Phil is a journalist, author and publisher. A former editor of Tracks, Surfer and Australian Surf Journal, he is regarded as one of the foremost authorities on surfing and has worked in surf publishing for over 40 years. Phil has written over 20 books covering largely sport-related biography, surfing and surf history including A Cup of Tea With God; Bali: Heaven and Hell; Salts and Suit; Kelly Slater: For the Love; Hottest 100 Surf Legends; Surfing Australia: A Complete History of Surfboard Riding in Australia and That Summer at Boomerang. A three-time recipient of the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame Media Award, Phil lives between Noosa, Bali and Hawaii or wherever the surf's up! Phil is also the founder of the Noosa Festival of Surfing.
Phil was born 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 Phil 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. He 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.
Shore Thing, Phil’s at-home publishing house, produced Albie Thomas' Surfmovies: The History of the Surf Film in Australia (2000), with Phil serving as the book's editor.
In 1992, Australia's Surfing Life magazine named Phil 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.
Phil 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.