Sizes Available: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12m
Sizes Tested: 9m
For 2022, we have evolved the SST, our legendary kitesurfing kite, to be better than ever for any wave in the world. Featuring a completely redesigned wingtip shape and geometry, the all-new SST V6 builds upon its reputation as one of the fastest and most responsive kites on the market. The additional curve of the wingtip combined with our IRS bridle technology provides added range and has completely revolutionized its upwind performance and water relaunch. The SST V6’s ultralight and ultra-thin micro-struts provide plenty of overall structure to the kite while still keeping the overall weight down, enabling next level drift and response. To further strategically scale down weight, we reduced our canopy paneling by more than 50% as well as implemented our new premium lightweight IRS bridle.
The SST V6 delivers next-level speed, drift and response while also providing the rider with great upwind reach and the confidence of quick water relaunch.
Visit for more info: www.slingshotsports.com/collections/kites/products/sst-v6
The return of Ben Wilson to the Slingshot family has coincided with a ground-up redesign of Slingshot’s classic wave platform with this year’s release of the SST V6. From the moment we set eyes on the SST it was apparent that it has been taken apart and reassembled with eye-opening changes that focuses on lighter material usage and precision controls that lead to extra nimble flight characteristics and added power. While some aspects may seem familiar to the loyal SST crowd, the SST/Slingshot dramatically stepped it up in the control and drift departments.
Inflation Valve: Bayonet valve / no 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
From afar you can see the new SST has a significantly reduced panel complexity for a simplified layout with considerable modifications to the wingtip shape with a much more swept back curve into the trailing-edge that replace the squarer wingtips of previous versions. The SST V6 introduces the ‘microstrut’ which is the slimmest strut design we have seen on any kite, but the leading edge continues to feature its tucked in center section that uniquely hovers on the beach. There’s a lot of changes here, but the most obvious theme is a host of construction decisions which reduce weight and lead to a significant improvement in drift.
Inflation starts 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 received large diameter distribution hoses which make inflation between the leading edge and the struts super-fast, while pack-up seemed equally speedy with the use of the supplied dump valve which allows you to avoid unthreading the bayonet valve on deflation. The IRS bridle uses a line which is 25% thinner for reduced friction and is noticeably shorter so that it can’t wrap around any of the wingtips. The IRS bridle is a single-setting fixed bridle that doesn’t use sliders to help adjust the angle of attack. The front bridle attachment pigtail ends in a lark’s head loop and the wingtip attachment pigtail ends in three knots for tuning back line tension. The wingtip features two tuning settings to adjust bar pressure and turning speed. The V6 uses significantly less Dacron in the wingtips and the trailing edge features a light Dacron strip and some corded battens to stabilize the leech with the overall aim of eliminating weight from every corner of the kite.
Straight off the bat we noticed the V6’s bar feel is a bit easier on the arms with the bar pressure in the light to medium realm which translates to a comfortable feel that doesn’t require as much input to operate the kite. The steering feels more active with turn initiation that’s crisp with quick steering response and overall faster turning speeds. It seemed like the V6’s turning radius is slightly wider than that of the V5, as the steering arc didn’t feel quite so pivotal, but the power delivery during turns felt constant and predictable while kite placement and timing remained exceptionally easy. This version of the SST continues to feel fast and extremely maneuverable with a bar feel that felt more progressive and intuitive in every respect.
Our testers immediately noted that this year’s kite has a bit more low-end pulling power on demand and some recommended dropping a kite size to stay on par with the previous version’s wind range. It seemed as if the SST has shifted a bit towards the class of surf kites that have slightly more grunty pulling power. However, the IRS bridles gives you direct control over that power and the complete depower found at the end of the bar throw makes this power feel both forgiving yet also on demand when you want it. For those riders who use the SST for strapless freestyle, the extra grunt will give you more vertical pull and extra aggressive punting power for more amplitude. The lighter airframe helps the canopy to remain responsive to steering input when depowered and most notably, this rear’s reduction in weight delivers significantly improved drift. The SST feels lighter in the air and has more float when you lose line tension which allows you to push the limits on line slack quite a bit farther. While we didn’t have world class waves at our disposal we thoroughly reviewed the drift capabilities in onshore slop which is perfect for testing the kite’s notable drift abilities and extra nimble steering improvements. When things didn’t go quite to plan and the kite ended up in the soup, we found the SST’s relaunch to be very reliable as the airframe was always quick to roll up into position with minimal bar input for a fast relaunch every time.
Longtime SST riders will immediately notice the improvements in turning response and the extra drift will quickly take center stage. The new SST will stay one step in front of you while allowing you to focus a bit more on choosing the line you want to surf, rather than the line that a kite demands. With some additional pulling power at your fingertips coupled with increased maneuverability and a more comfortable bar feel, the new SST V6 delivers obvious improvements that focus in on the needs of the surf-minded kiter.
With over 85 products reviewed, get the digital version of our 2022 Gear Review Guide that puts all the latest products reviews in one easy to access and searchable guide. Want a low-v bar with a durable PVC coated throw line and soft padded bar ends? Use our guide to stay on top of gear developments and find the exact piece of equipment to match your style.
*Already a subscriber? The 2022 Gear Review Guide is in your Tkb library. Log into your account to read the latest reviews.