Sizes Available: 15, 18m
Sizes Tested: 15m

Slingshot Says:

Double surface design for double the adventure. For any addicted hydro-foilers and efficiency pioneers, that want to explore new possibilities with a kite. As your skills evolve and you become an expert in angles and efficiency, you’ll eventually hit a wall with the limits of your LEI kite. It’s literally a drag. Combine the Phantom with your hydrofoil and your world on the water will never be the same. Discover new upwind angles, speeds, light wind minimums, hangtime and overall efficiencies. Sessions you would have written off are now completely rewritten.

Tony Logosz collaborated with the designers at Elf kites to ensure the Phantom has all the bells and whistles. As a result, its awesomeness is awesome. The Phantom comes with automatic camber adjustment that is controlled with the stroke of the bar. It offers advanced manufacturing techniques to insure each rib (cell) can take it’s own load and then some. It is designed to fly with any of our simple four-line kite bars (20 meter lines are ideal). It has a closed cell design that lets air in along the leading edge to “inflate” the kite and traps it in in the foil chambers. This also impedes water if you happen to drop it. Water launch is reliable, but if you’re worried about it, it’s probably not a kite for you. Bridles on the Phantom are thicker and stronger to eliminate the constant pain in the ass tuning process required with less stout lines.

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TKB Says:

While Slingshot has dabbled in the realm of snowkites and has long been the leader of foil trainer kites with its B-model wings, the Phantom is it’s first fully fledged ram air wing aimed at the light wind market. The Phantom sports a high aspect shape that looks race ready with its thin and long sliver moon shape. Our first impression with this foil is that it screams through the window and wants to fly exceptionally far forward for excellent upwind performance– it basically wants to charge upwind.

The first thing to remember when you start to think about foil kites is that evaluating a foil from the same frame of references as a leading edge inflatable is really not a fair comparison. When it comes to evaluating a foil for its turning characteristics it’s important to adjust your frame of reference away from the performance you get out of an inflatable. Foil kites are designed for their massive low-end pulling power that is generated from apparent wind. Foils offer you extreme low-end pulling performance but that same grunt doesn’t come with crisp steering and fast steering speed. When the Phantom starts moving through the window it generates an incredible amount of power. It wants to really go upwind and feels really fast through the window with very little drag. The bar pressure feels noticeably light but at the same time, the rider has to be cognizant of the kite’s subtle feedback. The power delivery happens in a very small length of throw (probably around three inches) and if you are used to the kind of bar input you get from an inflatable you might oversheet this kite quite frequently at first. Since the steering response and turning speed are fairly slow, you really need to adjust your anticipation on water starts, transitions and jumping so that you don’t end up dumping the kite in the water. That’s not  a negative when you match that up with this kite’s sheer low-end potential because it really is capable of getting you out in almost nothing in terms of wind. While jumping may at first seem to be a little challenging in terms of getting big air, just watch Fred Hope and you know the potential is there. Overall this is a great kite for the twin tip rider that just wants to get out in any condition, stay upwind and launch some airs when it would otherwise be unthinkable. The bridle setup is pretty much standard, which means you will need to familiarize yourself with it.  It’s line colors are what a normal/clean setup should look like. We also recommend for the first time fliers that they spend some time learning about the use of this type of kite’s brake, study the bridle setup and get a friend to help with the first couple of launches. This size may be a bit big for foilboarding, but that said, the depower on the kite was sufficient that it had a good high-end range as well as low-end so it didn’t feel  scary, but overall, it’s a race machine that can quite capably double as a very solid twin tip or directional light wind weapon for the person that wants to just get out and cruise around in almost nothing.

The Slingshot bar that comes with this kite didn’t come with the brake installed, but given how crucial the brake is for launching and landing we recommend that you do not fly this without that option. We rode the Phantom with the Compstick Sentinel which features an above the bar power tuning with single center-line safety depower, 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. We liked the smaller diameter grip and raised volcano at the insert to avoid pinched fingers, and liked the thin rubber lines along the grip which made for a very solid grip.

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