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Watersport Courses to Help You Earn Your Way Around The Globe

Written by The Leap on 30 / 06 / 2017

Gap Year Advice

5 watersport courses to help you earn your way around the best beaches in the world.

The summer holidays and long awaited gap year are synonymous with images of blue skies, watersports, powder white sand and crystal clear turquoise seas...sun loungers, cocktails on tap and a fresh tan thrown in for good measure...are we thinking along the same lines? I bet we are. Sadly though beach side life is reined in by our bank accounts, which keep us slogging away on some money-spinning plan to pay for one's flight, at least...

But hold on, don't give up on the dream so quickly...it is possible to have your cake and eat it...you just need to make a small investment in time and money by becoming an employed beach side person - you know the ones you see driving the boat, dressed in life-saving tops or jumping on a board.

Interesting thought and ever helpful, here are the 5 best watersport courses which will set you up for earning at the beach...

1. Surf Instructor

Remember the movie Point Break? Possibly one of the greatest ever made and will definitely inspire you to pick up a board. Simply put - learn to become a surf instructor and chase the waves across the globe. The ultimate watersport. My favourite find is Surf South West, based in Croyde, North Devon. Here you can do both level one and two (only required if you aspire to pro level) which will tee you up to become an instructor anywhere in the world. The pre-requisite is that you can catch a wave and merrily turn left and right before you start the course, so you may need to put the hours in BUT if you’ve already nailed the waves, you’re good to go.

The GB/I.S.A. Level 1 Surf Instructor Qualification takes 2 days, is internationally recognised and costs £275, plus accommodation. Following this, you’ll need to complete 20 hours of voluntary surf instruction under the supervision of a qualified instructor.

The GB/I.S.A. Level 2 Surf Instructor Course - only needed if you want to teach at an advanced, professional level, costs £375, plus accommodation.

Alternatively, learn to surf whilst on our volunteering program in Costa Rica...

Take me there...

2. Lifeguard

The R.L.S.S. National Beach Lifeguard course is for 5 days, it is internationally recognised and essential if planning to be a surf instructor but it also stands alone. Think Baywatch, Bondi or Hawaii and if you land a job on the right beach you’ll get access to some pretty cool watersport toys like jet skis, boats and paddle-boards.

The course is practical and theory based and will cover lifeguard theory, CPR, first aid, open water & rescue skills and spinal management. Frankly, it’s a winner and has worldwide appeal — so invest in some good swimmers.

R.L.S.S. National Beach Lifeguard Qualification: Cost: £265

3. Boat Boy

If you’ve gone to the trouble of becoming a lifeguard, you might as well take the right paper work so you can help with the watersport beach toys. Definitely, adds bite to the CV and more fun to the day job.

What you need is ‘The International Certificate of Competence’ (ICC) otherwise known as a ‘Boat Licence’, obtained by completing a RYA Powerboat Level 2 course. This is the introductory level to boat handling and safety in powerboats. There are masses of spots along the British coast where you can do this but try Boat ABILITY in Portsmouth, who are super helpful.

Call: 02392 346075 or 0798 508 9973

Costs: £289 per person

4. Help crew a super yacht

Watersports on steroids. The intention here is to ultimately get on board a luxury yacht and sail the seven seas, but again — experience is key to be part of the crew. We’ve opted for the following 2 routes that combined, (we hope) are going to be the winning formula. Firstly you will need to nail a Competent Crew Certificate and then the icing on the cake would be know how to cook — useful addition to any crew.

Try Nomad Sailing for the first part and Orchard Cookery School for the second. They do an amazing job at turning a novice into a master chef. A 2-week residential course costs between £1500 — £1900.

5. Scuba Instructor

Now, this is trickier as the learning required to get into a position of earning takes some dedication. But it is possible. Firstly you need to complete your PADI Level One and Advanced Scuba courses, (takes at least 2 weeks). Then you need to do an Emergency First Response and Rescue Dive course (an extra couple of days) after which you are in a position to apply for your “Dive Master”. This is the dedicated bit as it can take up to 3 months as it’s all about the number of dives, with a small bit of theory thrown in. We have 2 programs — one in South Africa and the other in Madagascar where earning your PADI stripes is possible, and if you get the golden ticket they might take you on as an intern while you do your Dive Master. Once completed you are good to go.

Find out more about scuba diving in Madagascar

Take me there...

So, What's Stopping You?

Put a little investment down in the first place to reap the rewards of beach life...you won't be disappointed and the skills/contacts can be used time and time again as you happily globe trot around the world with your swimmers on.

Find out what type of traveller you are by filling in our What Type of Traveller You Are Quiz and we can point you in the right direction. Simples.

Check out our gap year programs

We have award winning 'planet saving' programs across Africa, Asia, South and Central America.

Reducing plastic in our oceans, protecting turtles and saving the rhino is just the tip of the melting iceberg.

All experiences include a mix of projects and adventures, travelling with a team and, of course, are risk assessed.

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