longboard at a surf store

Actual Jobs for Surfers That Pay

Have you thought about getting paid for surfing, and not by competing, but by simply sharing your knowledge of this one of the most rewarding sports out there?

If so, you’ve come to the right place as we’ll be overlooking some of the ways to make your dream come true and live the surf lifestyle, full-time.

surfers walking to a beach break

How often you’ll see such jobs being advertised?

Surf jobs are not as widespread on the job market but go much more word-to-mouth. It’s not that surf shops wouldn’t advertise their listings, but there are often a relative or a close friend of somebody who knows the staff. If you are thinking of scoring a surf job, you are better off reaching out personally, rather than waiting for the listings.


Is it a good idea to combine surfing with work?

Let’s all agree on the fact that most water-related folks are quite active and often intense. Whether it’ll be sailing, fishing, kayaking, or surfing – they seem to be quite laid back on the surface, but there’s an edgy side to them. The seas and water, in general, are a beautiful sight, and most water-loving folks have a determined personality.

This being said, they are the few who could pull off combining their most-loved hobby with their lifestyle. Do you know a surfer who’s gotten sick of surfing? It’s one of those few sports where your appetite will grow the more you do it. Thinking of surfing or waves all day long is something that easy to get addicted to, and there are probably lots of surfers out there who wouldn’t mind choosing their path as full-time surfers.


What are the best surfing jobs?

  • Surf Coach

One of the most popular jobs for surfers is to become a surfing coach. Yes, you are most likely going to spend the majority of time keeping an eye on others, often inexperienced surfers, but there are many coaches that have the accessibility for the latest gear, information, and awesome spots. There’s always a possibility to work on other surf schools over time and explore different spots and meet new people. Maybe one day you can become a surf coach on an Indo Surf Charter, at the mecca of surfing.

kids surfing on a beach


  • Surf Photographer

Although not as common and slightly away from the act of surfing itself, surf photographers are sought-after basically everywhere in the world. Who doesn’t love a good, high-quality photo of themselves surfing? Although the majority of surf photos are taken from the shore, there’s always a possibility to gear up and get in the water yourself. Those pictures taken from the waves are often worth much more than the ones from the shore or air.

Although surf photography can be quite demanding, the results are well worth the effort. At some special events or popular locations, a good photo can be sold for a reasonable price. Think of how much would you pay for a good photo that’s taken of you?

mirco surfing

  • Digital Nomad

One of the good sides of this fast technological advancement in today’s society is definitely the availability to work remotely. Whatever job you do – you can travel to a very good small surf town, set up your working station, and enjoy the surf after and before work. There are countless jobs that can be done over the internet, and many entry-level jobs as well. Jobs like copywriting/ghostwriting, social media advertising, translating, and many more where a well-marketed person could become a freelancer and offer their services worldwide.

surf written on a keyboard


  • Lifeguard

If you’d much rather prefer to spend the majority of daylight at the beach, and you happen to like and help people – lifeguarding might be the choice for you. Although you can’t surf the waves while working, you can do that after and before work, just grab the board with you. Another key benefit of being a surfer and a lifeguard is the presence of the beach lifestyle, it allows to meet many other like-minded people just like you. You can also take the camera with a telephoto lens with you and photograph waves or other surfers when there are no swimmers around.

man in orange hoodie standing on beach during daytime


  • Surf Shop Attendant

Working at a surf shop is another way to be close to the surf lifestyle. Meet other like-minded people, advise others on the latest gear and information, and of course – by being in the scene you are more likely to surf yourself.

longboard at a surf store


  • Surfboard Shaper

A job many surfers are only dreaming of, and only a few can pull off. Surfboard shaping is a job for lifelong wave-loving surfers. Although you’ll be spending most of the time shaping boards for others, it can be more fun than surfing itself, especially when you are tech-minded and a people-person. If you can’t find a way to start out as a surfboard shaper – there are many related fields such as kayak or canoe builders, or why not work at a boating company.

jed done surfboard shaping


  • Videographer

Similar to surf photography, today’s videographer has to travel a lot and shoot different subjects in order to diversify their portfolio. Although the surf movie community is not that large – and there are many indy-style surf movies released each year, a good videographer could work at some of the best surf spots around the world to offer their services.


Feel free to comment and add your thoughts!


Here’s why you shouldn’t hire a surfer

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I created Nulltuul to share my experience, research and analysis with other surf enthusiasts out there. If I'm not surfing on my travels - I like to photograph waves, surfers, and the surf lifestyle in general.

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