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Slingshot took a gamble on foiling and were fully committed from day one. They had one of the most comprehensive and usable ranges of foils for several years, but now the competition has also accepted which way the wind is blowing and the world of foils is now the most competitive area of kiteboarding. The Hover Glide is pitched as the ultimate ‘all-round’ foil, accessible to all riders but without being too beginner-centric. All the Slingshot wings (there are five kite focused wings) are interchangeable too so you can shift up and down size-wise – the wing we had was the Space Skate which is part of the FKite package and a carbon composite construction, and sits in the middle of the range. The mast is aluminum and 71cm, so shorter than many other racier masts. Overall the package is not the lightest on the market, but it slots together easily and defines the term ‘solid construction’! This is not a ‘one season’ package and you can expect to get plenty of use out of it.
We rode the Hover Glide with the Alien Air which is a high volume, relatively short board which provides a floaty and solid platform for you to begin foiling with or – once your skills have improved – to provide a great base for touch-down transitions or for landing from airs. It’s also just about voluminous enough for prone surf foiling if you’re looking for a crossover board.
Heading onto the water and the Hover Glide lifts very early and – as with most larger wings – provides a smooth experience meaning that once your head has mastered the skill of telling your front foot to apply pressure you have plenty of time to bring the nose down and lock the foil in. The Space Skate offers a very smooth ride and defines ‘cruisey’; you can pump it a little if you want and can really get a nice flow on with it. For turns and transitions it comes around easily and predictably and then wants to get back in a straight line and will increase the confidence of beginner and intermediate riders, and for experienced riders looking to master the elusive foiling transition. As we know it is certainly not the fastest foil on the water – there are other wings that will let you turn things on more if that’s what you want to do – but it epitomizes ‘fun’ foiling and paired with the Alien Air is hard to fault for pure foil fun.
In a sentence: For cruising and carving and developing your foil game, the Hover Glide with the Space Skate provides a very well-balanced and intelligently constructed foiling package.