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No doubt that the RPM is one of those truly iconic kites, so when a new version drops it is always pretty exciting times…
Last year’s RPM had the new IRS bridle and it has remained in for 2016. Which is unsurprising as this is a great system. Then there is an updated durable diamond leech trailing edge and a tougher Dacron DP 175 leading edge and strut material. The RPM has always been bombproof and this year it is even more so. First flight and we instantly noticed the slightly more refined feel – this has been apparent across the whole range for 2016. It feels smooth and precise and has more low end when flown against the 2015 version. Also back for the 2016 RPM is Slingshot’s One Pump Speed System, slightly upgraded, which again we’re happy about as this really is an efficient system that equals less anxious waiting time on the sidelines.
The RPM is a kite that appeals to a broad spectrum of riders – it would be comfortable in the hands of a freerider looking for a bit more diversity or a pure wakestyle rider who is looking for kite low, with bundles of pop and slack line for passing. We found that it did work in surf conditions but it gives a mighty pull off your top and bottom turning so you really need to sheet out at these moments to get the most from it.
When the RPM really comes alive is when you start to load and pop, as you get incredible pop. Whether it’s on the flats or off kickers, you really don’t need to think about where the RPM is in the window, which lets you get on and throw your tricks. We like the confidence the RPM gives you to go out and try new moves as it really is a kite that can take your riding to the next level. We also found that in stronger winds the RPM also gives you the confidence to just dig the rail in and push the kite forward in the window – it does this efficiently with no twitching around, and the robustness of this kite is obvious.
All in all, we think that the RPM is a solid kite that does everything and does it well – there aren’t many kites on the market that cover such a broad spectrum of riders and suit each style so well.