At a Glance
The RPM has been in the Slingshot line up for 5 years now; it is the only bridled kite to have won two freestyle world titles on the PKRA, which says a lot about the kite. It uses an Open-C profile which is very flat and also the patented Split Strut technology that integrates the struts into the canopy. The build quality on this kite is outstanding, there are so many reinforcement patches on the leading edge, self-launching and landing should cause any issues. It’s also rather good looking, looks don’t count for performance but Slingshot seem to be moving away from the very subtle looks to something rather more exciting. Lets face it if you are going to drop a ton of cash on a new kite it might as well look the part too.
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, 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
The RPM has always been a very exciting kite to fly, with some awesome characteristics to its handling. 2013 is no different and the tweaks they have made to the canopy and profile all add to the experience this year. The response of the kite to rider input is instant, the kite does exactly what you want it to, when you want it to. There is almost no delay and the turns the kite executes are fast and powerful. The Open-C shape offers plenty of useable power and the 8m may seem quite small on the beach, but in the air it delivers plenty of grunt. The top end of the wind range is very high, we had it out on a couple if windy days and it never seemed to feel too big. Unhooked the kite performs very well, while it feels taught and stiff hooked in, like a well coiled spring ready to pounce, it has a certain softness about it when you unhook it has a more gentle feel allowing you to bust out the big moves. Kiteloops are a hard and fast, the speed of the kite through the window is very impressive and it delivers an explosive pull as it moves through the crux of the turn. Jumping was great fun too, the steering is so direct you can really get the timing perfect with the release of your edge. It’s an easy kite to get on with and one that will excite both freestylers and freeriders alike.
If you like to ride well tuned high performance kites then the RPM is about as good as they get. It’s like a Formula 1 racecar on rails when you steer it around the window. This responsive performance makes for a very exciting ride that is sure to put a smile on your face and help you log some serious airtime.
This review was in Issue 39 of IKSURFMAG.
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!