Make your favourite sport your career
Flying Fish looks for clear visibility, sunshine, warm water, powder snow and reliable wind - but most of all for the world's best training locations. The rapid growth of the action sports industry ensures there is always a demand for qualified instructors and of course, you'll be working in fantastic surroundings. When the rest of us are back in the office after just a fortnight in the sun or on the slopes, Flying Fish people carry on sailing, diving, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, skiing or snowboarding while turning their passion into a job.
The company trains and recruits some 600 action sports enthusiasts each year to work as yacht skippers and galley chefs and as sailing, diving, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and snow sports instructors. The majority go on to an action sports career, while 30 per cent use Flying Fish as a gap year or career break.
Employers recognise the value of giving staff time out to recharge their batteries, meet a challenge and acquire such new skills as leadership and responsibility, while universities prefer students who have some life experience and a range of interests. A year out enables students to take a breather between studying, travel the world, build their confidence and earn some money to offset those coming student debts.
Flying Fish's "Three Year Plan" enables students to train, work and travel in the gap year and to pick up interesting jobs in the long vacations of their degree courses. A typical plan includes training as a Yachtmaster in Australia, crewing on yachts for a while and then training as a windsurf instructor in Greece. The company has its own career advisers to place students, once qualified, in jobs. Its website (www.flyingfishonline.com) includes a job vacancies board.
There is no age limit and the classic Fish course mixes students of 18 with professionals in their thirties and forties. Courses range from two to 19 weeks and are available for complete beginners and for those who already have some experience.
Watersports courses are run from Cowes in the UK, Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Club Vass in Greece, Pissouri in Cyprus and at Egypt's Club Dahab, while ski and snowboard instructor training takes place in Canada at Whistler. Established in 1993, Flying Fish is based in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, UK, and in Sydney, Australia.
Visitors to the Flying Fish stand (E1005) at the Schroders London Boat Show can pick up a CD-rom as well as a comprehensive Training Guide featuring all its action sport courses.