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WORK INFO AND TIPS

FIRST JOBS IN THE SURF INDUSTRY

A key question for many people wanting to make a career out of their obsession for boardsports is ‘how do I break into the surf industry?’ What skills do I need? How do I get experience? Where do I start? To find out, we asked some of the biggest names at brands like Rip Curl, Billabong, Creatures of Leisure and more where they started (and where they headed to next). Here are their answers. You’ll start to see a pattern emerge for sure. Some great insight for those wanting to get their foot in the door, but are wondering which door that foot actually needs to be wedged into. These are your most common first jobs in the surf industry. 

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Brooke Farris B+W

RIP CURL

CEO

BROOKE FARRIS

I’d say my first break in the surf industry came at the Margaret River Pro. When I wasn’t surfing in the event, I was working in the Media Centre as a Media Assistant to Mandy McKinnon and Jesse Faen. Around this same time, I started working on the floor selling surf goods at Star Surf and Skate in Murray Street, Perth. 

As for where it lead me next… 

Fascinatingly around the world and finding myself ghost-writing articles for Layne Beachley across the Hawaiian Winter. 

CREATURES OF LEISURE

GLOBAL DIRECTOR OF BRAND AND PRODUCT

beau campi

While working in the Billabong retail store, I finished a Diploma of Graphic Art straight out of school. Once I got my certificate, I walked into Billabong’s GM office and enthusiastically offered to do any job in the design department. 

I started off as a junior which led to designing the most successful boardshorts with the craziest team riders. 

Now, I lead the Creatures of Leisure brand globally.

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BG-Portrait

SKULLCANDY

CEO

brian garofalow

Starting out, I had a couple jobs at a skate and a snowboard shop. But my first job on the brand side after university was in marketing at Sole Technology.

I got my foot in the door there as I had met a sales manager who helped me out when I was able to do an internship at Reef Brazil where he previously worked the Summer before. It was a big lesson for me in showing up, working hard and doing right by people that count on you.

The relationships built at that internship opened so many doors for me through my career and I still am lucky enough to have many of them as friends today.

RIP CURL

GLOBAL MARKETING PRODUCTION MANAGER

JOHNNY HAWKEN

My start was through retail. I worked in a bunch of surf shops – Outthere Surfboards, Thunder Brothers, Surfworld Museum, Jetty Surf, Rip Curl, and Quiksilver.

I did a bit of work experience at Rip Curl while I was at uni and in the store. The next role outside of retail was when I was working at Quiky and got asked via Pin (Craig Stevenson) to be a rep for Potts Agency for Quiksilver.

I’ve had a bunch of roles since, but currently the Global Marketing Production Manager for Rip Curl.

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by JULIAN SMITH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10255615a)
Johnny Hawken carves off the top at Winkipop next to Bells Beach, south of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 29 May 2019. A cold front sweeping across has bought huge swells, wind rain and snow on the coldest May day since 2012.
Surfers flock to Bells Beach in Melbourne to catch big waves, Australia - 29 May 2019
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LIBERATED BRANDS

MARKETING MANAGER - BILLABONG & RVCA

STEVE ASMUS

After realising the pro surfer dream was not feasible, I chased Bainy down until I landed a job in the marketing team at O’Neill. This ended up as a part-time role while completing my bachelor’s degree, which transitioned into a full-time position managing athletes and helping open O’Neill’s first retail store.

In 2016, I relocated to the Gold Coast to work as a marketing coordinator at Billabong. From there I progressed to senior marketing executive and marketing manager roles.

Today, eight years later, I am the Marketing Manager of Billabong, RVCA, and Kustom in South Pacific at Liberated Brands. And am still just as passionate and in love with the surf industry as I was as an 18 year old pestering his way into his dream job… 

Crush Your Career (instead of your dreams)

CURRENT OPENINGS

  • Db

    Digital Coordinator
    Full Time

  • HUF

    Junior Product Developer
    Full Time

  • Backcountry

    Social Media Manager
    Full Time

  • Vans

    Brand Social & Community Manager
    Full Time

  • Rip Curl

    GM of Retail
    Full Time

  • Elevate Outdoor Collective

    North America – Ecommerce Manager
    Full Time

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