Surfers their stories: Daffy Chisolm

The 'Surfers their stories' series explores the personal surfing journeys of 12 Australians. This is the story of surfer Daffy Chisolm.

Australian National Surfing Museum

Daffy Chisholm and Daisy (2011) by DianaAustralian National Surfing Museum

Daffy Chisolm

Daffy Chisolm grew up at the seaside town of Brighton on the north side of Brisbane in Queensland. His father owned a panel beating and spray painting workshop where a young Daffy and his mother would help out detailing the cars.

Daffy Chisholm and the rig (2010) by DianaAustralian National Surfing Museum

Daffy’s earliest memory of visiting the ocean was at Lismore with his grandmother when he was three to four years old. He started body surfing and then progressed to rubber surf mats when he was six, then moving on to surfboards when he was eleven.

Daffy and his mates learnt from each other and their surfing progressed, before he started travelling to the Sunshine Coast, staying at the Surf Life Saving Club and surfing whenever he could.

Daffy says “Surfing has shaped and formed my life’s endeavours”.

Daffy Chisholm at Double Island Beach (2010) by DianaAustralian National Surfing Museum

His first surfboard was a small single fin that was “flogged to death” so he spent a lot of time riding borrowed surfboards and “anything that was not screwed down”.

Since 1990 Daffy has only surfed classic surfboards from the pre-1980 era, specifically old Malibu boards and vintage timber surf craft like hollow ply wood 16 footers and Okanui style boards.

Daffy Chisholm D.S.A. (2010) by Daffy ChisolmAustralian National Surfing Museum

Daffy is extensively involved with the Disabled Surfers Association of Australia saying, “It is important to share our surfing passion with all”.

Along with his partner Diana, Daffy regularly travels up and down the coast to surfing events, gatherings and remote locations in his 1983 Ford F100 ute.

“We are generally at a surf comp or a DSA event twice a month so there are hundreds of folk I get to catch up with and have a few waves”.

Daffy Chisholm surfing at Double Island Point (2010) by DianaAustralian National Surfing Museum

His most memorable surfing experiences have been riding big 'cyclone surf' at Agnes Waters in 2005 and having a Bonza fin planted in his skull, requiring 9 stitches, or the time he had two front teeth knocked out by his board when he was 15.

Daffy Chisholm surf caravan on the beach north of Noosa (2010) by DianaAustralian National Surfing Museum

50 year old Daffy has worked in a number of fields. He is a qualified baker, drifted into steel and aluminium fabrication and now is involved with horticultural services, his role with DSA and organising other traditional surfboard events.

“Surfing is our life” says Daffy. “I cannot imagine another direction in life other than rural, coastal living the ultimate lifestyle. Surfing has moulded my life”.

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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