Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteering

Do I need to be able to surf or swim?  

No!  There are many ways to contribute to Brown Girl Surf's work.  Click here for more information about helping with Brown Girl Surf operations, outreach, and media.  We also have a surf day Transport Team, that helps drive our community members to the beach on program days but does not get into the water.  Click here for more info. 

I'm a novice surfer, can I still be a Volunteer Surf Instructor?  

Yes!  As long as you have been surfing enough to have developed a sense of your own boundaries in the ocean, to be able to handle your own board safely in the white water zone (keep it in your control so it cannot hurt you or others when waves break nearby), paddle past the whitewater to the break, and consistently paddle yourself into waves on your belly (whitewater waves count!), then you have the experience needed to undergo Brown Girl Surf volunteer training and become a Volunteer Surf Instructor for beginners. 

I am not brown and/or I am not a girl.  Can I still volunteer for Brown Girl Surf? 

Yes!  We believe that it is essential that people of all colors and genders work together to create an equitable, joyful, and environmentally reverent surf culture.  White folks, and men, as traditional holders of power in the realm of surfing and “outdoors culture,” play an especially important role in breaking down exclusive structures and opening up avenues to access and resources.

We ask that all volunteers have a strong understanding of power and privilege as it relates to race, class, and gender.  We ask that volunteers come as co-conspirators in Brown Girl Surf’s work to increase the power, presence, and voice of women of color in surfing, in the ocean, in the environmental movement, and in the outdoors.  

We have some special considerations for our Volunteer Surf Instructors.  An important part of our work is building a sense of ownership and cultural belonging around the ocean and surfing for girls and women of color.  Therefore we believe it is important that our participants, who are majority girls and women of color are taught to surf by a team that is also majority women of color.  At the same time, we believe in building a world where all colors and cultures support each other, following the examples of Nature, where the most biodiverse ecosystems are the most thriving.   Thus, we have amazing volunteer instructors of all races and cultural backgrounds in our team, and all are welcome to apply.  We will review your application and consider the current composition of our volunteer team when placing you in a surf program. 

Can males and non-female-identified folks be Volunteer Surf Instructors?

Sorry, but no.

We make an effort to create all female-identified learning spaces on surfing days, this means that all instructors and participants are female-identified.  However, there are a LOT of ways to be a part of the Brown Girl Surf community and help us in our mission outside of surfing days.  We welcome our non-female-identified volunteers to get involved in other ways.