Profile: Surfing Doctors Founder Dr Phillip Chapman



Dr Phillip Chapman is the founder of The Surfing Doctors and has been surfing around the world for the best part of 50 years. He was a competitive surfer in South Africa in his youth and tarveled and competed extensively. He currently resides in West Australia, and travels to Indonesia and G-land as often as he can. At the 2023 Surfing Doctor’s Conference at G-land he was one of the atandouts of the surfers in the jungle, and can often be found surfing for 8 hours or so without a break.

South African (Living in Australia).

Emergency Consultant ( Staff Specialist ), ED Director at Busselton Health Campus SW WA.

I attended Pinelands High School and University in Cape Town. BSc Hons Biochem and Molecular Biology, MBChB UCT, FACEM in Australia.

Volunteer work:
The Founder of Surfing Doctors, I work with the admin and background work of the Surfing Doctors every day.

Medical interests:
Critical Care, Retrieval Med and Toxicology. Also, Functional Medicine.

Local Surf Spots:
Lefty’s, Big Rock, North Point.

Best Surf Destination:
G-Land, Indonesia.

I have been all over Southern Africa, Reunion, Europe, The Canary Islands, Australia, and Tasmania. In Indonesia, I have been to the Mentawai Islands, G-land, Bali, Lombok, Nusa lembongan and Sumbawa. Also, Fiji and Samoa.

Best Surf Trip that you can remember:
G-land 2008

The Worst season of surfing in the world:
Cornwall in Summer.

The one thing that keeps you coming back for more waves despite all the challenges
I think that the best thing about surfing is that it keeps me sane and relatively fit. Also, many of my best mates still surf, and it’s good to hook up with them worldwide for a few waves.

Best advice you have ever received:
Gerry Lopez told me in the late 90s that G-Land is the best left in the world.

Favourite surfer in the world:
Dane Reynolds. He’s unpredictable, powerful, and has a great style – with a very anti-establishment attitude.