Sizes Available: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12m
Sizes Tested: 8m
The Machine V1 is our all-new big-air kite that performs like a rocket. Our legendary design team built the Machine V1 with next-level lift and hang-time capabilities that’ll elevate you toward personal bests while still excelling as a high-performance everyday kite.
The Machine V1 has an all-new frame geometry that provides insane upward propulsion. Its highly efficient aspect ratio is tuned to launch you to new heights and air times while still maintaining lightning-quick reaction speed and turning. Featuring a minimalistic and strategic paneling layout and a premium, streamlined no-pulley bridle system, the Machine V1’s weight is minimized for pure freeride performance.
Visit for more info: https://slingshotsports.com/products/machine-v1
The second we put the new Slingshot Machine in the air, it was apparent that this completely new design was going to be a category defining addition to the performance big air discipline. The launch of the Machine V1 introduces a 5-strut higher aspect canopy that just wants to boost big fiery airs that are guaranteed to keep your adrenaline system working overtime.
With a highly unique airframe shape, the Machine uses super thin struts and strategic use of materials to keep weight down while delivering sufficient structure stability that generates eye-opening performance in the upper wind ranges. Designed as a category specific model, the Machine in sizes 5 through 12 is a big air kitelooping machine and the Machine LW in sizes 15 and 17m is designed as a 3-strut low-wind freestyle machine that keeps the twintip party going on those lighter wind days.
Inflation Valve: Bayonet valve / no nozzle attachment required
Attachments: Center bridle: Lark’s head loop / Wingtip bridle: Knots
Centerline Split: Low-V
Front Bridle Options: Single setting / fixed with no pulleys
Design and Features
The Machine inflates with Slingshot’s bayonet valve that requires no proprietary pump nozzle and keeps the pump hose securely fastened to the kite while accelerating the inflation process. The struts have large diameter distribution hoses which makes inflation between the leading edge and the struts super fast, while pack-up seemed equally speedy and efficient with the use of the supplied dump valve, which allows you to avoid unthreading the bayonet valve on deflation.
The Machine sports a leading edge shape that Slingshot calls the Open-C Hybrid which offers more canopy in the lifting area of the kite and translates to tons of powerful boosting capability when you want it. Slingshot’s Micro Strut design allows for streamlined struts and pairs that with a single setting fixed front bridle that doesn’t use a pulley to adjust the kite’s angle of attack. The front bridle pigtails end in a lark’s head loop and the wingtip pigtails end in knots. The wingtip attachment point offers three tuning options for bar pressure with the factory setting position in the center. The wingtip uses Dacron sparingly and the trailing edge receives Dacron all the way across along with the use of short corded soft battens to keep the material stable.
On the first tack, the immediate qualities that jumped out is the Machine’s forward flying stance in the window and the medium bar pressure that felt really balanced and comfortable on the arms. The Machine works its way upwind very well, although not pointing quite as high a race kite pedigree, but still did a great job of making a quick tack upwind to get to the next set of jumps. With fuller wingtips for increased steering surface and its direct/no-pulley style front bridle, the steering response felt very quick and the overall turning seemed fast for the higher aspect shape. While the Machine seems to generate its power from apparent wind, the power delivery across the bar’s throw felt refreshingly progressive and intuitive which offered a more sheet-and-go feel than we were expecting. The overall feel of the Machine’s movement through the window felt nimble, which we attributed to Slingshot’s measured use of materials and slimmer but robust 5-strut airframe.
We were surprised by the tighter steering arc as we were expecting a bit of a wider turn from this canopy, but when the turning arc combined with the crisp steering response, we found ourselves sending some perfectly controlled launches right off the bat. With the precision turning controls it was really easy to load the kite with a ton of power and direct it into the perfect trajectory for explosive lifting forces. The extra maneuverability helped everything from generating power through lulls to looping the kite exactly where we wanted it on big, extended airs. Since the Machine in the smaller sizes is geared towards big air and looping, one of the key characteristics is how much lift the kite creates when you lean into a hard send. The Machine canopy offered a solid punch of lift, with its airframe converting every ounce of gust and apparent wind into pop-like pulling power. On one hand, this amount of lift is awesome for experienced kiters pushing boundaries, but for beginners the Machine has more punch than is needed for moderate airs. The hangtime on the Machine is still very good in the smaller sizes, but its agility is the stronger attribute that keeps you flying through longer airs and softer landings. When the Machine lines up with gusts during big sends or loops it transfers that power directly into your harness while the 5-strut airframe stays uniform during heavy loads. In terms of looping, the Machine reliably steered through the loops for recovery and generated some impressive lateral pull that was capable of taking us to the edge. When things didn’t quite work out as planned, we found the relaunch was surprisingly easy with the Open-C leading edge. From nose down in the middle of the window, the Machine’s wingtip rotated up and launched from fairly deep in the window on command every time.
In summary, the Machine is a serious big boosting animal with some throaty looping power that lends itself to the confident kiter who can anticipate its pulling power. The 5-strut airframe can handle the over-powered riding range, yet the bar feel is very measured and precise which gives you comfortable yet precision control over the Machine. We pushed ourselves into some exciting territory with this new model, but it’s worth saying that this is probably best enjoyed by the progressing intermediate and advanced kiters looking to scare themselves into bigger airs and meatier loops. We look forward to testing the Machine LW’s larger sizes later this spring, but for now we are squarely impressed with the performance big air chops of the smaller sizes.
We rode the Machine with Slingshot’s Sentry bar. Read the review here.
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