Sizes Available: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12m
Sizes Tested: 6, 8, 10m

SLINGSHOT Says:

The SST is fine-tuned to fly deeper in the window than most kites. This, combined with the kite’s shape and bridle setup, yields hero-level downwind drift and steering response even when tension on the lines is minimal. It’s the park-and-ride performance that you dream about. It pulls you into position, drifts with you like a shadow, then re-engages at the flick of a wrist. To better hold up to the surf, the SST features reinforced surf-tough canopy paneling designed to take a beating if it goes through the wash and a condensed version of our IRS bungee that cannot get wrapped around the wingtips.

Visit for more info: www.slingshotsports.com/2018-SST#.WkaF3lQ-c1J

Our Testers Say:

“Sits deep in the window, good one-handed steering, lots of pull for size, quick responsive steering, little bit heavier bar pressure.” // Davey Beard

“Feels like a faster version of the Rally except with really great drift, good boost, lots of hangtime with good low end.” // Dray Murray

“Below the bar depower is hard to get used to but ended up liking it a lot. Great water relaunch, very drifty, excellent turning speed, lift and hangtime. Good kite for progressing in the waves.” // Chris Myles

Meet Our Testers

TKB Says:

While the SST is clearly built to excel in the surf, those very same characteristics can deliver fun general freeride sessions—with its lower aspect shape and sweptback wingtips, the 3-strut SST earned high praise from our testers for user-friendly, all-around fun. The SST 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 SST features four wingtip settings to adjust kite feedback and a single setting front bridle that doesn’t use a pulley to adjust the angle of attack. Testers pegged the bar pressure as medium and medium plus in the larger sizes with nice crisp steering response that results in a pivot style turn. The SST turns a bit tighter than the RPM, yet doesn’t create quite as much power in that motion. It’s super stable and is known for its drift; it likes to fly deep in the window, meaning it powers, depowers and sits deeper in the window without trying to seek the edge of the window. When it loses line tension it drifts back to find its place and continues with what you were doing rather than just stalling and dropping out of the sky—these elements are why this is considered such a great surf kite. The SST features a very solid relaunch from the depth of the wind window. From nose down the kite pivoted onto its wingtip, but did need to taxi half way to the side of the window before releasing from the water. The SST bar stroke seems to accomplish its full depower stroke in a fairly compact distance, so a super long throw may not be necessary.

The SST can be used with either the Compstick Guardian or Compstick Sentinel control bars. Both 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, a spectra sheeting/throw line with a sliding stopper, adjustable length throw, a 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 and below 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.