Surf's down, but we're gettin' up regardless! Video and photos: Sam Moody
Every (Financially) Struggling Surfer Needs To Try This App
LetsSurf pays you to shred!
It’s time that I share a semi-embarrassing secret.
Despite the life of excess we portray on the internet, with amply stocked quivers, bougie evening soirées, and scissor-lift reporting, surf writers are not exactly raking in the cash.
There are seemingly infinite perks to the occupation we have chosen, but a burgeoning bank account is not one of them.
And we’re okay with that. It’s what we signed up for. But we’re also not opposed to chasing a few side dollars if and when the opportunity presents itself.
As far as the Stab team goes, Jake Embrey uses his psychology degree to read the palms of wealthy widows in Bondi. Morgan Williamson models boutique waist-wear, oftentimes shirtless. Even our Chief Editor runs a small-time Stetson hat hustle, which is rumored to be huge amongst band geeks and residents of Topanga Canyon.
And me, well, I have no useful skills or knowledge beyond the confines of surf, so my supplemental income is born of foam and empty promises.
That’s right, I’m a freelance surf coach/instructor!
And this I can tell you from experience: The main struggle of the freelance surf coach/instructor is finding a steady stream of clients.
Eryn, the model-client!
Local surf shops are no help, as they prefer to keep tourist dollars for themselves. Unless you want to risk being kidnapped and tortured, Craigslist isn’t ideal either. And assuming that you, like us, are not independently famous on the internet, social media posting is hardly ever fruitful.
So your success essentially comes down to word-of-mouth referrals, and unless you’ve been living and surfing within a particular coastal enclave for over a decade, it’s nearly impossible to reach the top of anyone’s mental rolodex.
As a result, I’ve struggled to keep my bank account bustling, causing this Millenial to miss out on countless surf trips, dinners out, and even public holidays.
Once, on Valentine’s Day, I resorted to fabricating a chocolate and flower allergy just to avoid buying my date any superfluous gifts. I was sent home without so much as a peck on the cheek and rightfully so.
Long story short, lacking disposable income is real blocker in life, phallically and otherwise.
Are you broke and tired of forgoing socialite opportunities such as this? Keep reading!
Which explains why I was so emotionally a-tingle when an email from the mysterious LetsSurf entered my inbox, promising cash if I would just join their crew as a “Surf Buddy”.
After snooping around the LetsSurf site, I discovered that “Surf Buddy” actually meant part-time coach/instructor.
But LetsSurf wasn’t trying to “hire” me, per se. Rather, they wanted me to sign up for their online platform, which functions like Rover (an independent dog-walking app) for surf sessions.
"Yeah, yeah, just like... go across that section there and keep your knees bent!"
Say that Jane from Kansas took a trip to San Diego and, while there, decided she wanted to try surfing.
Rather than going online to find a local surf camp, which would force her to choose between learning alongside hordes of icky children in a group lesson or paying an exorbitant fee to take a private lesson with a nameless, faceless Joe, Jane could simply open her LetsSurf app and find Surf Buddies available near her current location.
Every Buddy has a profile that displays a personal photo, their age, surfing experience, and hourly rate, which allows Jane to choose the Buddy that best tickles her fancy.
Depending on availability, Jane’s session could happen within minutes of her opening the app, which is significantly more efficient than book-in-advance surf schools.
All of which led me to the realization: I could be Jane’s buddy!
So I signed up immediately.
Stoke cannot be measured in inches and feet!
As a Surf Buddy I was able to determine my own hourly rate, which is great, because in times of financial necessity I can drop my price to a desperate $20 and in moments of egocentrism I can hike it up to $75 or more. The fact that it’s an autonomous and self-regulating market makes LetsSurf extra enticing for the part-time laborer.
Settling for a respectable $50/hr., I eventually received my first session request from a guy named John.
After going over a few session details, including John’s experience level (beginner), his equipment needs (surfboard and wetsuit), and the precise time and location of our rendezvous (Moonlight, 3 pm), I accepted the request and met him later that afternoon.
Following the session, which went rather swimmingly if you catch my drift (surf puns!), I checked my LetsSurf app and saw that the payment of $40 had been transferred to my account.
As I mentioned earlier the session’s price was $50, but of course LetsSurf needs to make a little something for the effort, so Surf Buddies reap 80% of what they sow – a deal that even The Donald would approve of.
We surfed, she smiled, I got paid!
My next guest was the lovely Eryn – a longboarder from Malibu who you’ll see dicing it up on her strawberry-cream fish above.
While already a semi-experienced surfer, Eryn wanted to work on reading waves and picking lines on her shorter board, which we attempted to achieve in the piddly LA conditions.
How much knowledge she actually gained from the session remains untold, but Eryn and I had an enjoyable interpersonal experience via an app and the words “Netflix and chill” were used not once. That’s gotta count for something.
So if you, like me, have a wealth of surfing knowledge but a dearth of dollars and cents, it might also behoove you to become a LetsSurf Buddy. This app allows you to work when you want, where you want, and for however much money you want.
It would be financially negligent not to join.
Click here to sign up as a Surf Buddy, or find the LetsSurf app on your handheld brain grenade.