The Rally has been a forerunner in the Slingshot stable for some years now. It’s billed as an all-round kite for all conditions and styles, built using their famous Delta C-shape 5-strut design. You often see the Rally used for teaching in schools, as well as being used by Slingshot pro riders smashing big airs, riding waves and more – giving you some idea of the versatility and appeal of the kite.
As standard with most kites nowadays, the Rally comes with an effective one-pump system, with a large inflate and deflate valve for super speedy set-up and pack down. A small pulley-less bridle with direct back line attachments ensures a direct feel through the bar to the kite. The back lines also have three different tuning options to really customise your kite perfectly.
The kite itself has been made with Slingshots renowned bomb-proof construction. The Split-Strut technology ensuring the strength of the canopy by creating a seamless flow is present once again. Added bumper pads adorn the leading edge in key areas, perfect for those who will find you can very much have a Rally as your one-kite quiver or those who frequent less than perfect launch spots.
The Slingshot Rally is compatible with both the Compstick Guardian and the Compstick Sentinel control systems.
Sizes: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14m.
With the 2017 Compstick bars being so successful they have carried forward to the 2018 models.
The Slingshot Compstick Sentinel provides above-the-bar depower, with the Compstick Guardian providing the below bar option. Whether you prefer above or below the bar depower is a matter of preference - each perform amazingly. Slightly smaller riders may find the Guardian could well be a more comfortable depower choice being closer to the body. It is also worth mentioning that the depower cleat on the Sentinel is movable, thus you can set this slightly closer or further away to suit your needs.
The depower range both with the cleat and on the centre line is vast, giving ample amounts of trim to the rider. The magnet for holding the centre line up is a nifty little addition too.
We found the bar itself not the most comfortable bar on the market, with a slightly tougher grip and harder materials. However, for some the small diameter will be a definite bonus, as well as it being super hard wearing. The bar floats are chunky and give the bar a robust look.
Sticking with the hardwearing robust theme, the chicken loop and release are again made to survive many sessions. The release is clean and simple to use and resets easily. The above the release swivel is a nice addition too. The attention to detail is obvious with both bar options and build quality is second to none.
There is a reason the Rally has such a vast following. It does exactly what it says it is going to do, and it does it well. Immediately you will feel at home and safe with the Rally. There are no sudden jerks in the power or luffs in the sky. The Delta shape keeps the kite stable at all times leaving you to sort yourself out.
For those starting out and having the Rally as their first kite, the dependable pull will encourage progression. There is a firm feedback through the bar at all times, reassuring the rider of the kites position and power. The efficient Delta shape of the Rally lends itself well to riding upwind, lock into that position and you achieve some pretty commendable angles!
As we mentioned above, the Rally is incredibly well built, with reinforcements galore, the only downside is that this gives a slightly heavier feeling through the bar. Of course, some riders actually prefer this solid feeling, and the upside is that your kite should stand the test of time even on the least kite-friendly launch grounds and weather conditions.
Boasts versatility, robustness, and durability
When it comes to the launching side of things, in the water the relaunch is simply incredible. Most kites nowadays are easy, but the Rally just takes it up another notch and 9 times out of 10 it will be sitting at 9 or 3 o'clock patiently waiting for you to grab hold of that bar again. This truly inspires confidence in the rider who may otherwise worry about making mistakes.
Coming into some airborne action and in the right hands, this kite can simply fly. Starting with the lower levels it’s excellent and gives a reliable float that brings you back down to earth slowly and safely. Get your timings wrong with this one and the kite is stable enough to provide the ever-needed gentle glide back down. When powered right up, the boosting potential increases tenfold. In previous years in these conditions, it was occasional to see some tip flair, however, during our tests we didn’t experience any, so there’s clearly been some tweaking and improvements.
The Rally isn’t going to be a massive provider of slack for unhooked riding, yet it copes well to a certain extent. Ideal for those first unhooked moves and for those who want to mix up their repertoire on the water.
The Slingshot Rally really boasts versatility, robustness, and durability, on the ground and in the air. It feels solid, albeit slightly heavy, in the air and ready to tackle many a session. Direct pivotal handling and lofty, floaty boosts.
No major downsides to report with the 2018 Rally, it’s a pretty awesome kite all round! If we were pushed and had to be ultra picky then I guess we would like to see multiple Ripstop threads as is becoming more widely used now. It’s not really a negative though, as the Rally is very, very well built, but if there were a small area for improvement, that would be it.
The 2018 Slingshot Rally is most definitely a kite worth casting your eyes over. It suits a huge variety of riders, coping with various disciplines exceptionally well. It’s user-friendly enough for beginners and more than capable of throwing down some big boosts, loops and helping you slash some waves. If you like to do a bit of everything on the water, in mixed conditions and locations, with a rig that will instil confidence and encourage progression, then the Rally is everything and more that you are looking for!
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This review was in Issue 65 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Slingshot
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