Home / Gear Reviews / 2011 Reviews / Slingshot 2011 Turbine Analyze This Kite Review

Slingshot 2011 Turbine Analyze This Kite Review

Slingshot Turbine

TESTED: 17m
AVAILABLE SIZES: 17m
TESTED IN: San Diego, 8-15 knots, small waves

FROM THE MANUFACTURER:

Everything about this kite has been optimized to perform on days when wind ranges are in their low end. The best way to increase your time on the water is to extend the conditions that make kiteboarding so exciting. The Turbine can be combined with a Competition Race board, surfboards, or a Glide for intense speed and power and upwind and downwind performance. Bottom line is this kite increases the fun factor and time on the low end of the wind range.

THE KITEBOARDER REPORT:

Out of the Box: The Turbine is Slingshot’s new light wind specific kite and it looks very similar to Slingshot’s popular Rally. This is a large 17m three-strut one-pump kite. The Turbine features Splitstrut, which means that the ribs are built into the canopy as opposed to being attached to the underside of it. The bridle features one pulley on each wingtip and the rear section is adjustable to change turning speed and bar pressure. Construction on the Turbine is top notch and all high-wear areas have been reinforced. The Turbine felt easier to inflate than other large kites, probably because of the relatively skinny three struts.

The Turbine uses the 2011 Comp Stick bar which features a push away quick release, below-bar depower cleat, above bar swivel, rubberized grip, and adjustable stopper. The stock bar is 23” (58cm) long and is rigged with 27m lines. When you unhook, the harness loop aligns itself with the bar to make hooking back in easier.

On the Water: Even in really light wind, the Turbine remains stable and has no tendency to overfly when along the edge of the window. Is has a surprisingly light feeling in the sky for a 17m kite and the kite gives great feedback to the rider, making the Turbine a kite you can easily fly without having to constantly look at it. Bar pressure is in the light-medium range with the rear bridle on the rear setting and the Turbine delivers a very smooth pull. Low end power is fantastic and with a light wind specific board you should be able to ride upwind in less than 10 knots. The Turbine flies forward in the window and is easy to get upwind for such a big kite. Handling is relatively quick for a 17m and the kite handles well when depowered. Jumping performance is good and jumps tend to have a lot of hang time. Even unhooked, the Turbine remains very stable.

PROS:

  • The Turbine is light-feeling and surprisingly nimble for such a large kite.
  • Rock-solid stability, even in sub 10-knot winds.

CONS:

  • The trim system can be challenging to adjust, especially when under a lot of tension.
  • When you depower the Turbine a lot, you are stuck with the excess line dangling near the rider.

THE VERDICT:

Riders who live in areas cursed with light wind should consider the Turbine. It’s a very powerful kite with surprisingly quick and nimble handling. The Turbine has a very light feel in the air and has great upwind performance. The stability is great, even unhooked in light winds. This is a light-wind specific kite, so if you have no interest in kiting in less than 15 knots, you may want to look at the smaller Slingshot Rally instead. The excellent light wind stability will make all light wind riders happy and the upwind performance makes the Turbine a good choice for light wind racing.

TIPS:

  • Hook into the harness loop so that the depower cleat is on your dominant side.
  • Ride with the Turbine higher in the air and focus on building board speed to get the best upwind performance.

TESTER COMMENT:

“Not only did I enjoy the predictability and stability of the kite, but I also enjoyed that I could actually get out and ride and try out some tricks, rather than just trudge along.” –Ginette Buffone 130 lbs., Freestyle Kiter

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