Name Mark Preece
Business Manly Longboard Co
Location 42 Sydney Rd, Manly

What’s your favourite place on the Northern Beaches?
South Steyne, Manly

Is there something about you that would surprise people?
I play bass guitar in a punk band, The McLarens.

What’s something everyone should do at least once?
Come into the Manly Longboard Co store and buy a t-shirt.

It’s Sunday afternoon, where do we find you?
Cheering on the boys if it’s a home game at Brookie Oval.

If you were down to your last $50 what would you spend it on?
A case of beer and a pack of chicken chips.


How did Manly Longboard happen?  How long have you been operating?
My parents opened their first shop at South Steyne in 1975, since then they had numerous shops ranging from bike shops, beach rentals, milk bar, travel agent and probably their most famous The Beach Hut, I grew up working in most of these businesses and in 1995 came up with the Manly Longboard Co concept.

Best business experience?
4 years ago legendary Hawaiian surfer Joey Cabell came into our store as he was a guest of the 100 year anniversary of Dukes Day festivities at Freshwater Beach. Since then we have bonded a friendship with him and his family and the highlight being last year when they invited us over to Hawaii for his birthday and Chart House restaurant 50th anniversary and we got to hang out with legends of the old Hawaiian guard such as Bill Hamilton, Paul Straugh, Jack McCoy to name a few, very surreal.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Ebaying! I am an avid collector (hoarder) of vintage and collectible surf wear and sporting memorabilia, particularly NRL related.  Have a massive secret stash and will one day list it.

Best part of your job or most enjoyable part of your job?
I still get a buzz seeing a Manly Longboard Co garment walking down the street as I have hand printed everyone one of them since day one and still do.

Most stressful part of your job?
Keeping up with printing demands!

Weirdest thing that has ever happened at work?
It was late afternoon and I was working in Mum and Dads Beach Hut swimwear shop in the early 80’s and Sir Les Patterson walked in the door wanting to use the change room and then walked out a little while later as Barry Humphries and obliged with an autograph on the way out.

What’s the best part of working on the Northern Beaches? Why’d you chose to work here?
It’s all I know.


What would you rate 10/10?
10am Manly Beach, blue skies, light offshore winds, there is no better place in the world.

What is the best advice you’ve received?
My dad told me “small fish are sweet”, in business this means look after your smallest customer as well as you do your biggest customer. Reason being, if you look after the small fish, they will keep feeding and potentially one day turn into a very big fish.

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?
Booked our annual vacation to Hawaii.

Greatest strength?
I work 7 days a week and am like the ever-ready battery, just keep going.

Greatest weakness?
Not saying no to people.

Does anything scare you?
Being upside-down.

What’s your most treasured possession?
I have two. My 1966 Vintage Burgandy Mustang Coupe which was a gift to self for all my hard work and the other a photo of me and Gerry Lopez which proudly hangs in the store.

What’s your idea of absolute happiness?
Perusing the beer isle at the Food Pantry in Waikiki.

Which two famous people would you choose to be stuck in a lift with?
Terry Randall and Jeff Thomson, my two favourite sportstars of all time.

What travel experiences is on your bucket list?
I have ticked off every place on my list that I have wanted to go. London and Hawaii are still my favourite go to places.

How do you switch off?
Watching an old Foxtel movie on a Saturday afternoon.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Chicken Twisties.

Who’s your personal hero?
Johnny (Lydon) Rotten from the Sex Pistols.

If you were an animal, what would you be?
My cat, eats, sleeps and gets pampered and loved.

How would you like to be remembered?
As a good bloke.