At a Glance
The Rally has always been a long term favourite amongst the test team, and the new 2013 version sees quite a few changes to the kite from last year. We tested the 9m size in the last issue and noted that the kite has had a complete overhaul. The kite now has two mini struts in addition to the three main struts, the leading edge has been made bigger, the aspect ratio is higher and the profile is flatter. In addition the rear attachment points have been moved forwards to stop the kite from stalling in the window when it is flown on the back lines.
The Compstick Bar has been in the line up for a few years now, 2013 sees some new developments as well as lots of old favourites. The Centre of the Universe Safety System (CSS) is a proven 100% depower flagging system that has been tried and tested, releasing the kite onto one of the 800lb breaking strain front lines. The swivel on the front lines is one of the very few we have come across that actually works, and the chicken loop remains the same with a below the bar depower set-up. A new aluminium insert offers low friction on the centre lines and is raised slightly so you can avoid trapping your fingers as the line slides through the bar. The grip has also been softened for this year so it should be a little easier on the hands.
In The Air
Interestingly, about 3 weeks before we flew the 2013 version we had the 6m 2012 kite out in some pretty sporty conditions and absolutely loved it. The previous version did need you to keep an eye on it as it was particularly fast. Luckily it came with two attachment points and by choosing the slower setting you could tame it a little more. This year, for 2013, the Rally just has the one setting on the rear, but the kite is very controllable and a little slower than the previous years incarnation. This is a welcome development as when the wind is up a slower kite can be very advantageous. The new flatter profile also makes the Rally one of the best in its class at handling gusts and high winds. The depower is excellent and the kite has plenty of control. The bar pressure is medium, not too hard and not too soft, for my taste anyway. You get a sense all the time of where the kite is in the window. Upwind on the Rally is very impressive, the 6m literally rips to windward which is great for those big airs or long waves. Jumping is great too, the kite feels more aggressive than last year in getting you airborn, although the higher aspect nature of the canopy does mean the float on the way down is a little less. When you want the kite to shift around the window it really moves and the kite loops can be impressive. In the waves the drift is really good and the direct nature of the steering makes it a joy to use.
Tamer than last year in terms of control, the Rally 2013 flies a lot better and is far more stable in the air. Great upwind and awesome jumps combine with good control to make an excellent all-round kite. Limitless top end mean you’ll never feel out of your depth.
This review was in Issue 36 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Slingshot
By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!