Slingshot releases products in two cycles per year. For this installment, Slingshot’s dedicated light wind Turbine line of kites gets a full quiver of sizes, we learn about the latest in Slingshot’s American-made twin tips, and get schooled on the all new Hover Glide foil and its affordable flight school package that makes learning to foilboard as easy as possible.
All it takes is one disappointing year for wind to make you realize how important a role a big kite like the Turbine can play in your quiver. For 2017 Slingshot has added a full range of kite sizes to the Turbine line. What will users find in these new smaller kites in the Turbine pantheon?
The Turbine is a high aspect shape that favors power and efficiency. These characteristics are what make it such an amazing light wind kite, but the Turbine is definitely not a kite to corner into a single category. As you go down in size, the Turbine speeds up in steering and handling, and its power and efficiency translate into other benefits. To be clear, the Turbine is a high performance, high power kite that will blow the socks off of anyone looking for next level performance. It boosts huge with crazy hangtime, drives upwind like a madman and has more pull per square meter than any other kite in our lineup. From high flying freestyle to foiling to light wind carving, the Turbine is going to set a whole new standard for what a high aspect kite is capable of.The Rally, Wave and RPM are your high demand kite models, but for this year how should riders choose between these kites for the various disciplines of kiting?
This answer is simple, largely because of how well refined these three kites are for their specific purpose. The hard part is deciding what kind of kiter you are or want to be. While these kites all cross over to broader disciplines of kiteboarding, they are fine tuned to deliver specific performance characteristics. The Wave is tuned for responsive handling and downwind drift — perfect for surfing, foiling and directional riding. The RPM is tuned for aggressive riding and dynamic pop – so it’s well suited for freestyle, wakestyle, boosting, looping and general shredding of the gnar. The Rally is tuned for upwind drive, big depower and range and smooth power control — it’s ideal for all-around riding with confidence in any condition. With our lineup, choosing the right kite comes down to the simple task of asking yourself what you really want a kite to do for you.There have been some significant changes with the Slingshot twin tip line, like a whole new insert system. What are the highlights in the freeride/freestyle segment?
New inserts and new wood are the two big stories for the year. To reduce board weight and improve flex throughout the board, we replaced our Fastrack mounting system with our new Carbon Bedrock Inserts. The inserts are stronger, lighter and allow for a more complete flex of the board. We have also changed the type of wood that we’re using in our boards. We’ve used Pacific Albus in the past, but we have recently switched to Paulownia, which is lighter and has a bit more spring to it. The result of these changes: Riders will notice lighter weights, more consistent flex and a livelier feel.
Slingshot was one of the first companies to jump into the production foilboard game. What can users expect from the new Hover Glide freeride foil and the graduated mast length system?
User-friendly foil progression, plain and simple. With a total of four different length masts to utilize, our Hover Glide foil and Flight School mast package makes learning to foil a whole lot easier and less intimidating. Much like developing basic kite control and muscle memory on a small kite first, starting the foiling process on a shorter mast and graduating in size as you gain confidence makes a huge difference in the learning process. Thanks to the Hover Glide’s aluminum construction, the three mast Flight School package (15”, 24” and 30”) is just over $150, making it a nobrainer for anyone planning to learn or teach foiling and it’s essential for anyone who foils in shallow water where a shorter mast is necessary. One of the greatest assets of the Hover Glide foil is its appeal to riders of all skill levels. It’s definitely not a ‘beginner foil.’ Because of its shape and heavy build, the Hover Glide is extremely stable and not ‘twitchy’ or overly sensitive. It gets up on a plane early, has a decent top end speed and carries momentum exceptionally well. We like to say that the Hover Glide is a foil you can learn with but will never outgrow.
Get gear info from all the top brands in one convenient place with Tkb’s 2017 Buyer’s Guide.