Surf Instructor Jobs
When was the last time you visited the coast? Did you enjoy the refreshing water? Did you hear the waves crashing onto the beach? Did you by any chance go surfing? Did you learn to surf with the help of a certified surf instructor?
Surf instructors teach people how to surf. Surfing takes place all over the world – Hawaii, Costa Rica, Australia, Mexico, Chile, California, South Africa, West Indies, Maldives, New Zealand, or Canada.
It originated in Polynesian culture and quickly took the world by storm. The feeling of riding a wave while standing on a board is amazing. People love it and as a surf instructor you get to share your passion and knowledge of this sport and culture.
In order to be a surf instructor, you need to be able to surf on a longboard or shortboard. Most surf instructors grow up surfing, but some learn later in life because the water, the sport, and the scene enchant them. Instructors need to understand and explain the movements, terminology, equipment, techniques, forecasts, and skills that are necessary to excel. It’s harder than it sounds.
Surf instructors show up for work with flip-flops and board shorts. In the morning, they meet clients who want to take surfing lessons. The first step is to assess the clients to see what level of surfer they are and what they want to learn that day. The majority of surfing guests are beginners so most teaching begins on small, consistent, mellow waves over sandy bottom breaks.
Generally, surf instructors don’t get to push it on their workdays. Don’t expect to be teaching at Pipeline in Oahu or Mavericks in Northern California. Guests will need help with wetsuits and picking a surfboard. Show them how to control the board, improve balance, paddle out, drop in, stand up, and position the board to maximize the enjoyment. Sometimes it takes a few days for beginners to catch a wave and ride it.
Surfing can be risky for both the instructor and the guest. Instructors must be ready for anything in the water – drowning, collisions, sea creatures, seabed, currents, or riptides. Surfing instructors should have first aid and rescue training to deal with any emergency.
In order to get hired as a surf instructor you should be a decent surfer. It’s a good idea to become certified with either the Academy of Surfing Instructors (ASI) or the National Surf Schools and Instructor Association (NSSIA). Find an accredited school and a certified instructor to teach you. Certification ensures quality, safety, and consistency – all things a guest will look for. Be sure to ask around to find out what certification is desirable where you want to work.
ASI offers several levels of certification – Surfing Instructor, Coach 1, Coach 2, Master Surfing Coach, and Trainer. To move up the ladder, you must pass exams, skills tests, and gain years of experience. The NSSIA certification track includes Apprentice, Instructor, Coach, Senior Instructor, and Master.
This track requires tests, background checks, and references. Both ASI and NSSIA are respected worldwide, but one may fit your needs better than the other.
To live the surfing lifestyle and teach the sport you love, plan on making $9 to $13 per hour or about $31,000 per year, plus tips. Of course pay depends on where you live and work. Try finding work at surf shops, surf schools, or surf camps. Also learn about surfboard shaper jobs on JobMonkey.
Surf instruction is a fantastic profession. Riding waves, catching sunrays, and sharing your passion is a great way to make a living. Just don’t forget to wear sunscreen.
Quick Facts About Surfing Instructor Jobs
Job Title: Surf Instructor
Office: Coasts all over the world
Description: Teach people how to surf
Certifications/Education: National Surf Schools and Instructors Association or Academy of Surfing Instructor Certifications
Necessary Skills: Ability to Surf
Potential Employers: Surf Shops, Surf Schools, Surf Camps
Pay: $9 to $13 per hour, $31,000 per year, depends on where you live.
Academy of Surfing Instructors
United States Lifesaving Association
National Surf Schools and Instructors Association
Surfing Great Britain
International Surfing Association