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Get full 2015 gear info from 26 brands in the TKB 2015 Buyers Guide.
Slingshot’s 2015 line comprises a mixture of new additions, major changes and refinements. Experiencing a lot of success with the launch of the T-Rex kite surf board in 2014, Slingshot has expanded on this new shape and has become the first kite company to integrate the FCSII fin system in its kite surfboards. Additionally, the twin tip line sees the addition of the Widowmaker, a pet project by lead designer and co-founder, Tony Legosz, whose goal was to build the Ferrari of kiteboards. Slingshot’s Marketing Manager Deb Fuller answers all our questions on the latest gear.
The Rally is a proven kite that has seen some refinements over the years. What do you have in store for dedicated Rally fans for 2015? We’ve improved the turning of the new Rally to give it a similar pivoting feel like the 2012. It was no easy task as we had made a lot of improvements to the rally over the years. Allowing the 2015 Rally to pivot more without losing its stability, took quite a bit of testing and re-working but we’re super happy with the outcome. The new 2015 Rally is still a leading kite in its class and truly the “no bad session” kite.
This year the RPM bridle system has a new IRS technology that replaces the usual pulley travel with a linkage that clicks between modes. What’s this all about and how will it affect performance? The IRS system is our new Intuitive Response System, a revolutionary new bridle system that allows the kite to automatically regulate the bar pressure, turning, and feel of the kite based on riding style. The secret behind this groundbreaking new system is the addition of two high-Absorption Shocks that allows the kite to self-adjust through gusts while maintaining a steady pull through the trick. The Intuitive Response System comes with two extremely refined setting, wakestyle and freestyle, that really deliver the right tune for each style. The 17m Turbine earned a lot of praise for performing in the lightest winds at last year’s TKB light wind testing.
This year you introduced a 15m. Is there much crossover between the kites and how should riders in light wind areas choose between these two Turbine options? The 17M Turbine is a machine. Most of our Pro riders have that kite in their quiver and they love it but what we realized is that they were not using the 17m Turbine to go out in 8kts of wind, they were using that kite in 12+kts so they can be powered to ride like they do on their 14m in 15-20kts. So, it was a natural progression to build one more size into the line, for riders to get that extra power when needed. Also many of our customers are lighter than our team riders and they still want to enjoy the 8-12kts fun, so now they don’t need a 17m, they can enjoy that with the new 15m Turbine.
The Fuel for 2015 received a bridle option. How will this affect the kite’s performance and who is the targeted rider for this option? This year our head-designer Tony Logosz had one mission in mind: To make the Fuel’s performance accessible for everyone without compromising the power and trust felt by the best riders in the world. So, that was the inspiration behind the revolutionary new Nitrous Bridle System, a system that allows you to set up your Fuel two different ways: Direct Connect and Nitrous System mode. The Nitrous Mode is our new 4-point pulley-less bridle system that comes pre-installed on the new 2015 Fuel. The Fuel in Nitrous Mode delivers explosive pop, massive travel, and for the first time, you get incredible range and turnability. Basically it makes the Fuel fly like an RPM on steroids. And for the more advanced riders, the Fuel can still be used in the Direct Connect Mode with the bridle.
This year Slingshot is introducing the all Carbon Widowmaker which uses a unique wood and foam core. What’s the story behind this unique construction and what would be the target rider for this type of board? The Widowmaker was Tony’s top-secret project. It was the kind of project that allowed him to remove all market restrictions so he could construct the ultimate performance kiteboard. He wanted to see how far he could push our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and materials. After working tirelessly with an industry leading carbon company, we have found the future in carbon lay ups. We developed a new weave specifically for the Widowmaker that optimizes the board’s flex characteristics strictly for performance. With better flex and the high strength of our carbon weave the board weight could ultimately be lowered, while still maintaining the durability Slingshot is known for. Tony also had to reinvent the core of the board. Focusing on weight distribution, he created our new hybrid Air Flex Core. Built with the laser cut precision you have come to expect, this all- new platform is the ultimate combination of performance, durability and low weight. Tony didn’t stop there, he knew such an advanced construction would allow him to push the boundaries of design even further, so he developed the new Vortex NACA tunnels that create a unique water combustion and propulsion, resulting in out of this world board speed and tracking abilities. the Widowmaker is what we call the “Ferrari” of kiteboards and unfortunately, much like a Ferrari, technology and performance does comes with a price, so this board is not targeted for the average “give a good deal” rider. It’s for those who know what they want and don’t mind paying a little extra for it.
What are the other highlights for the 2015 twin tips? We have a pure performance shredder returning this year, the Asylum. The Asylum hasn’t changed much this year as our customer base has become very familiar and satisfied with its performance. With our unique precision laser cut channels and Singleshot fusion sidewall we have one of the best performance and quality boards you can purchase. Having our own factory has allowed us to really streamline our R&D efforts and innovate construction techniques giving you a vastly better quality product. This year the Asylum comes outfitted with a really sick graphic created by one of our leading team riders, Alex Fox. We have always placed a huge emphasis on the art of our boards as we truly believe each of our boards are highly functional masterpieces.
The Vision 2.0 is something to really be excited about. With another world-class graphic by Alex Fox and a new and improved base, the Vision comes in hot as one of the best kiteboards we have ever produced. With DNA from our wakeboard line and a new flatter rocker pattern, this board is going to bridge the gap between high performance twin tips and freeride cruisers and become your favorite weapon for the 2015 season. An instant classic with the badass wild graphics and performance refinements, this truly is the ultimate freeride legend.
For 2015 the T-Rex design morphed into the Angry Swallow and the Screamer line of boards. Who are these boards best suited for? the T-ReX shape has proven to be the most advanced surfboard shape in kiteboarding. It’s parallel outline reduces drag and increases water speed to get more upwind performance without jeopardizing stability and the nose design significantly reduces swing weight, making airs spins and flip tricks easier than any other board. For 2015 we decided to expand this proven board concept into two shapes to best fit our customers needs. The Angry Swallow remains the progressive all-around shape with the Versa Fin set-up allowing you to change between a twin-fin, thruster, quad or even five-fin configuration. This allows you to customize the feel of the Angry Swallow the way it suits you best. The new Screamer is a more high-performance board. The single concave and pull-in round tail allows the board to handle more speed and the thruster setup gives the stability that you need.
The big news for 2015 is the adoption of the FCSII fin system in all of Slingshot surfboards. What are the biggest benefits of this design? Slingshot builds quality products and we wanted to ensure that we provide the same quality when it comes to fins. FCS has become the world standard in fin systems and no other fin can really offer the technology and performance that they can. So it was an obvious decision: if we want the best for our customers we have to provide the best, and the new FCSII system is the best. The design is so advanced yet so simple to use. One of the largest benefits we found was the improvement on the fin-to-board connection and the strength of the fin box; They truly feel like glassed-on fins. Another huge benefit is that the new FCSII system is keyless making it easy and convenient to change fins so that you can really customize your board to best suit the changing conditions.
Is there anything else you’d like to add? We build quality product for quality people so we want to take this chance to thank everyone that supports our brand. you guys rule!