Whats a good surf related job? What kinds of jobs did you guys have while you were in highschool?

Lifeguard, City of Berkelely Rec and Parks, 1965 and '66.

Forced labor, Dad’s restaurant, 1962 to '66, starting at 8PM finishing around 11.

Restaurant work is good surf work. Afternoon and evening shifts, lots of food.

Contract boardmaking is a good surf job, surf when it’s good, work when it’s not. Actually surf anytime you like. And make yourself new boards all the time.

i’d have to say firefighter is probably the best surfer job (outside of anything surf related)…one day on / two days off leaves plenty of time for surfing.

Of course, best to be a trust funder!

Second best is to inherit a zillion dollars.

But what about for a highschooler? Not a fireman or sharpshooter in the Army yet.

Grocery store/supermarket jobs used to be good ones for students. Similar hours to food service but cleaner and with better pay, plus actual opportunity for advancement.

Building surfboards, or course! If the surf is going off, my bosses call me and tell me not to come to work but go surfing instead. To quote one well known shaper I glass for, “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t surf.”


while you were in highschool?

I was going for a job not too long ago… something like boats or the like than I relised holy fark I’ve gotta go to school on a weekday and when the weekend comes I’m not staying around to go to work, I could be surfing.

When in high school the best job surf-wise is unemployment.

However when I do have to work it’l be something good like Tripple JJJ host or Sander or Deckhand on a surf-charter etc.

Lifes to short to waste.


When I was in high school- gah, that was a long time ago. Pumping gas, night shift, gas station next door to the surf shop. Actually had that job before I started surfing and it was the proximity of the surf shop that got me into it. Was a 12-13 year old motorhead who changed paths and wound up …well, here.

Ahmmm…look, ‘surfer labor’ is just this side of undocumented aliens as regards pay and such. Surf biz doesn’t pay much, the same as being yacht crew doesn’t pay much, cos so many want to do it and so few openings. Lifeguarding is similar, and it can be miserable too, unless you get on as the newbie in an old, experienced crew.

If you really wanna chase the surfing way of life, here’s a screwy suggestion: learn to cook. Not just for yourself, but professionally. Working the line in a restaurant.

As a rule you work more tolerable hours than you would waiting tables for pretty fair money ( once you have learned something ), the conditions vary from hot humid sticky misery to pretty good, you’ll always eat okay and there is always demand for a competent line cook. You don’t need to buy your own tools, you can find work just about anywhere, especially resort areas in season, and if you go for college ( something I suggest strongly) you will be making real money while your peers are making minimum wage. You’d learn to handle yourself when everything goes to hell in a handcart, which is a surprisingly rare skill that’ll do you good no matter what you do. Plus learning to put some real importance to showing up on time.

Look around here - you see a few full time surf industry pros, some who are involved part time like me…and a helluva lot of bright, well-educated people with what ya might call more functional lives. And of the pros and the part-timers, I dunno if you could find one who doesn’t wish he had more formal education. Having a ‘real’ job with a real paycheck is seductive for somebody who hasn’t been out in the world much - don’t get hooked, better checks on the other side of a good education and a lot less heavy lifting.

Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now, but don’t make surfing the focus of your whole life until you have seen more of it.

hope that’s of use


I’ve gotta say, being homeschooled and waiting tables (started homeschooling last may, haven’t been doing it my whole life, so I’m not one of those weird homeschool kids)

I make about 250 a weekend, and that’s not including my 50 dollar paycheck on fridays. I work 8-3pm so I get 250 for working 14 hours. And 250 is just a very light average, I can sometimes get up to 350. So I technically make from 17.50 an hour to 25 bucs an hour, plus my 3.50 wage. I can only see one downside and that’s that I don’t get a break ever and you really have to hustle.

I used to work at McDonalds, before that I bred fish, before that I shaped a few surfboards, before that I washed cars and mowed lawns… my working started when I was 13 years old, I’m 17 now, payed for my own car (2002 Mitsubishi Lancer ES) payed for my insurance, Bought a few kites (kiteboarding) and etc.

I really enjoy the money from waiting tables, and it’s not as bad as washing dishes like I used to do or Drive through at MCD’s


my working started when I was 13 years old, I’m 17 now, payed for my own car (2002 Mitsubishi Lancer ES) payed for my insurance

…and you still can’t spell “PAID”. perhaps you should’ve spent a little more time in the books there, buddy.


my working started when I was 13 years old, I’m 17 now, payed for my own car (2002 Mitsubishi Lancer ES) payed for my insurance

…and you still can’t spell “PAID”. perhaps you should’ve spent a little more time in the books there, buddy.

Maybe he’s english.

I’m a manager with the evil empire and I employ quite a few young guys on my unloading crew, and stocking shelves on graveyard. Solid physical labor at a little better than the state minimum, guaranteed 40 hours. Not a bad first job. Time to surf the dawn patrol before bedtime.

When I was in high school, I worked at a 1-hour photo lab. Worked 11 am - 7pm all summer. Time to surf before work, still early enough to go out after…

The jobs are all out there. Don’t focus on what job it is, focus on the schedule you want and you’ll find a job to fit it. I didn’t know jack about makin pitchers :slight_smile:

I know a good education can help, but there are many people out there like myself, who did not enjoy school and study. Maybe I didn’t have the right teachers, I know that can make a big difference.

Getting out of school and getting a job was the biggest positive move I made in my life. I learned skills, earned money, got out of the box and into the world.

The work I like to do now is with the skills I have honed over the years. I could have studied more, but that would only help position me in a job I don’t really want to do.

