ON THE JOB JAMIE ANDREWS
Profiling the hard working men and women of the surf industry to uncover the lifestyle of the job.
Name: Jamie Mahia Andrews
Nickname: Chip Age: 35 yrs young
Job description: Manager at Beachstreet Surf Shop Fitzroy, New Plymouth. How Many years have you worked in the surf industry and who for? The last 10 years I’ve been working for Arch and Daisy at Beachstreet Surf Shop. I started as shop assistant/surf coach and now I am the manager. In my teens (12-18 years) I worked part time at Seasons Surfboards doing the dishes and sweeping the floor of Dada’s shaping bay. Working up the ladder to sanding boards and general dings under the guidance of legend glasser Glen ‘card’ Jacobs. Growing up in Taranaki why did you follow the path into the surf industry as opposed to the higher paid jobs in oil/gas and farming which are available locally? I grew up on Granddad’s farm thinking I would take it over one day, long story short, Granddad sold the farm and Mum brought me a surfboard. I knew from when I was an 11 year old grommet that I wanted to be a part of the surfing industry in one form or another. I had tried a few different jobs, engineering, supermarket, drain digging...... never tried the oil/gas industry, it didn’t really appeal to me, although the money sounds good. The concept of surf shops has changed a lot over the years, hardcore shops where the local grom population hung out have been replaced by mall stores where the staff don’t actually know a thing about surfing. Do your customers appreciate your knowledge for product and
also local surfing conditions? We frequently have customers come back and say they appreciate our service and advice we give them. It’s a shame a lot of the core surf shops have gone or moved to the mall and evolved to cater for high fashion (non Surfers). I have noticed they don’t or have stopped supporting the local surfing community that got them to where they are today! Surf stores with staff that know nothing about surfing are surviving by riding on the back of the core surf brands that they stock. I feel it weakens those core surf brands beach credit....God save us, as online based surf stores are killing ‘Core’ surf shops all over the world. Back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon to pull up to your local surf shop and find a sign saying, CLOSED: Gone surfing, back later. Does Beach Street Surf Shop have a sign like this? And how often does it get used? Yes we have a sign like that, doesn’t get used much. On the odd day when it’s pumping (overhead barrels) Arch will hold the fort while I go surf for an hour or so. Legend ay! Your shop not only serves local and visiting surfers but has also been at the forefront of environmental protection locally, explain this. The Boss has always been into environmental protection since way back, especially when it’s to do with the ocean (our playing field and food resource).
In 2000’ish Arch had heard talk of sand mining the ocean floor off the West Coast of NZ. He was not happy about this, so he came up with the Blacksand brand with hope to bring awareness of sand mining to people’s attention. Beach Street is located within hearing distance of pounding waves, when the surf is cracking and you can hear the sound of funneling barrels and you look out the door seeing car loads of boards driving past and surfers pulling in with their hair still wet and big smiles, how do you handle that? Generally I’m stoked for them! Most days I get to surf an hour before I open up the shop. When it’s really really good and I haven’t been out, that’s when it cuts deep! Haha. Do you get to travel out of town with your job and does that allow for
any surf time? Yeah some times. Most recently I went to Fiji to help run an annual memorial surf comp and expression session we sponsor there, held on the black sand beach of Sigatoka every August.
Best surf you’ve scored on the job? Nothing I like more than the surf in Fiji, but I would have to say the 2013 Rip Curl Pro in Raglan was all time! Great waves, great crew, great event. Thanks Rip Curl for the hook up! If your boss rang you and said “take two weeks off and go anywhere you like on us” where would that be and who would you take? Hmm, so many places and so many people? I wouldn’t mind taking two weeks off to surf the Surf-Highway 45 Coast Taranaki (best place on the planet) as I don’t get to surf down there much these days. I could take someone different every day! Surfing is lucky to have an Industry that supports it’s athletes. Most players in the surf industry put something back into the sport, which not many businesses involved with other sports seem to be doing. Beach Street supports local surfers and events and is involved in the community. How do you see this? We sponsor a few surfers and events. We try to support every think to do with surfing that happens in our community; comps/clubs/surf lifesaving. Working in the surf industry has always been looked at as a lifestyle job, does this thought still fit or has the big money been filling your pocket? It’s totally a lifestyle job. It’s possible to make money but it’s not a get rich quick scheme. If Hugh Hefner called you and offered you one of his lifestyle jobs... Would you think twice or is surfing more important than perfect women? “Surfing is way more important”. Perfect women? You can get close but “nobody’s perfect”.
Future thoughts of your involvement in surfing? I’m planning to take over the shop in the near future as Arch gets closer to retiring. I look forward to applying all things I’ve learnt from Arch and continue to support all things surf in our community.