Slingshot RPM V12 12m 2020 Kitesurfing Review

Slingshot RPM V12 12m 2020

Reviews / Kites

Slingshot 34,018

At A Glance

The RPM V12 is one of the longest-running kites in the slingshot line-up, focusing on freestyle with an emphasis on new school unhooked riding.
It is an open-C design with 3 struts, the classic slingshot bombproof construction and multiple tuning options for both front and back lines.

The Fly Line bridal system is compact and utilises the IRS bridal from a few years ago, with added pulleys for a more stable and dynamic steering experience. This bridle system gives a more direct feel through the bar and also aids in-flight stability.

New for 2020 is the 4x4 canopy tech which is the strongest and stiffest material Slingshot have used in their kites to create a more direct and responsive wing. This, along with the SplitStrut technology, creates an almost indestructible kite.

As standard, the RPM comes with one pump technology inflate, and a separate quick action deflate valve which can be used without any special pump nozzles and a roomy bag with adjustable straps and pockets.

Sizes: 4.5, 6,7,8,9,10,11,12,14 meters

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The Bar

Compatible with both the Sentinel and Guardian bars, we headed out using the Guardian bar, which is the same core bar, however, utilises a below bar depower as opposed to the above seen on the Sentinel.

The bar itself is classic Slingshot: tough, no-nonsense and ready for action. Chunky bar ends with OS handles above have a direct connection to the core of the bar, which has a durable and grippy coating providing excellent feedback. The 3 part centre line runs through the centre of the bar cleanly with an easy to adjust stopper ball within arms reach.

The below the bar depower on the Guardian bar is within the same mechanism as the quick release. This creates a fantastically compact system; however, we did manage to release the safety when trimming the kite at one point.

The quick-release conforms to industry standards and is a simple push away release with easy reconnect. The non-moulded chicken loop is of a good size for unhooking, and the donkey slick is easy to remove if wanted.

Completing the bar are the extra strong 800/500lb Slingshot lines.

the unique power produced gives you extra time in the air with outrageous slack

In the Air

The RPM V12 flies like the classic RPM, but on steroids. It is fast, nimble, and superbly playful. We initially used this kite in gusty 20-30 miles/hour wind, and it handled brilliantly at both ends of the spectrum. In the lighter end, it provided excellent stability and power with which to load against to perform unhooked tricks then at the higher end it produced a credible jump with super fast vertical acceleration, excellent feedback through the bar and a smooth landing when throwing in the loop.

The RPM V12 likes to be flown fast with a good bit of input to get the most out of it. Yes, it has a plug and play nature, but you get more out of the kite when you manipulate to really get the best out of your session. Upwind and downwind riding are good, the kite sits well at the edge of the window and flies off the front lines pulling you upwind. There is a good turning speed, and the kite has a progressive pull above your head for throwing through transitions. There is excellent depower through the bar which maintains the same feel throughout the trim.

The RPM V12 has a great jump with a fast acceleration upwards. It doesn’t hold the same float and rocket-like feel of a more dedicated kite (such as the Raptor V1), however, packs a serious punch. Loops feel as you would expect from this kite, seriously fun and seriously big. Progressive without being overwhelming, the RPM V12 is one of those true confidence givers where you can start small and work your way up to the big powered loops.

Unhooking for freestyle tricks is where the RPM V12 comes alive, with a monstrous surge of power after take-off, which gives not only increased time in the air during your trick but also increases stability on landings with good forward speed. This is not to say there is none of the sought after ‘slack’ as that too is phenomenal. However, the power surge through the trick is nothing short of remarkable. The kite feels stable throughout, and the bar pressure is surprisingly light throughout the trick.

Relaunching is no problem, occasionally a little water can get stuck on the tip, but a little technique will get you out of that situation.

For

The RPM is a classic, and the V12 has grown on this lively feel with more stability, a tighter canopy and a huge powered performance.

Against

We loved the RPM, however, would perhaps recommend pairing with the Sentinel Bar as opposed to the Guardian, which we had on test due to the excess trim sometimes getting caught when hooking back in after tricks.

Overall

As Slingshots line-up has evolved and grown, we have seen all of their kites become more specialist. The RPM V12 is no different and has proved itself to be a go-to freestyle kite. A hugely lively kite, it will encourage you to throw yourself into your big tricks as the unique power produced gives you extra time in the air with outrageous slack for your latest passes. Great jumping and looping ability added into the mix make this a go-to kite for any aspiring freestyler.

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This review was in Issue 80 of IKSURFMAG.

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By Robin and Sukie
With years of kite sport experience combined, you can be sure you’ll be receiving the highest quality of knowledge on the best equipment the industry has to offer.

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