THE BOARD

Chilli Surfboards said :

“The Chilli Surfboards BV2 sits in the summer board category and has been designed with increased speed and higher performance than the original. With smaller, weaker waves in mind when designing this board, we’ve blended features from the original Black Vulture to create a speed generating board with a generous sweet spot.

We said :

Is James Cheal a bird watcher?!? Over the years he has released multiple bird related models. Rare Bird, Rarest Bird, Black Vulture and so on. The latest model from Chilli Surfboards is the BV2 or the Black Vulture 2. Born from the original Black Vulture this board is a redevelopment from the ever popular model that Lee Wilson dubbed ‘the fastest board’ he has ever surfed. When you first pick up this board it just feels good and when you first get picked up by a wave on this board it definitely just feels amazing.

The model I rode was 5’9 x 19 5/8 x 2 7/16 (30L). I ran a thruster set up (MF FCS) and also Twin + Stabiliser set up (AM Twins). The board also had a nice black bottom hit, which while looked amazing also gave me wild anxiety that the thing would delam (it never did)

Stats were:
18 Sessions
90 Waves
Top Speed 24km/h (Long Reef)
Longest Ride 45m (Long Reef)

THE BOARD

Chilli Surfboards said :

“The Chilli Surfboards BV2 sits in the summer board category and has been designed with increased speed and higher performance than the original. With smaller, weaker waves in mind when designing this board, we’ve blended features from the original Black Vulture to create a speed generating board with a generous sweet spot.

We said :

Is James Cheal a bird watcher?!? Over the years he has released multiple bird related models. Rare Bird, Rarest Bird, Black Vulture and so on. The latest model from Chilli Surfboards is the BV2 or the Black Vulture 2. Born from the original Black Vulture this board is a redevelopment from the ever popular model that Lee Wilson dubbed ‘the fastest board’ he has ever surfed. When you first pick up this board it just feels good and when you first get picked up by a wave on this board it definitely just feels amazing.

The model I rode was 5’9 x 19 5/8 x 2 7/16 (30L). I ran a thruster set up (MF FCS) and also Twin + Stabiliser set up (AM Twins). The board also had a nice black bottom hit, which while looked amazing also gave me wild anxiety that the thing would delam (it never did)

Stats were:
18 Sessions
90 Waves
Top Speed 24km/h (Long Reef)
Longest Ride 45m (Long Reef)

SHAPE

Isn’t it funny that the term ‘fish’ can be perceived in so many different ways when it comes to talking surfboard design. You can get the Lost Round Nose Fish, or a keel twin fin fish or in the terms of the BV2 there is the performance fish. The performance fish originally came from the boards Maurice Cole shaped for Tom Curren way back when which he dubbed the Tri – Fish. Makes sense right? A 3 finned wide nosed swallow tailed surfboard but slightly stretched out with a performance rocker.

The BV2 gives me all kinds of memories of the MC Tri Fish. Mid point slightly forward for increased paddle power, curvy rail line through the middle to pivot and turn off then that ever so spicy swallow tail to give you both release and hold. How do they do it you ask? I am not exactly sure but once you get the feeling you will know what I mean.

WAVE TYPE

Mushy but fun beach breaks is where this board thrives.

It’ll give you some spark when you don’t want to surf. Jan Juc, Manly, Palm Beach, Canguu those waves and places that are easily accessible, have a bit of a scene to hang on but don’t necessarily pump out perfect waves. That’s the type of wave you want to surf this board in. Little airs, grab rail reverses etc its all about having fun.

Of course a board like this also does lend itself to playing well on 2 foot running point breaks. Snapper, Noosa, Malibu, Lowers. And the more I think about it, the more I think that this board is perfect for like 1 to 3 foot Lowers! Plenty of paddle power and then enough zing to get moving. IF you get a set and it’s a big IF it would still handle the steeper sections, but we aren’t all getting sets at Lowers.

I did get the best out of this board at an undisclosed avenue along the Palm Beach stretch when it was 2 to 3 foot and lightly onshore. It’s become a staple in my car for the lunchtime surf as I can pretty much depend on it for anything when I know it’s not absolutely pumping.

