The founding owner of Chilli Surfboards, Jamie Cheal, did his first top turn on a surfboard at Greenmount on the Gold Coast at the age of 13 and he’s been surfing most days since.
In his late teens Cheal moved to Sydney and started working at a surfboard factory sanding boards and sweeping the floor of its shaping bays for a buck. In 1995, aged 22, Cheal shaped his first board. When he eventually took his creation to water he was more than a little surprised… it actually worked! “It was a total fluke” He laughs. “I shaped about 20 more after that first one and they all went like wet towels.
He knew it wouldn’t be a walk in the park, however, with that first gem in mind, Cheal persevered with the shaping gig and not long after it all started to pay off. Two years on Chilli Surfboards was born in a small factory in Brookvale, 10 minutes drive from North Narrabeen. Back then Cheal made one board per week and to keep money coming in he also finished boards for Aloha & Webber Surfboards.
In the years that followed the demand for Cheal’s boards grew and each week he produced more. He was able to quit working for other craftsmen to concentrate on his own designs. Pretty soon some of Australia’s best surfers were riding Chilli Surfboards to victory. It wasn’t long before surfers on the ASP World Tour started knocking on the door of Cheal’s shaping bay asking for boards too. In 2004 Andy Irons rode Chilli Surfboards in his successful campaign to claim a third world title. Andy will be sadly missed.
Cheal loves seeing the best surfers in the world ride his boards but would take just as much pride in seeing one under your feet. That’s why he’s worked hard to create a model range that has something for everyone. Check them out on this site and find your next dream board.
These days Chilli Surfboards operates out of a factory in Warriewood – a little closer to those perfect Narrabeen waves – and has established a reputation for extraordinary quality control and unparalleled customer service. Chilli Surfboards are also manufactured and distributed in Japan, North & South America, Europe & Taiwan.