The Inertia Contributing Writer
Got a garage full of Wavestorms and time on your hands? Airbnb wants you to be a surf guide. Photo: Airbnb

Got a garage full of Wavestorms and time on your hands? Airbnb wants you to be a surf guide. Photo: Airbnb

The Inertia

Who hasn’t dreamed of being a surf guide? But short of buying a surf lodge in Central America or procuring an expensive boat, how could you make that dream a reality? As of last week, it might be easier than you think.

Airbnb, the company that’s put more strangers in your bed than your entire college career, is recruiting surf guides. And it wants you!

The homesharing company just launched a feature called “Trips.” Instead of offering an abode for rent, Trips lets hosts offer surfing, rock climbing, yoga, urban exploration — any experience to help travelers enjoy their destination. If you’re a denizen of Los Angeles, Sydney, Rio de Janiero, Cape Town, Lisbon, or San Francisco, you can offer your surfy services right now. Trips launched Nov. 17 with 500 experiences offered in a dozen cities around the world, with another 39 locales soon to join the list.

“Airbnb users will now have access to curated experiences that explore the lesser known activities and cultures that make a destination unique, all led by an Airbnb host,” says a press release from the debut.

Take a look at the offering from Adventure Man, AKA Quinn Carson, a dreadlocked Angeleno and “avid adventurer” who guides surf trips in Malibu. For $349 per person, he’ll arrange for two surfs and a night of camping in the ‘Bu. Surfboards, camping equipment, snacks and transportation included. Got some free time and a couple Wavestorms in the garage? Make some cash, underemployed friends!

New "Trips" from Airbnb, your ticket to being a surf guide. Photo: Airbnb

New “Trips” from Airbnb, your ticket to being a surf guide. Photo: Airbnb

In its Trips marketing materials, Airbnb references surfing numerous times. (The materials include an icon of something called “Surf Ranch,” emblazoned with the name Rob Machado. But, strangely, when we contacted the iconic goofyfooter about his Airnbnb dealings, he said he had no idea what this was all about. So, despite how it appears on this webpage, you apparently cannot get a surf tour from “The Drifter,” although that’d be cool.)

Here’s another L.A.-based surf experience: “Ride the Wave” charges $275 per person for one day of SUPing on flat water and one day on the ocean, equipment and food included.

For $199 a person, this dude in L.A. drinks mezcal with guests while teaching them about cacti, and the next day takes them rock climbing in the desert.

For $214 a person, a Cape Town woman takes guests to an aquarium, guides them on a nature walk on the False Bay coastline and leads a hands-on lesson in seabird rescue.


Many of the Trips are three-day affairs, with the first and third days comprising a short meet-up- or farewell-type activity and the bulk of the experience taking place on the second, full day.

To make sure you’re not a serial killer, Airbnb is using a new identity authentication system where hosts will need to scan a government ID and upload a selfie. And because shit happens, Airbnb provides $1 million in insurance coverage, a cost that could otherwise be prohibitive for a small surf guiding outfit.


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