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For its Spring 2013 product release, Slingshot has updated the RPM, Z, and Turbine kites. Also being released are the Glide, Crisis, and Darko boards. We sat down with Brand Manager Gary Huck to find out more about what we can expect from Slingshot in 2013.
|2013 SLINGSHOT KITES|
|Kite Name||Sizes||Stock Line Length||Target||Date Available|
|Rally||4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14m||20, 23, or 27m||Intermediate-expert crossover riders from surf to progressive freestyle||Now|
|Fuel||6, 7, 9, 11, 13m||20, or 23m||Advanced-expert aggressive freestyle and progressive wake||Now|
|RPM||4.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14m||20, 23, or 27m||Intermediate-experts looking for a kite that does freestyle, wakestyle, surf, or snow||January 2013|
|Z||6, 9, 11, 13m||23m||Beginner/intermediate-advanced looking for plug and play convenience and stability||January 2013|
|Turbine||17m||27m||Light wind, course racing, surf||January 2013|
What’s new with the RPM?
That’s a question we get every year since producing this ground breaking kite. The fact of the matter is, since introducing this kite five years ago, we’ve continually made steady improvements and subtle tweaks to make the kite what it is today. This design is now super dialed and we’re not going to make changes for the sake of new.
During the most recent development cycle we introduced new ideas, but they changed the kite too much. That’s the last thing we want to do. This kite is proven and probably has been tested with as much rider feedback as the Fuel at this point. The majority of our riders are on the RPM as it’s become a powerful combination for all types of riding.
We constantly see riders pushing this kite into every condition imaginable. Obviously this kite dominates in freestyle, but it’s proven itself in extreme surf, hard core wake and everything in between. We are super proud of this kite and what it has meant to the progression of the sport.
Looks like the Darko has had a complete redesign.
It has. The 2013 Darko is completely new. The base, the outline, the rocker, the bottom features, the graphic – everything has been rethought. We really wanted to build a board that is a premium example of what is coming out of our state of the art local factory. The full wood core with complex molded channels is hand built right here in the USA from sustainable forests and the greenest materials available.
It has a number of unique features that should magnify our hard core riders performance including Double V Molded Channels, Tunnel Concave base, 60/40 High Cap Rail and a new Fastrack design.
|2013 SLINGSHOT BOARDS|
|Board Name||Sizes||Type||Target||Date Available|
|Asylum||134, 138, 141cm||Twin||Aggressive freestyle to wake||Now|
|Darko||134, 138, 142cm||Twin||Aggressive freestyle to wake||January 2013|
|Misfit||132, 136, 142, 146cm||Twin||Crossover riders looking for controlled flex||Now|
|Crisis||134, 137, 141, 146cm||Twin||Entry level to intermediate riders looking to balance flex performance with value||January 2013|
|Glide||160cm||Twin||Light wind riders wanting to maximize their time on the water||January 2013|
|Tyrant (WVX and EPX)||5’8”, 5’11”, 6’1”||Surf||One board quiver, squash tail||Now|
|Celeritas (WVX and EPX)||5’6”, 5’8”, 5’11”||Surf||Super fast, user friendly shape, thumb tail||Now|
|Dialer (WVX and EPX)||5’10”||Surf||Stable but responsive board for everyday surf, swallow tail||Now|
|Verve||6’0”||Surf||Durable, reliability for value minded riders, swallow tail||Now|
The Z is back. What was the first year of that kite like?
Honestly, even we were surprised at how many riders fell in love with this kite. It’s always tough to introduce a new design to the market and our riders, but the Z was quickly embraced as a do-everything kite that all levels of riders found something they liked in it. The plug and play usability of this kite means you can open this kite up and be on the water in minutes.
Although it was made for building rider’s confidence, veteran kiters have loved the gigantic boosts and dynamic responsiveness in any condition. We’ve also been praised for the massive wind range this kite manages. And of course beginners found the easy relaunch and stability perfect for their learning curve. The 2013 should continue to impress those types of riders and build momentum going into the season.
The Ballistic Harness looks very different. Tell us about it.
When we decided to redesign the Ballistic Harness for 2013, mobility and maximum comfort were at the center of every decision made. We spent a lot of time on the 3D molding and the shaping to create a level of support, flex and durability that keeps you on the water longer. There’s quite a few quality harnesses out there, but we wanted to make something for the die-hard Slingshot fan that not only is functional, but represents their unique, hard core style.
Want 185 pages of 2013 kiteboarding gear info on 28 brands? Check out the TKB 2013 Buyer’s Guide.