The Slingshot SST has truly made its mark on the wave kite scene, and the 2018 version has only built on that already excellent reputation. A few minor tweaks and changes have gone into the kite, and the result is outstanding.
The SST is Slingshots wave specific kite. Featuring three struts and a compact C design, it has been designed to sit slightly deeper in the window than some of its competitors, and the result is a powerful, almost tow like kite.
Starting from the ground up, the construction of the SST is nothing less than you would expect from Slingshot: bombproof. The kite itself is made with high-quality materials and some serious reinforcements in critical areas.
Slingshots Split Strut technology needs no introduction, and it is vital in keeping the kite as stable and solid in the air as it has become. A compact bridle is present on the SST, short enough not to cause any snagging on struts or wing tips, but certainly long enough to be entirely effective.
There are a multitude of tuning options on the kite, and it is well worth playing around with these to get the kite set up for your style. One pump, large inflate valve, extra deflate valve and a great backpack to stow it all in are those extras we have come to expect with a Slingshot kite.
Sizes: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 M
Slingshot gave their bars a big makeover in 2017 and have stuck with it to create an outstanding bar which can be used with all their kites. There are two different bars on offer; 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 performs 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.
The Slingshot SST is instantly likeable. Solid feedback through the bar which is neither heavy nor dull, you are aware where the kite is at all times and can move the kite with the most minimal of movements.
“The kite is incredibly responsive and fast through the turn!”
Powering off on your board there is a progressive pull, which is fantastically stable, the SST really drives through the window. A wave kite which uses the Open C design is not unusual. However, it does sit further back in the window and as such can occasionally catch you off guard with the amount of down wind pull produced. This, however, comes into its own on those classic cross shore days when the kite will just tow you in superbly.
Of note, is just how responsive the SST is at all times. Even when screaming down the line with your bar as far away as possible, the kite will still react to the slightest tweak on the bar, something truly wonderful when those speeds get the better of you, and the thought of powering up is terrifying!
The drift on the SST is brilliant in a wide range of conditions. We have had the kite out from underpowered downwind cruising all the way to hold on to your hats windy! The SST worked in all, and it worked well. The speed of the kite allows you to get out of some sticky lulls in the wind, and the great throw of the bar and effective depower trim means even those powered up sessions are manageable. Of course, this kite does like to pull, so using a size down would not be unwise to keep the power manageable!
For those who also like to mix it up with a twin tip, we were pleasantly surprised with the SST. Obviously it is not a dedicated all-rounder; however, it is great fun for some jumps and spins with the knowledge you will never go too high, it’s a great confidence booster. Likewise with some unhooked freestyle, it does the job and will certainly allow you to do some fun raleys and spins.
Relaunching the SST is simple and reliable even in big sets it will pop back up quickly. Slingshots bombproof construction here comes into its own as the kite maintains its shape well even when being tumbled.
This is a powerful kite, and as such you will most certainly be on a size below what you may normally rig. Versatile in its performance with fantastic construction.
There is a whole lot of power in the SST! Though this is a good thing, it can also occasionally lead to you being pulled off your board, especially in those powered conditions as the kite does sit relatively far back in the window.
The Slingshot SST is a powerful kite and has the build and performance to back it up. There is great response from the bar at all stages of riding, and the power produced is immense, allowing you to ride a smaller faster kite for dynamic sessions in the waves.
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This review was in Issue 66 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Slingshot
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