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About Phil Jarratt

Journalist, Author, Publisher and Film-maker


Phil Jarratt is a journalist, author, publisher and film-maker with more than 50 years experience in Australian and international media. Born in Wollongong, NSW, in 1951, he is a former editor of Tracks, associate editor of Surfer and editor and publisher of Australian Surfers Journal. He is regarded as one of the foremost global authorities on surfing, and has worked inside the executive ranks of two of the world’s biggest surf brands – Rip Curl and Quiksilver, where he was a senior marketing executive for 10 years.

He has written more than 40 books covering largely sport-related biography (including the best-sellers Home: The Evonne Goolagong Story and Mr Sunset), surfing, and surf history, including Salts and Suits, Kelly Slater: For the Love, Surfing Australia: The Complete History of Surfboard Riding in Australia, and That Summer at Boomerang. Phil is also the author of Man of the Cross, the biography of Rev Ted Noffs, and co-author of Coming Clean, the autobiography of Ian Keirnan. His 2014 best-seller Bali Heaven and Hell is now in its second edition and fourth reprint. His surfing memoir Life of Brine, published by Hardie Grant in August 2017, is also a best-seller now in its third print run. His history of Noosa, Place of Shadows, was published by Boolarong Press in July 2021.

As a film-maker, Phil has written narration scripts for such surf classics as Bustin’ Down The Door and Going Vertical, and has written and produced the documentaries 8 Days of Pure Stoke, Cup of Tea With God, and Men of Wood & Foam. This last, made for Foxtel’s History Channel, was selected for the 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival and won the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame Media Award for 2016. His current work in progress, Generation 99, a feature-length documentary about the music and culture of Timor Leste’s children born of war, had its world premiere in Dili, Timor Leste, in August, 2019. He is also working on the development of Making Tracks, about the birth of the iconic surfing magazine in the late 1960s, and the forthcoming ABC drama series Barons is somewhat inspired by his book, Salts and Suits.

Within the surf industry, Phil worked as a consultant to Rip Curl during its expansion into the US market in the early 1980s, and was a senior executive with Quiksilver from 1999 to 2008, in the roles of Quiksilver Europe’s Head of Marketing (based in France) and Quiksilver Inc’s Special Projects manager (based in California). After his time with Quiksilver, Phil worked as an advisor to financial institutions on surf industry matters, through the New York-based Gerson Lehrmann agency.

Phil has received the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame Media Award five times and was shortlisted for the Blake Dawson Business Literature Prize in 2010 for Salts and Suits. He lives in Noosaville, Queensland, where he writes for the local newspaper and is a consultant to the Noosa Festival of Surfing (which he founded in 1998) and is president of the Noosa World Surfing Reserve.

Phil's Publications


Place of Shadows - The History of Noosa

A gripping read with a deeply felt moral heart.


Life of Brine – A Surfer’s Journey

Best-selling surfing memoir published August, 2017.


Bali Heaven And Hell

Best-selling cultural history of surfers in Bali.


That Summer At Boomerang

Duke Kahanamoku’s 1914 visit to Australia.


Surfing Australia

The official history of surfing in Australia.


Salts & Suits

The unofficial history of the surf industry.


Kelly Slater For The Love

Collaboration with the greatest surfer ever.


The Mountain & The Wave

Official history of Quiksilver.


Mr Sunset

Best-selling biography of surfer Jeff Hakman.


Man of the Cross

Biography of humanitarian Rev Ted Noffs.


Coming Clean

Autobiography of Clean Up Australia founder Ian Keirnan


The Wave Game

The first book about professional surfing.