Declan El-Hage

Surfing Doctors Profile 2024 

Declan El-Hage


Australian / Lebanese.

Current Position? 

Resident at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Education and work experience? 

Highlight was a year covering the ski season as a Falls Creek Medical Centre student.

Interned at Western Hospital.

Before I did medicine, I was also a maintenance man at the Yallingup Caves Caravan Park.

Previous Volunteer Work

1 month working for food and board on a vanilla farm in Moorea, an island off Tahiti.

Medical interests?

Critical care, remote area medicine, tropical medicine. The current plan is to shoot for a GP registrar position next year on King Island.

 Local surf spot?

Living in Melbourne, it is hard to claim a local surf spot.

What is your favourite surf destination?

I’ve been dreaming of returning to Tahiti since I returned. I hope to do some remote General Practice on small islands across French Polynesia.

Travel experience?

 Indonesia: I’ve spent time at Uluwatu, and after a long, bumpy scooter ride in Lombok on Desert Point, I got the sunrise GoPro shot below.

Australia: My favourite surf destinations are Red Bluff and Gnaraloo, Various unnamed Western destinations in Victoria, Ulladulla and surrounds in NSW, the points in Tasmania, and QLD Snapper Rocks and Dbah, in that order. I have five days off coming up March 23-29 and am taking suggestions.

Tell us about your best surf trip ever.

It has to be Tahiti, which was 7 years ago. I volunteered on a vanilla farm on a small Island on Moorea and rented a house on Teahupoo for a month. It’s French-speaking, and I speak French, and it’s so easy to fall in love with a place when you speak the language. The Ocean and reefs are just stunning. Locals are hilarious and have the best sense of humour I’ve ever seen. Constantly pumping surf, and when I wasn’t surfing, I was hanging out doing home visit lounge room medicine with a French Surgeon named Max, who was essentially the inspiration for pursuing this career. I ran into him again in a French Ski resort 7 years later.

Tell us about your worst surf trip ever.

Once, I took a surfboard and tent to Taiwan with the idea of trying to find little boats and ferries connecting all the islands between there and Okinawa, surfing the whole way. When I arrived, I couldn’t find any. After I gave up and flew to Okinawa, there was no surf; it was one foot the whole time. In the end, it was backpacking with a surfboard.

The best thing about surfing? 

The best waves always take you to fascinating and beautiful places.

What was the best advice you have ever received regarding surfing?

Look where you want to go.

Favourite surfer in the world and why? 

 Matahi Drollet is unbelievably talented and always generous, giving lifts to and from Teahupoo to all-comers in his boat.

Current go-to surfboards? (make and dims)

I use one 6″2 pintail for everything but I am in the market for something shorter and fatter for fun small days.

Any other information you would like to add about yourself

Always up for a surf trip around Vic if anyone’s going.