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Designer’s Corner: Slingshot Comp Stick 2010 Control System

Designer’s Corner: Slingshot Comp Stick 2010 Control System

Originally Published in the October 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine

Designer Profile:
Name: Matt Gustafsen, Product Manager; Tony Logosz, Co-founder/Kite  Designer; Amery Bernard, Kite Designer; John Doyle, Board Designer
Location: Columbia Gorge
Job Title: Slingshot Kite Design Team
Designing: 59 years combined
Kiteboarding: 39 years combined

Product name: 2010 Comp Stick Control Bar
Sizes available: 17”, 20” & 23”
Release date: August 2009

For 2010, Slingshot introduces their new Comp Stick and Control Bar which completely replaces all their bars from 2009. A collaborative design effort from the Kite Design Team of Tony Logosz and Amery Bernard, along with Product Manager Mat Gustafsen and Board Designer John Doyle, the new bar incorporates many key features from past designs with noticeable changes to the chicken loop, safety mechanisms and trim system.

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As a new design, how does the new Comp Stick Control Bar differ from previous Slingshot bars?
Our main goals during development were to include many key features into the function of the bar. This included: below the bar trim, our 4-line Center Safety System (CSS), an active safety system, change from a pull to a push safety activation, 100% spinnable system with no line twists or leash wraps, an indexing chicken loop for easy unhooking/hooking, a streamlined chicken loop for comfortable grip anywhere on the bar and minimal tools needed to change the chicken loop rope.

What was the biggest challenge in developing the new control bar?
The biggest challenge was trying to get all of the features we wanted to incorporate into the bar to work together in a streamlined design, without compromise. It took a lot of effort to integrate all of the features so that independently they worked as needed, and collectively they didn’t get in each others way.

Where does the Comp Stick really shine?
I think where this bar stands out the most is when it is unhooked. The chicken loop now indexes into the bar, so when unhooking, the chicken loop remains in a locked position so that you can hook back in very easily. Also, the mechanism that does this is very small, so that your hands can get comfortably close to the center of the bar for good unhooked control.

What are the safety features on the new control bar?
The safety system on our control bar has switched from a pull-release to a push-release. Push systems are becoming more of a standard in the industry. The leash-release is also now a push system as well. Our safety system neutralizes the power of our kites off of one center line. The convenience of the CSS system is that it will depower the kite, much like a 5th line would, but without actually having an inconvenient 5th line.

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What is the biggest advantage of your control bar?
The biggest advantage of our control bar is that incorporates a lot of function, while still being very simple. It’s hard to notice how much the control bar actually does because the design is streamlined and doesn’t have any bulky or overbuilt parts.

Are there any other key product features you want to point out?
The trimming action has been significantly improved from previous years and requires a lot less effort to adjust it. This is due to a better cleat, smaller chicken loop rope, and the use of a pulley for the rope to run over.

What style/level of rider will most benefit from the new control bar?
This bar is meant for everyone, but it is specifically designed to satisfy the needs of the advanced rider. Safety is a big issue and bar design has focused primarily on that, as it should. However, during that process many of the bar designs have become clunky and unappealing to freestyle riders. The Comp Stick Control Bar was designed to be excellent with both safety and freestyle functionality.

What differentiates the new Comp Stick from what’s already available today?
The Comp Stick Control Bar is the only control bar that combines so many features into one streamlined package. Other bars may have different combinations of these features but the Comp Stick is the only one that incorporates them all together.

Originally Published in the October 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine

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