“If you do what you love,” Marc Anthony once said “you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. In action sports, you may think doing what you love means turning pro. But for most of us, that will never be any more than a dream.
But wait! All is not lost. Just because you’re too big, too small, too old, or just too shit, an action sports career is still possible.
Here are the top 10 action sports jobs for those of us that just don’t cut it.
The mantra “without proof it didn’t exist” lives true in all action sports. No matter how good a pro is, the world would never know without snappers capturing their skills.
Photographers are the link between the stars and their audience, keeping us mere mortals inspired.
Until Google invent glasses that let people see other locations around the world in real-time, photographers are indispensable. They hang out with the stars, living the life of a pro but with much reduced risk of broken bones.
One word; equipment. Equipment is expensive, heavy, easily broken, and airports love to lose it. But without it a photographer’s nothing.
And after they’ve bought it, broke it, and bought it again, some prick gets a better angle on his iPhone.
“usually covered in oil, wax, dirt, and other unpleasant substances”
9) Ramp Builder / Course Designer
Whether it’s building mini-ramps, shovelling mountains of dirt for a run, or shaping kickers, without ramp builders and course designers we’d have nothing to ride.
In many ways, these folk are the very heart of action sports. Their craft is a combination of art and science, and is one that cannot be learnt from a book. They also get the first crack on what they’ve built.
Building is long, backbreaking, thankless work. It’s what feminist thinkers call Shit Work; the kind that’s only noticed when it’s done badly. Also, do you think that guy driving past in a Ferrari is a ramp builder? Nope.
Think Nyjah Huston still fits his own griptape? Or Julien Absalon still replaces his own inner tube? Nah, turning pro means that somebody else to do that for you, keeping those fingernails oil free.
Be it adjusting gears, waxing skis, changing oil… you name it, there’s a tech guy or girl to do it.
Technicians are the cog that keeps the professional machine ticking. They travel with the pros to all the contests and shoots and, if they’re really lucky, they get to wear one of those snazzy team shirts.
Technicians may be forced to wear one of those snazzy team shirts. But aside from looking like a walking billboard, and usually being covered in oil, wax, dirt, and other unpleasant substances, they’re obvious scapegoat for failure.
Off the pace? Blame the tech guy. Burst a tyre? Blame the tech guy. Binding broke? You guess it. They fix their crap, they take their crap, they are crap.