Happy Battle Surf Company
Mark Polintan grew up on his grandparents’ pineapple farm in Tarlac City, Philippines. At a young age, his parents reminded him that ‘life is a battle, and to remain happy’. Retaining this philosophy on life has allowed him to stay measured, and reach many of the goals he aspired to. This philosophy resonated with him as he was developing the brand for his new business, Happy Battle Surf Co. The pineapple logo he selected symbolizes the hard work he continues to tackle, with gusto.
Growing up in the Philippines, Mark would spend time visiting his family in Ilocos Norte, a popular surfing destination. He and his cousins enjoyed boogey boarding, since going out and buying a surf board wasn’t an option, Mark and his peers would attempt to make them out of wood scraps. Here and there, surfers from abroad would leave their boards behind, which enabled locals to evolve into surfers. Mark was only able to surf one day a week, when it was his turn with the board. Now, to give back, Mark partners with Returning Wave, a San Francisco based non-profit that sends used surfboards to schools in the Philippines.
After graduating High School, Mark moved to New York City and went on to get his Bachelor’s degree in accounting. After living in the City, and taking advantage of the limited surfing out in Rockaway Beach and Long Beach, Mark felt his life became too routine. For a change of pace, he and his wife decided to relocate to San Diego in 2012.
Connecting his passion for surfing with his expertise in accounting, Mark was able to find work as a bookkeeper for local shapers in San Diego. He quickly noticed his client’s boards would often sit in a surf shop for months, not selling. Mark’s appreciation for the boards enabled him to see a potentially untapped market for the boards and decided to take on a new role as a salesman.
He began by selling his client’s surfboards and some used boards online and in the back of his van. He started in a small studio apartment in Clairemont then quickly moved to a bigger space with a garage. As he imagined, the demand was strong, and pretty soon his garage unit didn’t cut it. On a journey to find a larger warehouse, he kept passing by the corner building at Winona and El Cajon Blvd, noticing the empty storefront. Having previously been occupied by an iconic business, Trophy Motorcycle’s, Mark saw an opportunity once again, and last June he opened the doors for his new business, Happy Battle Surf Co.
Happy Battle Surf Co proudly specializes in surfboards handcrafted exclusively by local shapers. Not only has he widened the market for the shapers in San Diego, he has also expanded their reach internationally. Mark sells many of the boards abroad, with a noticeable consumer base in Japan. Recently, he has extended his own brand, creating fins and accessories for a day at the beach. Even if you’re not a surfer, it is a pleasure to get to know local business owners as friendly as Mark, who will gladly welcome anyone into his chill, island vibe surf shop.