Sizes Available: 13, 15, 17, 19m
Sizes Tested: 15, 17m

Slingshot Says:

With more power per square meter than any other kite in our lineup, the 2019 Turbine is a high-aspect, high-efficiency kite designed for hero-level shredding in wind as light as a mellow onshore breeze.

The Turbine’s high-aspect shape favors power, efficiency and low-end performance. Known as the “Session saver”, a must-have for light wind locations. With long, lofty airs you can just sheet in and ride the elevator. Freestyle friendly, has drift and carry, pulls like a tank. Fine-tuned bridle helps with relaunching in low wind.

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Our Testers Say:

“Good, light wind kite. With less than 10 knots in the lulls it had impressive in air performance and easy relaunch. On a 15m with giant wind holes the Turbine worked great.” // Cam Lewis

“Solid pull with lots of power, gets you on the water in any condition. Turning is not the Turbine’s strength, but you won’t need it with the solid pull and power.” // Marko Bartscherer

“Very stable, slower speed, good for beginner and intermediate. Stays where you place it. Heavier bar pressure, slower turning speed, good hangtime, good relaunch and decent upwind ability.” // Micha Dassler

Meet Our Testers

TKB Says:

The Turbine is back to a four-kite quiver that focuses exclusively on the light wind session. The Turbine is a 5-strut delta shape with sweptback wingtips. In many respects, the Turbine looks like a scaled-up Rally (Rally covers 7m-14m and Turbine 15m-19m) but you can see there are some weight reduction measures in the canopy along with other subtle changes in aspect ratio that make this the famous light wind pulling machine what it is. The Turbine comes with a fixed single setting front bridle and three wingtip settings that allow you to adjust kite feedback (bar pressure). The Turbine uses loops on the leading edge bridle attachment points and knots on the wingtip attachment pigtails. Inflation of this larger sized kite is relatively quick with Slingshot’s 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 deflating, there’s a standard dump valve that allows you to quickly deflate without unthreading the bayonet valve. The Turbine comes with medium plus bar pressure that testers noted for its heavier pull, but also earned unanimous praise for its park and fly power delivery. Everything about the Turbine happens a bit slower, with its large canopy the turning response becomes slower with size and the turning speed is about what you would expect from a large kite. The bigger riders in the test gave the Turbine good reviews for its sheet and go power and its phenomenal low-end grunt delivering the pull you need without aggressively flying the kite. Testers praised the Turbine for its predictable flying and found the canopy very static with very little flutter for its size. With all that immense pulling power, testers also found the depower fairly adept at releasing that pull at the higher end of the kite’s range. The Turbine received an excellent review for water relaunch which endorses our previous experiences of relaunching this monster in the lightest of wind. Many kiteboarders are turning to foilboards as their light wind session saver, and that in turn changes how we think about light wind kites. But for the classic light wind twin tip rider or larger rider with a need for sheer grunt pulling power, the Turbine remains an excellent choice to get you on the water when the whitecaps just won’t come.

Our Slingshot kites came with both 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 inside lines end in knots and the outside lines end in loops. The Sentinel offers a sturdy quick release that integrates a below the bar hand swivel which also doubles as a quick release guard. The quick release handle locks in the open position and resetting is fairly straightforward — simply place the end of the loop back into position and then depress a stainless steel tab that frees the release handle and locks the quick release back together. Testers did note that when you release the gate, there is a sharp edge on the handle that tends to pinch the finger on the tab. This could be easily fixed by sanding off the pointy ends on the red and white handle. The Compstick is the only bar in our test that featured dual outside line OS handles with no adjustment for outside line length. OS handles can be bulky and a point of tangle in spaghetti situations, but they can also save you in a dicey situation. 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 next to the insert which helps avoid pinched fingers. Testers found the grip to be fairly dense with thin rubber ridges along the handle that make for a very aggressive yet solid grip. This year the bar got a color upgrade with the left side of the bar and the floats sporting a solid red color for a very clear and obvious color coding that is unmistakable. The Compstick features bomber construction and tons of features which makes this one of the heavier bars in our test and as a result comes with bulkier foam floats.

The Compstick Guardian features a 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. 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. The bar design and other rigging is the same as the Compstick Sentinel (see above). If the advantages of below the bar tuning systems are lost on you, then check out the Compstick Sentinel above.

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With the help of 14 testers from all walks of kiteboarding, Tkb’s staff assembled detailed gear reviews with objective performance criteria of the latest 2019 kites, twin tips and foilboards all packed into one neat and tidy 180-page digital package. Get all the reviews in convenient digital guide here:

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