Need a summer job but don’t want to miss those pulsing south swells? Well here are five seasonal employment options that will afford you time to surf and hopefully feed yourself during those hot summer months. If you’re thrifty, you might even be able to stack enough cash with these jobs for a surf trip once the leaves begin to fall and the tourists have gone home.
If you aren’t an otherworldly talent on a surfboard, this might be your only shot at getting paid to go surfing. That’s right, from the beaches of Waikiki to the shores of San Diego and beyond, lifeguards all over the country have mandatory “exercise breaks” while on the clock to make sure that they’re in sound physical shape when they need to make their next rescue. However, getting one of these highly-coveted beachfront gigs isn’t easy because of the difficulty of the application and training process, as well as the heavy competition for a slot. The application process varies from place to place, but according to a former lifeguard in the City of San Diego (https://www.sandiego.gov/lifeguards/about/employ), you have to complete a 500 meter swim within 10 minutes, complete a weeklong lifesaving training course that takes place both in the classroom and at the beach, and then pass an ocean qualifying test that involves a timed two-mile beach run/swim. If you manage to ace that, seasonal guards make $16 to $21 per hour to look after beachgoers (and surf their brains out), with the potential to make much more (while still surfing their brains out) if they get selected for permanent status and rise through the ranks.
Surf camps litter the coastline of any surf heavy destination and are constantly in need of instructors. If you’ve never taught surfing, it’s actually quite easy. Surf instructing is especially lucrative because you get to spend 4-8 hours a day at the beach. If you’re looking to not only make money, but to get in shape, surf instructing is a full-body workout that will have you completely gassed by day’s end. Most camps require a simple water safety test, some require CPR certification and others will just tell you to get the lifeguard in the event of a serious injury or accident. The pay is usually pretty good (sometimes cash under the table but don’t tell the IRS), but if you’re new to a camp it can be hard to get hours versus the more senior instructors. Lastly, the job is a great way to learn people skills, especially if you’re in a camp full of kids. If you can wrangle 20 or more kids into not killing themselves–or each other–then you can handle anything. Dealing with concerned parents takes finesse and charm so be ready to deal with that. All in all, it’s a great job for the summer.
If you can mentally deal with having all the free time in the world while knowing that come evening it all comes to a crashing halt because you have to start slinging food to people who are free for the night while you aren’t, well, waiting on tables is about as good as it gets for a surfer in the summer. At the right place, you can earn enough to pay the bills working just three nights a week. Your mornings are shot if you’re at a restaurant that is open late, but you get gentleman’s hour all to yourself at most breaks. Not bad.
Pizza Delivery Driver:
Fear of a long term job commitment? Need enough cash to get you through those warm summer weekends? Then maybe the perfect summertime job for you is pizza delivery. It’s quick cash, low hours and as flexible, or flake-able, as you want to make it. If you’re crafty and know the clientele, you can make over $100 a night. Leave the long drive/little rewards pizzas for the other drivers to hastily deliver. Take the job one step further and become an ambassador of stoke, hook up the local legends with free day-old slices at your local spot’s parking lot to not only earn street cred, but also a couple extra waves in the lineup.
Remember in Scorsese’s film “Casino” when Ace (De Niro) breaks down the various Casino professions? Ace says, “…The valet parking job was such a money-maker that they [valets] had to pay off the hotel manager just to get the concession.” Ace is right about the job being a moneymaker but you won’t have to pay anyone off to get it. All you’ll need is a clean driving record and know how to drive stick. Most restaurants that have valet service are either on the beach or very near it, so you’ll always have a free beachfront parking spot waiting for you with no hassle during the crowded summertime tourist season. This also makes it easy to have a surf session before and/or after work depending on the shift. You’ll drive exotic cars, always have a wad of cash in your pocket and all the time in the world to surf your arms to noodles. The only downside is your friends will be blowing up your phone every 20 minutes for a surf report.