Mansted, Peter


Hot-tempered manager from Sydney, Australia; the first such full-time representative in the sport, employed by more than a dozen top pros in the 1980s and early '90s, including world champions Tom Carroll and Martin Potter. Mansted was 25 in 1982, and the sole employee of the ambitiously named Mansted Management Company, when he signed young Australian pro Tom Carroll as his first client. For 10 percent of Carroll's earnings (sponsorships as well as contest prize money), Mansted negotiated contracts, made travel arrangements, did media management, as served as informal coach. Mansted's bellowing confidence seemed to have a positive effect on Carroll, who won back-to-back world titles in 1983 and 1984.

Mansted then negotiated a contract between Carroll and Australian airline giant Qantas in 1985; three years later he pushed through a groundbreaking five-year, $1 million deal for Carroll with Quiksilver surfwear, and in doing so invented the concept of "100% sponsorship"—meaning that Quiksilver became Carroll's sole sponsor.

Mansted signed a number of other top pros, including Kim Mearig, Barton Lynch, Glen Winton, Simon Anderson, Gary Elkerton, and Richard Cram, although none of the relationships lasted more than a few months. As the redheaded Mansted himself acknowledged, by 1988 he'd became "the most hated man in pro surfing." Surf magazines were cut off from his clients if they wrote anything other than fawning articles; surf company CEOs frequently received hysterical letters and faxes regarding contractual irregularities—both real and imagined. "I interviewed him once," Australian surf journalist Tim Baker later wrote, "and sat stunned as he screamed into the tape recorder, red-faced and banging the coffee table with both hands."
Carroll left Mansted in early 1989, not long after the manager began feeding unauthorized stories about Carroll to the Sydney tabloids. Mansted (who had changed his last name to Colbert), then shifted his attention to Martin Potter, his one remaining client, who went on to win the 1989 world title. Less than a year later, Potter and Mansted split acrimoniously. Mansted then left pro surfing to manage Sydney-area rock bands.

Surfing magazine named Mansted as one of 50 "Surfing Leaders Who Are Changing Our Sport" in 1987. Five years later, Australia's Surfing Life magazine cited him as one of Australia's "50 Most Influential Surfers."