Jarratt, Phil


Smart, funny, mildly profane Australian writer, originally from Wollongong, New South Wales; editor of Tracks magazine from 1975 to 1978, a regular contributor to Surfer from the late '70s to the late '80s, and author of more than a dozen surf books.

Jarratt was born (1951) and raised in Wollongong, began surfing in 1960, and published his first article in a 1968 issue of Surf International, a short-lived Australian magazine. From 1970 to 1973 he contributed articles to Tracks, a monthly surf tabloid published out of Sydney; in 1974 he became Tracks' assistant editor, and the following year began a three-year stint as editor.

While Jarratt wrote eloquently on any given surfing-related subjects, he was at his best doing profiles, and his features on Wayne Bartholomew, Gerry Lopez, Reno Abellira, Simon Anderson, Shaun Tomson, and other surf notables from the '70s and '80s are among the genre's best. "His self-assurance is almost frightening," Jarratt wrote of Tomson in 1978, one year after the South African had won the world title, "but there are times when you sense his vulnerability; times when you catch glimpses of the spoiled rich kid or the Jewish family boy who would rather not go home than go home a failure."

Jarratt later edited the Australian editions of Playboy and Penthouse, and contributed articles to Esquire and other publications.From 1997 to 2000 he published and edited the Australian edition of the Surfer's Journal magazine.

Jarratt's book titles include The Wave Game (1977), The Surfing Dictionary (1990), Mr. Sunset: The Jeff Hakman Story (1997), The Mountain and the Wave: the Quiksilver Story (2006), Salts and Suits (2010), Surfing Australia: a Complete History of Surfboard Riding in Australia (2012), and Bali: Heaven and Hell (2014). That Summer at Boomerang, also published in 2014, is a historical fiction work detailing Duke Kahanamoku's visit to Australia in 2014.

Shore Thing, Jarratt's at-home publishing house, produced Albie Thomas' Surfmovies: The History of the Surf Film in Australia (2000), with Jarratt serving as the book's editor.

In 1992, Australia's Surfing Life magazine named Jarratt as one of the country's 50 most influential surfers; he has won Surfing Australia's Surf Culture Award three times, and in 2010 Salts and Suits was short-listed for the Blake Dawson Prize for business literature.

Jarratt created the popular Noosa Festival of Surfing in 1998. From 1999 to 2004, he worked as the head of marketing for Quiksilver Europe, then became a special projects manager for the brand in California. He returned to Australia in 2007, worked briefly in retail, then returned to freelance writing and running the Noosa Festival.