Despite continuing with the 99 name and volume, this new ’08 model is a bit shorter and wider than previously but with the same rockerlines from their acclaimed past three generation of Chillis.
On the water:
Although not tiny in terms of length and nose and tail widths it feels relatively low in volume and is one of the narrower boards. Medium heavyweights should be wary of its float and may prefer the 108. The Chilli 99 has a moderately short planing flat but a very low nose and this seems to work well for getting it up and planing early for its size (despite the duck-tail) and yet allow it to be both fast and lively. It certainly feels one of the most lively boards underfoot, ready to carve or pop. It is a very easy board to pop and turn in the air, with very good slide on landing. It doesn’t have quite the stability when sliding backwards of the wider boards, but the tail rarely catches. It’s fast through its tricks, and doesn’t slow things down much for the uncertain trickster! Wave suitability is rather compromised by the very low nose, but freeride suitability is good with a fast, nimble and exciting feel and very good carving.
Very light hull weight. The straps and pads were found to be very comfortable although those with small feet find the F2 16cm insert spacing leaves the straps a bit wide. The fin is smaller than most but still felt to be a bit big if you’re actually out there to do freestyle. Popularity Very high. Adam has ordered one and Emile put it in his equal top three. Both Jono and Annek liked it with a few reservations, while the non-freestylers found it one of the most enjoyable boards for flat water and the one most likely to encourage you to go for tricks.
Very light and very nimble. It’s fun and easy to pop so excellent for initiating moves, and – although it can seem a bit fast and not quite as stable in tricks as many, making it a bit harder to finish moves – it is inspiring and agile and gives excellent potential for advanced moves. This combined with its high fun factor for ordinary flat water sailing makes it particularly relevant to recreational ‘would-be’ freestylers and experts alike.