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Designer’s Corner: Slingshot Octane 2010

Designer’s Corner: Slingshot Octane 2010
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 Slingshot Octane
Product category: SLE
Sizes available: 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 & 15m
Release date: August 2009

Is this a new design or a next generation on an existing design?
The 2010 Octane our is the next generation of one our most successful designs, the 2009 Rev, but also incorporates the DNA from our original Octane which people loved, making it the next evolution of that style kite.

slingshot_octane

If this is next generation design, what were the main goals in developing it?
With this kite, we wanted to add more structure to it and make the handling smoother.

What was your biggest challenge during the prototype phase?
The biggest challenge was planning for where the market is going. There are a lot of different style kites, all with different shapes and performance attributes. In the end, we chose to go with a design that is proven and has very good all around performance.

If you could choose one standout performance or new construction feature to highlight, what would it be?
The thing that stands out the most about the 2010 Octane is the boost and the turning speed. The smooth steering favors good timing for high, lofty jumps.

How does self launch and self landing work on this kite?
Self launching works well like the rest of our kites and is typical of most modern SLEs. The kite is placed on the ground, LE down, near the side of the window. The rider then walks back, tensioning the lines. As the kite catches the wind, the rider turns it upward to get it in the sky. Self landing is simpler with our Center Line Safety System. When engaged, the kite will flag off of one center and kill downwind of you.

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What are some of the other key product features and performance characteristics?
The Octane has excellent construction with reinforcements in all the right places, but is still light without being overbuilt. This kite has fast, but smooth turning speed with a power band that gives it good height and loft on jumps.

What style/level of rider will most enjoy this product and in what conditions?
The Octane is meant for an intermediate to advanced rider wanting a quick kite with big jumps. Its quick turning speed lends it to be a good kite in the waves as well. The Octane also has excellent relaunch and depower, which make it suitable for someone learning. Whether it be your first time out on the water or you’re progressing further into unhooking and wave riding, the Octane is a good all around kite that you won’t outgrow.

What is your warranty policy on this product?
A lifetime Rider Service Hotline Membership. See http://www.slingshotsports.com/warranty -request for our full policy and customer support.

TESTED: Jeff Howard, Kiteboarding.com
Since the Rev has been our shop favorite for the past few years, I couldn’t wait to put the 2010 Octane 11m through its passes. The overall feel is very similar to the Rev, with a nice progressive power curve with relation to bar position. Turning and riding speed was smooth, with quick reaction to bar movement. We like a little more back line pressure than was the standard setup, but this was easily obtained by removing a quick link on the back connection point. The new Compstick bar (4-Line) has many changes from past years, with a killer center line upper swivel that I see lasting much longer then anything on the market. Overall, I believe SS did a great job on the Octane 2010 and can’t wait to get my hands on the 9m!

Originally Published in the October 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine

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