About Surf Physio

Surf Physio Physiotherapy for Surfers Surf Injuries and Rehab

My name is Phil Watson.

I’m a Physiotherapist and surfer from New Zealand.

I created the Surf Physio website to share my knowledge with the surfing community on how to keep a healthy body, mind and soul.


My journey began in 2006 with the cold water surf and icy winters in Dunedin, New Zealand. It’s where I discovered my passion for surfing and the joy found in helping people to recover from an injury or manage better their health conditions. I graduated from the University of Otago in 2010 with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy.

After graduating I began my search of waves in a warmer climate. Dreaming of beautiful beaches, amazing waves and a place to balance work and lifestyle. I discovered that and more in Gisborne on the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand.

In 2016 we moved to Upper Hutt, Wellington to be closer to family and raise our own family. From here we go for weekend surf trips to the Wairarapa or the town beaches to get some salt water therapy.

Surf Physio Shoulder Exercise

The Mission of Surf Physio


“The purpose of Surf Physio is to provide high quality education for surfers to keep themselves healthy in and out of the water”


On this site you will find expert advice on injuries, pain, rehabilitation, exercise for surfers and more.

I would love to help you feel better, move better, and get you back to doing what you love most in life.

Furthermore, I’ll show you how you can help yourself to improve your mobility, strength, balance and power so you can surf at your best.

The Vision of Surf Physio

In the future, I would love for collaboration with other surfers to connect and share their stories. I wish that we can inspire others who are recovering from an injury or illness to get back in the water.

I hope that you in turn pass on what you’ve learned with family, friends and other surfers.

 Clinical Experience

Inform Physiotherapy & Pilates (2016-current)

Lower Back Pain, Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain, Hip Pain, Knee Pain and Ankle Pain

Becoming a certified McKenzie Therapist

Pain Education

Gym Based Exercise Prescription

Functional Rehab


Active Physiotherapy Clinic Physiotherapist (2014-16)

Assessment and Treatment of Injuries

Education on Injuries, Pain and Rehab

Exercise Prescription

Return to Work Programs

Focus on Mobility, Strength, Power and Balance for Athletes



Gisborne Hospital Physiotherapist (2011-2014)


Medical & Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Surgical Ward

Rehabilitation Ward

Outpatient Physiotherapy

Community Based Physiotherapy


Surf Physio

My Own Experience

Through my own personal and clinical experience I am motivated to assist people of all ages.  

I aim to help people understand more about their injury or pain and how they can effectively manage it.

While travelling to Fiji in 2013 I sustained an injury to my ribs and middle back after going over the falls and hitting the reef.

Afterwards as I traveled through Central America over the next 5 months my only option was to treat myself to regain pain free movement.

Later, as I improved I was then able to lie on the board, paddle more comfortably and enjoy the tropical waves.

This photo was taken on a fun day at Playa Colorado in Nicaragua