TESTED: Slingshot SST 2018

The Slingshot SST is now into its third year as the dedicated surf kite in the Slingshot line up. As you would expect from Slingshot the SST is well constructed, and very much geared for waves with a straightforward short 4-point bridle, no pullies and the IRS bridle which works very well in sucking up gusts (you really can see it working on particularly puffy days). There is plenty of Dacron framing the trailing edge and the panel layout is intricate and incorporates some extra load strips in areas where the kite is likely to be pulled around if it goes down in the surf.

In the air and the SST feels extremely solid with zero flutter, and with all the stability and bar feedback you would expect from a dedicated wave kite. Turning is pivotal and it turns particularly well on slack lines. It produces a little more power in the turn than other wave kites on the market, which take a while to dial into to start with. Most importantly, what you do get is an almost unrivalled amount of downwind drift ability. This kite has clearly been designed for static downwind drift, which is completely endless and at points feels as if you are cheating the laws of physics. ‘Did I really just get away with that?’ was a common question while testing. A reliable partner in the waves, the SST lends itself best to cross-shore park and slash conditions where it is extremely rewarding, allowing you to use the wave for power and not the kite. In onshore conditions where you need to move the kite a lot to maintain position and outrun sections, the power delivery is good, although it is not a kite that likes to be ridden too overpowered. The low end stability, early flying and predictable power delivery characteristic also lend themselves well to hydrofoil use. We used the 9m in around 10 knots with a large front wing and had a pleasant trip up the coast. Then the leeward drift ability really shone through when we were homeward bound…

In a sentence: The SST is a great wave kite but also should not be overlooked as a multi-discipline freeride kite, where its accessible characteristics make it a solid choice for a more ambitious beginner with surf leanings…

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