22, 2012
  54. mark #

    Oh and one more thing. Country 5 to 7 w 8 foot sets today. Ultra clean w 15 mph easterly trades and hot, clear weather and aquarium water.

    Perhaps this is the level of never ending perfection that Shearer was raving about last April-May at the Ox? Minus the hairy pitted Sheila’s of course.

    January 22, 2012
  55. Not even thinking of interrupting here!

    January 22, 2012
    • It’s like an endless Friday night at the Rails PK – the bastards never go home

      January 22, 2012
  56. mark #


    Kim Clijsters channels her inner A.I. in an EPIC rally against Li Na down 4 match points to comeback and win in the quarters at the Austrailian Open.

    Tremendous theatre!

    January 23, 2012
  57. mark #

    My bad 4th round not quarters.

    Tennis is a great sport!

    January 23, 2012
  58. Hippy #

    Peter, Mark’s been banned from every other blog, so when we clear out we may leave one behind….

    and he rarely reads the posts, so his comments tend to be out of sorts with the narrative, but you’ll sure know what’s on his mind that exact second.

    please feed him twice a day and don’t allow him alcohol until 5PM PST. He’s housebroken, but just barely so if he’s scratching at the door…..

    January 23, 2012
    • yeah, I know mate – but Mantalos wrote the post about him so he’s got a right to chuck a few words in – it’s all related that way

      January 23, 2012
  59. Mark,


    What ‘shroomed up hippie mike does not realize is whether pro surfing is structured like tennis or not, after burning thru every conceivable sponsor during his days, the only brand left for old Bobo Martinez was this FTW,.. Failed Touring Washout.

    In this day and age of the new, and similar to K-Mart, old Bob Mart could not compute…. and could not compete.

    Enjoy the Oz Open…. the start of the ASP’s Snapper event is right around the corner.

    January 23, 2012
  60. Hippie mike,


    Funny. Your nemesis… He actually surfs.


    Maybe in your next shaticale, you can tell us.

    How it ended.


    January 24, 2012

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