Sizes Available: 4.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14m
Sizes Tested: 6, 9, 12m
Some of the busiest schools in the world use the RPM as their go-to kite because of its reliability in any wind condition and its bomber construction. Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the spectrum, the RPM is a championship-level freestyle kite that has propelled multiple riders to world titles. For general freeriding, it provides responsive handling, smooth power delivery throughout the window, great boosting and powerful but predictable loops. For dedicated freestyle, the RPM delivers the competitive edge with amazing pop and carry, flawless unhooked performance and multiple customization options to fine-tune handling to adapt to varying conditions.
Visit for more info: www.slingshotsports.com/2018-RPM
Our Testers Say:
“The gem of the Slingshot line! Does everything well, boost, turns and highly responsive. Tons of depower, consistent turning speed, handles gusts with ease, very predictable work horse that is ready for anything.” // Dray Murray
“Love this kite, very stable, stays in the window, minimal bar movement to steer the kite, huge wind range, very quick turns and takes gusts amazingly, excellent boosting and hangtime.” // Chris Myles
“Great kite for all around fun. Agile, stable, sits mid-back in the window, nice trim cleat design. Good upwind ability with very comfortable medium bar pressure.” // Tom Turley
The RPM is Slingshot’s longstanding high depower freeride kite with a 3-strut medium aspect canopy that uses their open C-shaped profile that is designed as a crossover machine for just about everything but racing. The RPM uses a large diameter bayonet style inflation valve that requires no nozzle on the end of your standard pump hose for a quick and easy pump up. When it comes time to deflate, there’s a standard dump valve that allows you to quickly deflate without unthreading the bayonet valve. The RPM features four wingtip settings for adjusting kite feedback and the front bridle features Slingshot’s IRS single setting bridle with a fixed connection point that doesn’t utilize a pulley to change the kite’s angle of attack. The front bridle attachment point ends in a loop and the wingtip attachment point ends in a knot. The RPM offers light to medium bar pressure and tends to sit farther forward compared to the SST. The RPM has been known for its crisp steering response and fairly quick turning speed in a wider C-style turning arc compared to the Rally and SST. Testers gave the RPM excellent praise for its big air boosting and hangtime, yet the RPM also excels in load, pop and slack freestyle because its steering and sheeting are conducive to unhooked moves. When it comes to relaunch, the RPM will relaunch every time by applying pressure to the control bar, but the relaunch is not as quick as what you get with the Rally and the SST. When you combine the RPM’s crisp steering with its big air chops and friendly unhooked dynamics you have a kite that truly crosses all the disciplines for the rider that intends to dabble in a little bit of everything.
The RPM can be used with either the Compstick Guardian or Compstick Sentinel control bars. Both of these bars are fixed length bars that comes in three sizes: 17” width with 20m lines, a 20” width with 23m lines (3m ext), and a 23” width with 27m lines.
The Compstick Sentinel features above the bar power tuning with single center-line safety depower, spectra sheeting/throw line with sliding stopper, adjustable length throw, tuning cleat power system with a toggle that uses a magnet to control excess tuning slack and a low V. The Sentinel offers a sturdy quick release that integrates a below the bar hand swivel which also doubles as a quick release guard. The Compstick is the only bar in our test that featured dual outside line OS handles. The bar ends offer bungees for keeping the lines clean and the floats are separate from the bar ends. While testers liked the smaller diameter grip and raised volcano at the insert to avoid pinched fingers, testers commented on the thin rubber lines along the grip and how they make for a very solid grip.
The Compstick Guardian features single center-line safety depower, spectra sheeting/throw line, a low V, a sliding stopper andbelow the bar cleat tuning integrated into the push away quick release. There’s no travel guard or below the bar hand swivel but the quick release is compact and keeps a large amount of throw travel within reach of the rider. There’s an above the bar swivel, adjustable length throw and it’s the only bar in our test that featured dual outside line OS handles. This bar uses Slingshot’s existing Guardian quick release system which puts the kite’s tuning below the bar, which allows surfers to increase the amount of throw/sheeting while still being able to reach the tuning of the kite. Testers who are not used to below the bar sheeting often find it’s difficult to get the leverage to operate the cleat, but with the proper technique (place the cleat on the side of your favored arm and sheet out while adjusting) this is a fairly easy and functional design for performance kiters. And if you can’t wrap your head around the advantages of below the bar tuning systems, then check out the Compstick Sentinel.
Visit for more info on the bar: www.slingshotsports.com/Bars
Want more gear reviews all in one place? Read detailed and objective reviews on the 30 kite models and 33 board models that Tkb and freeride testers reviewed for the 2018 Freeride Gear Review Guide.