So you want a job in the surf industry? Well first off you want to be quick — because like old growth forests, white rhinos, hairy bushes and DVD shops, jobs are are disappearing at a rate of knots. For the persistent and the ambitious though, here’s a guide to the type of occupations that are out there, written by actual people in the industry with actual jobs.* These people have made it, and so can you!
Team Manager, Kurt Grist, 28
“I was a sponsored surfer, really talented, but just didn’t get the breaks I suppose. My job now mainly entails making sure the athletes have a hat on when they do interviews. That’s by far the most important aspect of my role. And hiring cars. And booking accommodation. The athletes have it so easy these days. I’m not complaining, but it is a thankless task and the surfers just don’t seem to listen. I also thought I would be doing a lot more surfing. However I am mainly in the office, hiring cars and booking accommodation.
Marcus Higganbotham, Advertising Sales Rep, 35
“I just love surfing and I love selling, so this is the perfect gig for me. And the free shit you get is amazing. I haven’t bought a legrope from a shop in eight years. Of course, you have to be pushy, especially in the current economic climate. In fact I pride myself on making small businesses cough up money they can’t really afford, for a return they very rarely receive. Oh and the company car is amazing. It has mag wheels and everything.”
Marketing Assistant, Kellie Brockenheim, 24
“I assist the Marketing Director at the brand. This means I do all the work basically. I do the admin, plan the events, run the social media strategy, pretty much everything except the budgets. My boss? Well all he does is the budgets and just travels to trade shows and competitions and drinks free booze. He’s mates with the MD. Look I’m happy here, and I really do live the brand values, but in an ideal world I’d like some recognition, and a pay rise and for me to do the budgets.”
Surf Coach, Richard Johns, 39
“After being a pro surfer for 15 years, it’s now about giving back to the next generation of surfers. Sure sometimes I feel like a glorified board carrier and I do spend 85 per cent of my time videoing kids on the beach, in the rain, but when we set goals and achieve them, sometimes I actually feel like I have earned the result more than them. In fact, I know I have. And anyway, with no qualifications, what the fuck else am I supposed to do?”
Surfing Judge, Jason Stansted, 28
“Look, you travel the world, go to amazing places and surf some incredible waves. Of course the other 97 per cent of the time, you are watching juniors. Or girls. Or longboarders. Or often junior, girl, longboarders who are surfing two foot mush for a week straight. Then after five years, if you make the proper tour, the surfers actively despise you. Also most of my pay goes on excess baggage. On the upside, it beats a job in a call centre. I think.”
Surf Journalist, Jake Nuember, 32
“I had always a real talent for words. In fact I would have been a proper journalist or even an author, if I had stuck at university for more than a year. Initially it was a dream job, all my mates were so jealous. I had magazine work, went on the odd boat trip and hungout with my heroes. I even went to Hawaii. Now though, the mags are dead, the internet has swallowed us up and social media has spat us out. You have to be online 24 hours a day and it’s all about the hits. I’m freelance now and it’s tough out there. I get 10 cents a word. By the way, will I get paid for this?”
* While these may be actual real jobs, they aren’t actually real people.