Slingshot SST 8m 2019 Kitesurfing Review

Slingshot SST 8m 2019

Reviews / Kites

Slingshot 32,501

At A Glance

The SST is one of Slingshot’s key models for the 2019 season. Originally the Wave SST, Slingshot have found this kite to be so adaptive that they have rebranded this model to suit a variety of styles. Now coming to us as the wave, foil, freeride crossover.

A 3-strut compact C shape kite with features such as the Slingshot IRS bridle, Ripstop Surf Grid, Split Strut tech and much more, the SST boasts high-end design and construction. Aimed at the rider who wants to do it all, with a definite nod towards wave riding the SST is pitched at being a fantastic all round set up. Perfect for boosting, foiling and carving up the faces it’s a one kite quiver that will appeal to a lot of riders.

The Slingshot SST is compatible with either the Compstick w/Guardian or Compstick w/Sentinel offering a choice of above or below the bar depower options, available in a variety of mouthwateringly tasty new colourways the SST comes in the following sizes:

Sizes: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12m

The Bar

We headed out on the SST with the Compstick w/Sentinel. The bar itself is ideal, it has a small diameter with a great amount of grip. Available in a variety of sizes with a small option for riders who are accustomed to that. The bar floats are large, however, are not moulded into the bar ends. Making the ends harder if you do slip on a pass, but hey that just makes you aspire to grab the middle every time.

The throw is generous, and the adjustable cleat is welcomed. Depower range on the bar is fantastic and what’s impressive is how the kite remains so controllable even when fully depowered. Very light yet responsive.

The safety system is clean, simple to use and easy to reset. The swivel on the top of the bar spins out easily and enables the bar to sit solidly onto the chicken loop when unhooking.

“The SST is prodigious. It excels in a magnitude of styles.”

In The Air

We mentioned above just how much depower range there is with the SST, a key feature for those foiling or wave riding. Upon launching the kite, this really is noticeable, and the responsiveness of this kite and light bar pressure make it a pleasure to fly. The SST is built to be stable and that it certainly is, in gusty conditions, while riding waves or heading downwind on a foil the SST remains solid in the sky. The kite is fast through the sky, and its turns are tight and pivotal.

One of the traits we liked a lot about the SST was the fact that the kite is constantly driving towards the edge of the wind window. Giving plenty of power and lift with very little downwind grunt. This really assists riding strapless, foiling and for those free riders out there it packs a mean jump. If you want to throw a loop or two, it's very manageable in the air. The combination of park and ride ease of use, with the rapid forward driving responsiveness of this kite, allows you to use it for a variety of styles.

Breaking this down into riding styles, for wave riding the SST has plenty of lift keeping you on the board without too much rawness wanting to tow you off the front. When chucking it about in the waves, you can easily turn the power off, and the responsive nature of the SST lets you keep control of the kite at all times. The above traits are also key for foiling, here we don’t want too much downwind pull, we just want upwind drive and the ability to kill power and have a kite that remains stable at all times, this the SST does impeccably.

While testing the SST, we had some pretty decent winds allowing us to get out on it fully lit for some boosting and freeriding. The SST was a lot of fun, it’s so easy to fly but you can everyone will be able to tap into the performance on offer. It fires you into the air and boasts confidence at all times when jumping. You always know where it is and where it’s going next. Loops are pivotal without too much downwind pull so you can huck some slightly larger loops than normal knowing the kites got you covered. You can see what its truly capable of by watching Sam Light riding it in the King of the Air events.

Relaunch on the SST is easy, it relaunches effortlessly, and we didn’t experience any bridle wraps while out in the waves.

For

The SST is prodigious. It excels in a magnitude of styles, from freeride, to foiling and of course wave riding. With the Compstick bars, we love that you can adjust the throw to suit your riding style on any given day, or just for shorter arms if required. Something you don’t see so much anymore.

Against

Nothing to report with the SST here, personally I prefer the feel of a bar set up with a PVC coated centre line, it last longer and keeps the bar looking tidier too. Perhaps this could be an option in the future.

Overall

We were really impressed with the 2019 Slingshot SST, one of our favourite all-rounders this season so far. It comes with Slingshots bombproof build quality so its set to last, it flies incredibly well in a variety of conditions and suits most riding styles. It’s easy to fly, simplicity allows it to be flown by less experienced kiteboarders, and its high-performance nature makes it capable of keeping up with the world’s top kiters too.

Videos

This review was in Issue 70 of IKSURFMAG.

For more information visit Slingshot

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