Matt Butel started Currumbin Beach Chiropractic in 1997. The clinic space was previously a surf shop, an art gallery, swimwear shop and real estate among other incarnations. Ironically, it was the same shop where Matt bought his first fibreglass surfboard in the early 1980’s.
The beach life was always close to Matt’s heart. Aside from the challenge and intrigue of working with the human form, one of the attractions of a private practice in physical therapy was being able to set up somewhere beachside. If it weren’t for the lure of academia and career challenge, Matt may have remained a Gold Coast Council Lifeguard, a role he enjoyed as a holiday temp from school age and throughout his university studies.
A Bachelor of Science in Anatomy and Physiology from the University of Queensland was completed in 1990. A two year Masters in Chiropractic clinical science from Macquarie University and the Sydney College of Chiropractic completed the requirements for professional qualification.
Private practice from 1993 began in a multidisciplinary clinic (Bayside Physical Therapies) where a close working relationship existed with other practitioners such as physiotherapists and doctors. Time spent in this practice and the development of skills required to perform an expanded role with professional athletes has strongly influenced the way Matt approaches his patients.
An introduction to event care began in 1992 at the Coke Classic, Narrabeen while compiling data for a university thesis. In his early years of practice Matt worked at various sporting events. Combining his passion and profession, surfing events became a primary interest outside of the clinic. Along with numerous local events, Matt worked at the Billabong Kirra Pro from 1994 until it became the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro in 2000 and at that event every year since. He was also part of medical teams onsite at the Billabong Pro, Tahiti (2001-2005), Quiksilver and Roxy Pro events in Fiji (03, 04, 06 and 2015 respectively), Oakley Pro in Bali (2013), Bells Beach (2015) and Margaret River (2016).
In 2004 Matt became the national team practitioner for Surfing Australia. He has accompanied open teams to the world surfing games in Ecuador (04), California (06), Portugal (08) and Costa Rica (09). Junior world team title campaigns include events in Tahiti, California, Brasil, Portugal, France, Ecuador, Peru and Panama (04-2012). In 2011, Matt also worked in China on the inaugural Women’s world longboard tour event.
As a consultant for Surfing Australia, Matt has created material for and lectured in coaching programs, participated in numerous development and elite programs for junior surfers including the provision of functional screenings for the assessment of desired normal and advanced outcomes.
Matt is involved with numerous sporting clubs and continues to work with teams and event care.