Committed to R&D for the ever increasing foilboarding market, Slingshot continues to expand upon its product range with an impressive 2019 foil and board lineup with new wing construction and options for every level and condition. Tweaks to the rest of the line are explained by Alex Fox, team rider and marketing/team manager for Slingshot Sports.
SLINGSHOT ROLLED OUT AN EXTENSIVE FOIL PROGRAM LAST SEASON AND LOOKS TO HAVE AN EVEN MORE ROBUST LINEUP FOR 2019. WALK US THROUGH THE CONSTRUCTION CHANGES FOR 2019 AND EXPLAIN WHAT WINGS ARE BEST FOR DIFFERENT KINDS OF RIDERS AND CONDITIONS.
Yes, we have worked tirelessly on the new foil line up. Our R&D department has created the most comprehensive foil offering in the world. The objective was to make sure that no matter what skill level you are, what conditions you ride, or even what sport you are choosing to do, that we have a foil for you.
We switched up our wing construction this year. Our re-engineered carbon construction gives the wings a cleaner more polished look and gives you more wing efficiency and durability.
Our goal with the Hover Glide has always been to provide the best value to the consumer. Since the Hover Glide is our entry level foil platform we wanted to make it the best, easiest and most accessible foil. Foiling we believe is for everyone and this product reflects that approach to the market. The new Space Skate 65 front wing for the Hover Glide FKite foil package is an extremely unique wing for learning. It can foil at such drastically slow speeds that it removes much of the fear and intimidation from learning how to foil. When learning, managing your speed is one of the hardest things to master; the fact that this wing foils now at such low speed, the kiter can now focus more on the sensation of foiling.
If you had purchased a Hover Glide last year and are looking to upgrade your foil with a new wing this year, that’s awesome—we have some great stuff for you. If you are looking for more speed, the Warp Speed will be our fastest and most playful wing with the ability to do large banking turns at high speeds, making it a fun step up in performance from our H5 wing last year. If you are looking for surf/wakesurf/kite crossover, there is nothing better than our Infinity 76 wing. Already gaining notoriety as such a great wing for all these sport categories, if you have a Hover Glide and don’t add this wing to your quiver, it’s a huge error on your part.
SLINGSHOT MARKETS ITS KITES ACCORDING TO ‘FEEL’ RATHER THAN BY DISCIPLINE OR CONDITION. WHAT KIND OF RIDERS GRAVITATE TOWARDS YOUR MOST POPULAR KITE, THE RALLY, AND WERE ANY CHANGES MADE TO THE 2019 MODEL? HOW ABOUT THE OTHER KITES FOR 2019?
We market our kites that way because we don’t want to pigeonhole our kites’ performance. The Rally for instance has surf DNA, that was the initial design direction but now it’s become such a massive evolution from that. The Rally is the most popular kite simply because it does everything well. This is a kite that you can learn on and never outgrow. There are surfers, flatwater riders, boosters, and foilers all using the Rally for its ease of use, relaunch, range, and boosting capabilities. For 2019 we have experimented with a new canopy geometry to give it more efficiency as well as added D2 to the trailing edge for added durability. Most notably, our kite received a massive aesthetic makeover. With an asymmetrical color scheme, these kites are standouts on the beach and in the water.
YOUR TWIN TIP BOARD LINE HAD SOME TWEAKS IN CONSTRUCTION AND NEW TECH. WHAT CHANGED AND WHY?
There hasn’t been much innovation in twin tips in the past few years—the industry has taken the twin tip so far there may not be much room to continue that development. We invested in material science e.g. what products are out there that can be of an advantage to the consumer? We found Koroyd and knew that we had to implement this technology in our Misfit. Koroyd is a unique thermally welded co-polymer tube. It essentially acts like a honeycomb; it provides a lighter construction with a higher strength coefficient but it also provides dampening which gives the kiter a smoother ride. It’s an all-around better experience for the consumer. It also looks amazing on the water—the board glows and it is definitely a standout on the beach.
AT THE RECENT INDUSTRY TRADESHOW IN HOOD RIVER, SLINGSHOT WAS VOTED AS ‘WINDSURF BRAND OF THE YEAR.’ CONGRATULATIONS! WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES, IN TERMS OF LEARNING, FEEL AND CONDITIONS, OF WINDSURF FOILBOARDING VERSUS KITE FOILBOARDING?
Haha, thank you! It was a bit unexpected but it represents lots of handwork by our team. If you are a proficient windsurfer, learning how to foil is easier than a seasoned kiter learning how to kite foil. It’s just less dynamic since the sail is connected to your board. We have seen such a resurgence in windsurf participation especially in the Gorge that it is hard to ignore. Tony Logosz our chief designer is a long time windsurfer and he has probably logged more hours wind foiling than anyone in the world and when he does something we take notice. It’s a nostalgia thing for lots of people. The fact that longtime windsurf converts can go back to the sport they fell in love with and be reinvigorated by it, makes it hugely important for us. We noticed that with kiteboarding, people who simply stopped kiteboarding came back to sport to foil because it was such a new sensation. How could you expect windsurfers not to want to do the same?