Explosively fast & lively small to medium size wave all rounder, this is the Chilli Surfboards Rare Bird surfboard review. I love this surfboard and haven’t heard a bad thing about it.
+ Explosive ride from takeoff to landing (however landing may happen)
+ Versatile froth machine, excels in a broad range of small to medium size waves
+ One of the fastest – and most fun – all rounders you will ever surf!
– I found myself drifting a bit on bottom turns in larger, more powerful waves
– The largest standard Rare Bird model will not have enough volume for a significant population of surfers at 35.85L
The Chilli Rare Bird surfboard at 6’2 x 20 1/4 x 2 3/4 @ 35.85L’s of volume. See the full standard Chilli Rare Bird dimensions with volumes at the bottom of this page.
Best Wave Type
Shoulder high to a few feet overhead; punchy, steep, flatter but not too small or weak.
- Channel Islands ‘4’ by Al Merrick surfboard review: ripping, versatile average wave all rounder
- Haydenshapes Hypto Krypto surfboard review: fun, fast, flowy modern performance fish
- Von Sol Shadow surfboard review: designed to be ‘what’s next’ after the fish surfboard
Welcome to Benny’s Boardroom! My name is Ben, and I’m a little bit excited today as you can see – I did my excited dance – because I was able to get a hold of this surfboard before it’s been officially released. This is the Rare Bird by James Cheal of Chilli Surfboards.[00:00:30]
I fell in love with this thing the first time I surfed it. It was head high, maybe a little bit overhead, a little bit cross-shore, not very good, but I took off on this thing the first time and it is explosively fast. I got to my feet and the thing just took off. It just flies. Really fun and fast to ride but yet I could still turn it hard in the pocket and fly across flat sections as well. I’m really excited about this board [00:01:00] and really excited to surf it more.
I’ve also since then surfed the Rare Bird by Chilli in smaller waves that are a bit more mushy. Because it’s got a lot of volume and has a wide point forward, which in uncharacteristic for Chilli Surfboards, it will perform in smaller waves. I’ve surfed it in smaller waves as well and it’s done really well.
As you can see, it’s got a pretty typical shorter, fatter, wider outline. The nose carries foam up and to about this point when it pulls in and gets nice and thin through here. Again, wide point forward, a lot of foam running through here and it’s got this nice round tail running through the back. [00:01:30] If you’ve watched a lot of my reviews, you’ll know I’m a big fan of round tails and quads on these shorter, fatter, wider boards. They just seem to go really well for me and this was no exception. In fact, this is one of the shining stars.
Again, this is a very new model. It’s so new, in fact, that I even got one that didn’t have a logo on it. This doesn’t have the Rare Bird logo on it. It’s got the Project Black logo, which Chilli uses when he is testing out surfboards with his team riders. It’s kind of a standard, [00:02:00] flatish rocker, running through here, this little bit of kick in the nose, little bit of kick out the tail.
This is a versatile, all around board. Single concave running in the bottom contour, running out to a V up the back; makes it very easy to transition board rail to rail. Fast, manoeuvrable, explosively fast and really a fun, fun board to ride Very excited to ride this again.
If you have had a go on the Rare Bird, please let me know what you think and thank you very much for watching the show. [00:02:30]
Stock Standard Dimensions & Volume
Chilli Rare Bird dimensions and volume from Chilli:
|5’5||19 1/8||2 1/4||24.77L|
|5’6||19 1/4||2 1/4||25.3L|
|5’7||19 3/8||2 5/16||26.51L|
|5’8||19 1/2||2 3/8||27.72L|
|5’9||19 5/8||2 7/16||28.29L|
|5’10||19 3/4||2 1/2||30.29L|
|5’11||19 7/8||2 1/2||31.02L|
|6’1||20 1/8||2 5/8||33.69L|
|6’2||20 1/4||2 3/4||35.85L|
Submit your review
Bought board for one of our mushy local waves and smaller surf
Goes great as others have said super fast picks up speed as you stand up
Does get a little shifty when over 4ft tho found stiffer fins reduces this !
I’m 6ft and 90kg been riding the 5’11 and that seems about right
Board goes so sweet but has been over sanded on bottom of board under rail, some places to paper thin. It's had about five surfs and my fingers have cracked rails holding on in about 3 ft of whitewater. Chilli didn't seem to care so this will be my last chilli board.
Purchased the 6' 1" prior to some leave. I'm about 80kg and 42, decent fitness. This board is just absolutely perfect for me. Granted I have been on equipment that had less volume than the 33.6 in this Rare Bird, however thie board has me surfing like a was at my peak. In fact I am able to cruise through manouvres, it nearly makes surfing simple. Riding it as a Thruster, found it extremely loose off the top as a Quad but keen to dial in the right set of four fins for bigger barrelly waves. So pleased with this board in 1 to 3 ft so far. Back in the game! Yeeeew. (& it was specifically your review that made me buy it!)
First, I would like to thank Benny for the great reviews!
I am a 33y old intermediate surfer (185cm, 92kg) who started surfing regularly 2 years ago.
I bought an EPS Rare Bird 6'2 2 months ago and I can tell that my surfing has completely changed for better. The board is so fun in all conditions, forgiving and fast, I am doing things that I thought they would never be possible. I had a couple of days in april with 5feet waves light offshore wind, and the board truly showed how amazing it is. After trying countless boards (I am a collectionneur), I finally found the perfect board for me, so thank you M. Cheal.
Thanks for the reviews Benny! Just picked up a chilli rare bird. Surfed it in small shoulder high waves and it felt great! Really good paddling into small waves and nice and light on the feet. Cant wait to get it out in some pumping waves!
I've just taken delivery of a Rare Bird and although the info (both on Chilli's site and this one) says it has some vee out of the tail, on mine there is none. Not sure if this is a glitch or if Chilli has tweaked the design, but I called the shop I ordered it from, they checked the other RB they had in stock and said there's no vee on that one either - so I'm thinking it's probably the latter. This would probably not have been a deal breaker for me - I probably would have got it anyway, but it would be nice to think you are going to get a board as per spec. Seeing how that's what the specs are for, and all.
Curious to know whether most other RBs out there are the same?
(Please ignore star rating. Have not ridden board yet as I have Old Man' Back and I could not submit comment without selecting something.)
I got the guys at Chilli to make me a stepup 6'3" version of the RB. I was worried it may be on the big side....slow and maybe a bit loggy. Holy cr@p - the first time I rode it in 4ft+ / overhead it shot right out from under my feet - it was super fast. After I slunk back into the lineup I got my head in the game. Well, this board totally rips - I love it. I have pretty much surfed it in all sizes and conditions and its my number 1 go-to board - by a long shot...it just rips.
I bought one after your review and have to say its as good as you say. I'm average surfing wise and in the same weight as you Benny so same board size. At Curly when there was decent shoulder high waves I felt like I was a pro. I even made 3 backhands hacks on 1 wave. Which is unusual for me. Board makes me feel confident when I would usually start bricking it in bigger waves that we have has recently so it's moving my surfing onwards and I'm no spring chicken. Love the reviews
On reading your review and then getting further information with some follow up questions, I decided to grab myself a Rare Bird. As per your review it is awesome board, and definitely one of the best boards I have had in ages. I will say given the fact that it was quite different from the previous board I had; it took me a bit of time to find my feet. But once I did, I really started loving it. I know in your review you said the best wave size was around the shoulder height, I still found it to go well in smaller, more grovelly waves. All-in-all a great all-rounder so thanks for the recommendation.