I’m not puting down education, I just want people to realise that it’s not for everyone. If your priority is surfing, then a surf related job would be part of your education.

Over the years, many of my friends have accumulated a lot more than I do, houses, cars etc, and I don’t begrudge them that, they earned it.

While they were working, I was surfing, and for me that’s what it was all about.

There are endless opportunities out there, just choose your path. And if you are a real surfer, you will make sure that path eventually leads to the beach.


I found an U.S. online store where you could buy a 125 yards roll of aerialite for about 180 dlls, but lost their e-mail…


that his wages were earned in dollars rather than pounds sterling, i

sincerely doubt he’s british. although, i suppose oz could be a

possibility…but highly unlikely, as he’s never made any reference to

shoving a 9’2" up anyone’s clacker.

As a high schoole you are pretty much bound for min wage or slightly over unless you squeeze into something with tips.  I know a lot of people who valet parked, waiting tables pays better but even that would be tough to get into around here at HS age.  Personally it was dominoes pizza for me, paying off a DUI at 17. 

Later on in life emergency medicine is a pretty sweet gig. Long hours like fireman so you only work 3 days a week. Nurses, (I know, it would suck to be called a nurse by your buds and all) do very well. After 2 years in city college (costs next to nothing) you can immediately make $25-35 per hour. As a travelling nurse you do 13 week stints anywhere in the world you want and make $30-50/hr. Three days a week, anywhere you want (follow the swell by season), making $30-50/hr with a minimal input of education/money.

I work from 5am till 7.30am six days a week. The rest of the day I have free to surf or earn other money. Of course I have no evenings down the pub,a low wage (but better than you would expect due to the unsociable hours) and miss dawnies in summer but it is more than compensated by the surf time. Do you have Milkmen? I run about 3 miles every morning from the van to the doorstep dropping off pints of milkand load and unload crates of milk. Pick something that benefits your health either mental or physical and adapt you lifestyle to give priority to the important things.

Give the dood a brake! Won little speling eror and yu krucify him. We all have made mistakes! Maybe he wuz in a hurry!!!

In high school, I worked as busboy, which was great during the summer. I would surf all day and work the evenings. I also worked in a grocery store, which also gave me plenty of time to surf. The best job that I had was working for this small ocean-front condo. I worked five days a week from 8am-1pm (this was just a summer job). I would sweep sand from the side walks, pick a few weeds, and water some plants. Usually I took my board to work and if there were waves - I’d hit 'em right after I finished up. I worked in baggies, flip flops, and shirt optional. That was the day!

A good education can only help you in life, no matter how much you hate going to school at the time.

Working, living, family, and surfing can be a difficult thing to juggle. I know you are only in high school, but as you get older, remember to do what your heart tells you. If having lots of money and winning the “rat race” is important, then surfing will almost always play second fiddle. If that is what you want, there is nothing wrong with that. I can tell you from experience, money is not everything. After working for the past five years as a plant manager, making just under six figures, living away from the ocean (UTAH), I am making a career change and am moving back to the east coast to hopefully teach high school chemistry. Moving to be closer to family, friends, and the ocean - where I grew up. Oh, also will be living a much, much, much simpler life!

Did I get off subject?

I agree with Doc, working in the restaraunt business opens a wide variety of options with decent pay at a young age. In H.S. my first job was at a pizza joint. I worked part time from 4-9 PM four days a week and made enough to buy my own boards. Not only that but actually learned a bit about cooking. From there I moved to a local steakhouse where my skills increased and I was eating like a king every night. Made even more money and had plenty of time to surf. In college I worked as cook in a local restaraunt and made everything from burgers to cioppino. I would dawn patrol every morning, go to class, have a quick session before work, eat anything I wanted at work, get up the next morning and start all over again. Not a bad life. Not only that but think of all the pretty waitresses you get to date. Hell, I even married one!

My one regret is that I rejected an offer to go to a culinary institute in San Francisco and joined the Army instead. Now I’m a systems admin (computer tech) instead of a chef. However, I still love to cook and keep my family and friends very happy. :slight_smile:

If you hone your cooking skills now, you’ll be able to get a job anywhere in the world. You’ll have fun and find that generally the hours work well for a surfer.

Just my two cents worth.

Seeing that the high school helgies I know where all hiding out in my shaping room yesterday… On the run after water ballooning cars… Do you really need a job? If you don’t just surf. The more you surf, the better you’ll get. If you have to have a job, like as in, Mom and Dad said so, well then find some lame ass job, and minimize your time spent there. If you need the money, well… find a job. A job is a job at your age… it’s not like you have a lot of choices…surf shops, tables, sweeping floors… it’s all the same… it’s not like you’re a skilled laborer. How much is your time worth though? 5$ an hour? You can make that collecting aluminum cans in your spare time. Get my drift? Be creative! When I was your age I made my money by… Geez I had all kinds of schemes going… one of my staples though was buying and reselling used stuff to my friends and such, and also I did a lot of trade in my friends crap that they got from sponsers and such- I’ll give you five bucks for that tail pad- sorta thing, then selling it to the kid at school for 20… shit I wasn’t making much money… and I wasn’t spending any either. I was riding beat up, discarded boards, and wearing wetsuits with holes in them. I was riding my bicycle to school, eating sack lunches and never going out. No girlfriend, no car, no nothing. Just surfing with my friends. Hanging out in my spare time, always watching this cool older shaper I knew. And of course… I was water ballooning cars with my friends. Wouldn’t trade my high school years for anything either. -Carl