Sizes Available: 3, 4, 4.5, 5m
Sizes Tested: 4m
In a category all its own the Slingshot Dart sets a new standard in wings. Finally, a hard-charging speed machine capable of rocket airs and unlimited hang time. Push the Dart and the Dart pushes right back. Designed to escape the monotony of low-power wings meant for cruising swell, The Dart is an animal all its own. Speed records will be set, hang time will be counted. If you are done drifting down swell and want to take your wing straight to the stratosphere, pushing boundaries in every dimension…grab a Dart and set your target.
Winging is entering a new phase of radical maneuvers and our team riders were ready to escape the monotony of wings made primarily for drifting. The Dart was designed specifically for, high speed, huge jumps and backflips.
The Dart’s Delta shape provides riders lightning-fast acceleration and the ability to penetrate into the wind to meet any swell, anywhere, with full power. The massive hangtime and loft our team demanded when jumping this wing is a result of the differential pressure rolling over the huge LE and into the extended dihedral canopy. We also wanted a wing with a shorter wingspan to help out or shorter riders and allow the wingtips to clear the water in next-level spins and flips.
Visit for more info: www.slingshotsports.com/collections/wings/products/dart-v1
The design team at Slingshot has never been accused of going with the flow and to prove that once again, they have shattered the existing wingsurfing equation with a beyond-the-box design with the all-new Dart wing.
Type of inflation: Bayonet / standard pump hose
Number of boom handles: 5 center handles
Y handles: Yes / 2
Wrist leash style: 2 part overlap velcro
Design and Features
When you pull the Dart out of its bag the first thing that becomes apparent is its durable construction and stealth bomber-looking shape. With a notably large leading-edge diameter, the Dart has a pointy nose and significant dihedral that looks like nothing else on the market. The sail plan is designed to be longer rather than wider and the trailing edge features four soft battens to stabilize the leach. The Dart pumps up with a large flow bayonet valve that uses the standard pump hose and features a dump valve on the leading edge for a quicker deflate. The Dart features five handles down the center of the boom strut, two handles for the front hand and three handles for the back hand. There are two diagonal Y handles that cross from the boom to the leading edge. The Dart comes with a hefty coil leash that uses a two-part overlapping Velcro closure and two swivels to keep the leash from twisting up.
From our first tack off the beach, we noted immediately that the Dart is an upwind machine. The narrower wingspan and longer body feels very directional and wanted to lock into upwind riding and then accelerate and penetrate into the wind. We’ve tested a lot of wings, but none have had this upwind driving feel. Some of the wings that have superior upwind ability also tend to come with the downside of easy backwinding (it’s like they can cross beyond the eye of the wind and throw on the brakes), but the Dart’s bigger diameter leading edge seemed to push the boundaries of upwind angles without the downside of backwinding or pushing back. Despite the Dart’s superior angle of attack, it didn’t feel sensitive to over-sheeting or require pitch-perfect tuning/trimming. The Dart just wanted to accelerate and drive forward at high speeds.
One of the first things we had to figure out was which of the five handles were preferred, and the answer depended on our angle of attack. Going upwind, our front hand used the second handle back with our back hand on the third or fourth (the fifth would be ideal for someone with really long arms). This chosen upwind handle stance felt pretty narrow, but it seemed to lock into a sweet spot that balanced the wing, reduced arm fatigue and felt most natural. When it came to broad-reaching or bearing off, we found the first handle and the third or fourth to be the most comfortable. This is very different from the Slingwing V2, where you probably use the same handles for every angle of riding. We also used the upper Y-handle as well for going upwind and liked how you could fine-tune your stance width along its diagonal grip.
The Dart is an interesting animal and beyond its amazing upwind ability, it also delivers in the jumping and hangtime arena. With its narrower wingspan, the Dart’s thick leading edge seems to allow the airframe to handle higher loads and continue to generate lift when other wings can collapse and depower. For boosting airs, the Dart seemed to load up and continue pulling you into the air while continuing to generate lift for longer hangtimes. The landings seemed to be more forgiving or predictable because the Dart didn’t lose its power on descent. The narrower wingspan also tends to rotate much easier, helping with technical maneuvers like around the worlds, tacks and other tricky moves that require you to rotate the wing through the eye of the wind (our test team cannot validate backrolls and front flips but from what we’ve seen from the Spencer brothers, the Dart looks legit.) The Dart’s directionality buys you some extra breathing room for these maneuvers and for high-performing athletes we can see the attraction to pushing those boundaries. When it comes to hovering, the Dart felt neutral or a slight bit negative in the floating department, but it did a great job of following us into waves and remaining stable and upright with directional changes. If chasing waves is your thing, we think the Slingwing V2 is probably a better fit, yet the Dart didn’t disappoint in that arena.
Overall, the Dart is a very specific design that excels at some very specific types of riding. For our friends that are just getting started or fumbling through the basic progression of wingsurfing, we’d steer them to the Slingwing V2 for ease of use and its simpler handle layout. For those riders that are pushing freestyle, jumping and high speed intense freeriding, we think the Dart is a unique one-off formula that will get the creative juices and adrenaline pumping.
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