The Slingshot team have been super busy over the last few months, especially in the world of foils… We find out exactly what they’ve got on offer for 2019.
2019 is upon us and you’ve just released your new line up. What are you most excited about there?
This is an easy one: The Hover Glide. Our 2019 foil lineup is insane, and the Hover Glide platform we have created is going to set the bar across all foiling disciplines for years to come. The Hover Glide is a modular system with interchangeable parts, pieces and a growing selection of wings that give riders the ability to customize their setup for a wide range of uses. Our vision for foiling is simple – instead of hauling around a vanload of gear, all you need to ride any condition you want is one kite, board and a Hover Glide with a couple wings to choose from.
For each foiling discipline, we have a 2019 Hover Glide package designed to be as user-friendly, approachable and versatile as possible. If you’re new to foiling or want just one adaptable setup for a wide range of conditions, the Hover Glide package is where to start. From there, we have performance-oriented wings to choose from as your skills and preferences evolve.
For kiting, that means starting with the Hover Glide FKite package, which comes with the Space Skate (H4) wing. This wing was previously available only individually as an add-on, but after hearing how much people love it and how versatile it is, we selected it for our FKite package. Aptly named the Space Skate, it has a super playful feel that resembles carving down pristine asphalt on your favorite longboard. A high surface area, low-aspect shape gives it plenty of lift and early planing for entry-level riders, while aggressively arched wings give it dynamic side-to-side turning, carving and pumping that experienced riders rave about.
As an added bonus, the Space Skate wing is a great crossover for wake and surf foiling, although you’ll want a shorter 24” mast instead of the 28” (71cm) that comes with the kite package.
Another exciting detail with all our 2019 Hover Glide foils is updated carbon construction. We have worked hard to find the right balance between cost, weight, durability and performance, and our 2019 foils hit the nail on the head. Meanwhile, for experienced foilers who want high-performance, super lightweight carbon, we have the Ghost Whisper series.
Another product we’re excited about for 2019 is actually one of the longest-running characters in our lineup – the Misfit. This twintip has been with us for well over a decade and has evolved into our go-to utility player for riders who want a board for all conditions and types of riding. One look at the 2019 Misfit and you’ll see why we’re so stoked with it. The glowing tips of the Misfit are a result of our use of ‘Korryod’, a strong, lightweight honeycomb material fused into the wood core. This gives the board lighter, more responsive tips, smooth pop, soft landings and a forgiving flex that makes carving upwind and cutting through chop a breeze.
What else is new in the lineup and what is your release schedule for the rest of the year?
We have two release cycles for our kiteboarding line. The Rally launch in summer (the northern hemisphere summer, anyway) and RPM launch in the winter. The Rally launch included the 2019 Rally and SST kites, 2019 Misfit, Asylum, Refraction and Karolina Pro twintips, all our 2019 surfboards and a whole range of foil packages, wings and dedicated foil boards. We have new tech, tweaks and killer new graphics on all our legacy products, but when it comes to completely new for 2019, all arrows point to foiling. We’ve put a lot of stock in our foil program, and it really shows.
Then, in addition to the products we recently launched, we’ll release a handful of other items in the winter. That includes the 2019 RPM, Turbine, Fuel and Z kites and Vision, Glide, Crisis and Widowmaker twintips. Beyond that, we drip certain new products intermittently as they are completed and available, such as additional foil wings and components, apparel, accessories and gear and travel bags.
And what’s the story with your team riders – they seem to be doing pretty well right now?
We love our team and what they are doing. Karolina just won the Triple-S Competition after a year full of injuries and coming back from surgery. Carlos Mario is continuing to blow minds by winning the second stop of the GKA Air Games. In full heroic fashion, he took both the main event and the Best Trick. Fred Hope is the latest to join our family. He is on a full foiling rampage this summer, crossing over four sports and two different Slingshot foil platforms. He works with the design and testing team with innovations and is also a team rider. He makes foiling look cool – which isn’t always the case!
This article originally appeared in TheKiteMag #27. To subscribe, go here.