Sizes Available: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12m
Sizes Tested: 8m
The SST is the kite of choice for surfers, foilers, directional riders, downwind fanatics and general freeriders who value down the line drift, through the window speed and immediate reaction as their kite’s most important flying
characteristics. Think tow-in surfing. The SST delivers the power and performance to get you into position, drifts
like a feather as you ride down the line, then reengages with the flick if a wrist. These same qualities make the SST the perfect choice for foiling, when you want full feedback and responsive steering no matter how powered
you are or what direction you’re riding.
For more info visit: https://www.slingshotsports.com/SST-V5
We were lucky enough to have one of the first 2020 SSTs to test back to back against the 2019 model and found some small but noticeable changes to Slingshot’s wave and freeride foil kite for this year. The SST continues as a 3-strut low aspect canopy with its sweptback leading edge and boxy wingtips. 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 front bridle is a single setting fixed bridle which is fairly short in length and the wingtip offers three settings for adjusting kite feedback; the stock position is the closest to the wintgip (farthest back) of the three attachments, which offers the least amount of feedback. The canopy features no battens on the trailing edge, Slingshot’s patented splitstrut and the front bridle attachment point ends in a larkshead and the wingtip attachment pigtails end in knots.
Compared to last year’s SST we found the 2020 to have a bit more progressive power delivery along the bar’s throw. If the previous SST had a narrower on/off spectrum of power delivery, the 2020 version seems to stretch this power more evenly over a longer length of throw and this might make power control a bit more intuitive for progressive kiters. The SST handled gusts really well and seemed to resist stalling in lulls a bit better as well. The 2020 model felt like it had a minor increase in bar pressure over the previous year — we noticed it particularly when turning the kite as it wanted more bar input, but the turning response was still lightning quick with the same tight pivoting turn that allows you to put the kite wherever you want it while riding waves. The 2020 seems to offer the rider a bit more position feedback too. In the past the SST has caught us off guard at times and this new version seems to offer the rider more position and turning awareness when focusing on waves. It felt as if this version generated a little bit more pull during tight turns which we really liked for riding in side-on conditions. In terms of drift, the 2010 SST seemed about the same as the previous model, with the kite backing through the window as we raced down sections and maintaining line tension and control at all times, and most noticeably well in the lighter wind part of our session. Overall, the SST continues to define the qualities that work exceedingly well in wave riding with tight pivotal turns, quick steering response, excellent drift and user-friendly power control and delivery.
The SST came with the Compstick Sentinel control bar, a 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 straight forward – 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. 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. The color coding on this bar is clear and obvious which is great for wave riding with the left side of the bar and the floats sporting a solid red color that is unmistakable. The Compstick features bomber construction and tons of features which makes this one of the heavier bars in our test and comes with bulkier foam floats as a result.
Visit for more info on the bar: www.slingshotsports.com/2019-Compstick-w-Sentinel