Slingshot 2010 Octane Analyze This Kite Review
Originally Published in the December 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine
Type of kite: Hybrid Kite
Sizes available: 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15m
From the Manufacturer
Hailing from the success and solid foundation of the award winning REV, Slingshot introduces the 2010 Octane, the newest in the line of hybrid C-kites. Characteristics such as massive boost, unmatched range, light bar pressure, quick turning, kite loops without consequence, and solid surf performance are what define the design and engineering behind the Octane. It has a unique ultra compact stabilizing bridle and comes complete with the newComp Stick control bar setting the performance level at the peak. With all new sleek styling and performance characteristics it is a welcome addition to the CROSSOVER collection.
THE KITEBOARDER REPORT
We read the hype about the Octane on many of the forums before we tested, so our staff was excited when a 13m arrived in the mail. After spending hours riding this kite, we have to admit it lived up to its reputation and more. The single pump inflation system is easy to use and includes clips on each strut. The overall build quality is rock solid and what you would expect from Slingshot.
The Direct drive bar is also solid with a comfy grip and beefed up front lines rated at 800 versus the standard 500 pounds for more strength. You can hook into the Center Safety System underneath the bar and from personal experience, both the chicken loop release and center safety work like a charm. We rode the Octane in gusty 22+ mph conditions and the kite was stable, smooth and comfortable in the air. The Octane depowers very efficiently and you can easily steer the kite when sheeted out. The turning speed of the Octane is quick and can easily be looped, similar in feel to the Fuel. The Octane’s bar pressure is light to moderate and is great for hooked or unhooked moves.
One of our riders noted how easy it was to steer the kite with one hand while unhooked. If you are looking for a kite with nice pop, anyone who has spent time flying this kite will tell you this kite is a jumper with great lift and hang time. On our second day of testing we had lighter winds. The Octane still had plenty of power and lift when jumping. Our testers were all in agreement that it was a very fun kite and easy to feel comfortable on.
Slingshot spent a lot of time creating a kite that is great for all levels. Beginners will really like the safety, depower, easy relaunch and stability and advanced riders will like the quick turning, light bar pressure and pop of this kite. In all, this kite is the perfect kite for someone who loved the Rev’s performance, or a bow lover who is looking to transition to a highly versatile hybrid kite.
- Inflation System: Traditional One Pump System: Excellent
- Control bar: Easy to hold with great grip: Excellent
- Control bar accessories: New push away eject QR: Excellent
- Safety system: Below the bar leash connection point along with two other connection points: Excellent
- Bridle: Simple, easy to replace if needed: Excellent
- Stability: Solid in all around winds :Excellent
- Power: Great low end pull and consistent: Excellent
- Turning: Turns as if it was a size smaller: Excellent
- Pop: Don’t send-it without FAA Clearance! Excellent
- Bar pressure: Light to heavy as it’s adjustable: Light-heavy
- Depower: Below the bar depower with smooth range on the chicken loop: Excellent
- Relaunch: Effortless and quick relaunch: Excellent
- Durability: “Surf Tough Seams” w/ solid overall construction: Excellent
- Kitebag: Roomy with room for all your equipment: Excellent
- Pump: Durable with metal shaft, pump leash, psi gauge: Excellent
- Keep the swivel clean of sand to help with keeping center lines unspun.
- Safety line below swivel has a tendency to twist/bind up after a bunch of spinning.
- To prevent the above, spin in the opposite direction to keep the safety line clear and free.
CONSUMER FEEDBACK: Smilekite, www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2351232
I rode our 11M demo for 2+ hrs last night in 16-23 knots — it’s a sweet kite. The bar feel and quick depower reminde me of the Rev, but it has a much better bar feel and overall is less on/off. The kite has less swept back tip. They are more upright. This gives a short depower range at the bar, which can take a bit of getting used to. Took me about an hour of riding to begin to get it dialed. When I did, I found it an extremely easy kite to ride toeside, due to easy one handed steering and power control, and to rip fast toe to heel turns and back again. I was on choppy flat water but was trying (imagining) to test it for waves. Unhooks without trimming — I had the trimmer all the way out (full power). I really really like the bar — The function, toughness and cleanliness of the bar is simply standard setting for most other brands. Relaunch, self launch and self landing are a cinch. Big floaty jumps, just need to hold the bar in and redirect late for a swish soft landing.