At A Glance
The RPM has a long heritage, and it is also the only bridled kite to win a world championship. It’s what Slingshot call an Open C platform and the kite has an exceedingly flat arc shape to it. This year the kite has been tweaked to improve its handling, wind range and the aerodynamics.
It features 3 “SplitStruts” which are integrated into the canopy of the kite to improve handling. The bridle is characteristically small and there are direct connection points to the rear of the kite. There are several tuning options on the kite to increase and decrease bar pressure and also adjust the handling to suit your style of riding.
The kite is built with the legendary Slingshot attention to detail and build quality. This year the kite is available in the following sizes, 4.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 14m.
For 2014 the Slingshot Comp Stick Bar has been completely redesigned and packed with loads of new and innovative features. Slingshot have split the bar up into three distinct areas: Flight Control, the area above floats; the Comp Stick Zone, featuring the bar and the floats; and lastly the Rider Control Centre, featuring the chicken loop and its safety features.
In the Flight Control area you have a 47cm long depower throw offering you plenty of control over the kite. There is also a moveable stopper which allows you to tune the bar throw and also perform no-handed old school tricks. There are dual O’Shit handles and a Guardian swivel, which stops the 800lb lines from twisting.
The Comp Stick Bar has an upgraded ergonomic one piece centre hole designed to reduce finger pinching when riding unhooked, new graphics on the floats and also a new competition grade grip on the bar itself to stop your hands from slipping. The Guardian Safety Release System is an upgrade of the previous chicken loop design incorporating the kite trimming system too. A full front line safety release system is located here so you can ditch all the power in the kite if you need to.
In The Air
We’ve always enjoyed flying the RPM here and IKSURFMAG, and this year we were excited to see how the tweaks had improved the kites handling. Without beating around the bush, this kite blew us away. It’s just beautiful to fly, impeccably well-behaved, smooth power delivery and great fun.
The low end on the RPM is something to behold, the Open C arc generating plenty of power in light airs. That same arc however allows you to depower in high winds and the range was absolutely huge on the 8m we had on test. We never found the top end, and when flying the kite in 16mph of wind were staying upwind easily.
The kite is fast through the window, really penetrating the edge of it and dragging you upwind as you go. As the wind increases the performance just keeps on improving. The bar pressure was really quite light and, whilst you still knew where the kite was at all time, we didn’t feel like it was a full on work out to fly the kite around.
Jumping was brilliant with really high, long, floaty jumps being delivered on a regular basis. The precision and direct nature of the handling was really exciting too. It’s a great kite for intermediate to advanced riders looking for something exciting to fly, perfect for both hooked and unhooked riding with great relaunch characteristics. We really enjoyed flying it and will be sad to see it go!
A great all round kite with plenty of performance, fast, direct and responsive with an easy-to-manage bar pressure that won’t wear you out. Amazing build quality and well thought-out bar make for an excellent package.
We couldn’t find fault with this kite, if you are a beginner though you may prefer the Rally, which isn’t as fast or as dynamic.
Our love affair with the RPM continues, it’s a great kite in a great package. Fast, nimble and exciting. Freeriders, freestylers and even wave riders will enjoy flying this.
This review was in Issue 45 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!