Overall Best Conditions:
1-3ft waves that have a couple of fast and slow sections, if it’s a little chubby you’ll still be going fast as it skates across the waves. Clean is obviously better, but the Chilli Surfboards BV2 can handle chop and loves a little onshore feathering on top of the lip. Bonus points if the sun is out, it’s warm and you’re surfing in shorts.

PERFORMANCE

Stats were:
18 Sessions
90 Waves
Top Speed 24km/h (Long Reef)
Longest Ride 45m (Long Reef)

Given the wider nose and forward wide point this board doesn’t love a chris brown wrap around or a fatback. It likes sitting in the pocket and surfing off the tail. When discussing this board amongst Empire HQ. The comment came up to get the most out of the board you need to ‘surf like Kanoa’ all back foot, not much rail but plenty of flare. None of us surf like Kanoa but we understood the analogy and funnily enough it worked!

Surfing the board off the back half of the board more than being front footed or neutral kept those dumbo ears out of the water and let the board excel! 

VERDICT

We wrote about this board when Chilli first dropped way back when, and the interest/excitement we had for it. After riding it, I can say it didn’t disappoint and if Lincoln didn’t want it back to surf himself I would have keep it for those thrash around days on the Gold Coast.

The Chilli Surfboards BV2 model is a welcome addition to anyone who has shit waves around their local spots – which, tbh, who doesn’t? First thoughts for me hark back to Juc down near Bells. The BV2 would be a walk up start most surfs out there as it’s a board that goes when it’s crap but also holds when it’s a bit better (trust me, Juc gets ok)

Overall, I enjoyed surfing the Chilli BV2 and can recommend it as a solid grovel/shit wave option in your quiver. Especially if you aren’t yet able to pull yourself away from high performance shortboards….

The Wins:
*Paddle power and wave entry!
*Trying to surf like Kanoa. Top 5 in the world who wouldn’t want to surf like him.
*Surf better in shitty beach breaks!
*Spray/Colour Options. 

The Challenges
*Ears like Dumbo can leave you catching rails.
*Black spray gives me anxiety that this board will delam easily. Mind you it hasn’t.

If you’re not quite sold on the Chilli Surfboards BV2 but are interested in getting a a grovel/fish type board some alternatives include the Christenson Fish (review link), The DHD Phoenix (buy) or the Channel Islands Fishbeard (review link).

The Chilli Surfboards BV2 is widely available globally, anywhere that stocks Chilli Surfboards are going to have one of these to run your hands over. Need to know the closest? Hit up their retailer page for more info.

Alternatively, you can get order direct from a few spots, including direct from Chilli Surfboards. Stores, in Australia, to check include:
The Board Lab (Gold Coast)
Sanbah (Newcastle)
Aloha Manly (Sydney)

Price wise you’re looking at around $900 AUD, which ain’t too bad considering this is a board that’s got a fairly decent glass job (mine has been ridden non-stop for six weeks and it’s held up really well) and should last you a long time. If you are getting one, make sure you spare enough cash to grab a set of the Al Merrick Twin + Stabiliser to sit alongside what ever thruster set up you regularly use (we used the FCS MF in the BV2). They make a big difference to the performance of the board when it’s really shocking out there, gives it a touch more zang.

5’5″19″2 1/4″25.00
5’6″19 3/8″2 5/16″27.00
5’7″19 7/16″2 3/8″28.00
5’8″19 1/2″2 7/16″29.00
5’9″19 5/8″2 7/16″30.00
5’10”19 3/4″2 1/2″31.00
5’11”19 7/8″2 1/2″32.00
6’0″20″2 9/16″33.00
6’1″20 1/8″2 9/16″34.00
6’2″20 1/4″2 5/8″36.00
6’4″20 3/8″2 5/8″37.00
6’6″20 1/2″2 3/4″39.50
6’8″20 5/8″2 3/4″41.00

If you enjoyed this review you can visit our Product Reviews page for more, including the most recent review of the Channel Islands Fishbeard (in Spinetek) along with buyers guides of Winter Wetsuits and Boardcovers. We’ll have more Surfboard reviews coming soon.

Again, if you’re interested in buying the Chilli Surfboards BV2 hit the links below ::

Buy from Chilli Surfboard’s Online Store
Check Chilli Surfboard’s Stockist list