Can I take the program if I skate/bodyboard/longboard?
Of course! We exist to reach all board riders, no matter what you choose to ride. If you’re a skater please understand that there is a surf focus to a lot of the things we do, but we also run Christian Skaters, a national skateboarding ministry, out of the same office, so there’s plenty of cross-over.
Can I take the program if I don’t skate/bodyboard/surf?
Of course you can! If you have a passion for reaching out to board riders then this is the place to be. You don’t have to worry about not being able to surf/skate/bodyboard you will have the opportunity to learn if you want to. There are many different aspects of the program that you will be involved with and will experience personal and spiritual growth. But do keep in mind it is a program based around surfing and run by surfers .
What if I’m not a very good surfer?
Although it’s beneficial to be able to surf well, it’s certainly not the most important thing. We’re looking for people who have leadership potential and a passion to see lost surfers and skaters encounter Jesus. Besides, living in Jeffreys Bay you’ll find your surf skills improve very quickly!
I’m married/have a family, can I still do the program?
You sure can. No matter what your stage of life we’d be stoked to have you on board. The only difference is that this may change the accommodation that is necessary, so please contact us early so that we can make arrangements for your living situation.
This isn’t a gap year program where everything is catered for you, it’s designed to train leaders, which means that outside of training you’ll be living independently. You’ll be living with other people, but we’re not going to cook every meal for you. By excluding food costs it potentially also makes the program cheaper, as some people are happy to live simply, while others like to dine on fine foods!
I’m from overseas, is there anything I need to especially consider?
Most overseas students will need to obtain a volunteer visa before they arrive. None of our previous students have had any issues with obtaining one, just renewing it from within South Africa. So just go ahead and try to get as much time on it as possible. ( So aim for 1 -3 years) and we’ll help wherever possible. Please also make sure you have travel insurance, and check dates with us before you book flights.
Please remember when you send off for your visa to include a self addressed envelope so they can return it to you after it is finished, and please take plenty of time to send in advance, even if it says 5 business days processing it can be much slower, and the embassies can be very hard to get in touch with.
Would I be able to receive tax deductible donations?
Unfortunately we are unable to obtain Section 21 status in South Africa so we cannot offer tax deductions for students’ supporters. What some of our students have done in the past is to raise the money through their local church and they have been able to obtain tax breaks that way.
What are some ways I could raise support?
Raising support through your local church (doing a presentation on what you will be doing with Christian Surfers in South Africa)
Planning fundraising events (music shows, auctions)
Creating a fundraising page on gofundme.com
Getting personal supporters to fund you on a monthly basis (often easier than a big lump sum)
Should I bring my own surfing gear with or buy it in South Africa?
Wetsuits: Prices would be similar, so if you already have a wetsuit bringing it with would be best. 3.2’s would your mostly used wetsuit for Jbay, summer allows for a few days of board shorts and winter you might want a 4.3, but 3.2 would be your best all rounder. However when traveling, Cape Town water can get very cold and the other side (Durban) really warm.
Surfboards: For the most part buying surfboards in South Africa are a lot cheaper. You can get a custom shaped board from legendary Des Sawyer for around R3500 – R4000 (around $350 to $400) and standard boards in the shops go from R2500 ($250) There are also a lot of second hand options available
Can I use my phone/how does it work in SA?
If you have a smart phone you will be able to connect to the wifi here and connect back home using VOIP related apps (ex. FaceTime, Skype, What’s App)
Also if you would like to make calls within South Africa you could get a South African sim card, but would have to have your phone unlocked via your local service provider. Alternately you could buy a cheap phone here and use that (about R300)