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When it comes to ‘funkiest tail shape of 2018’ there is only one real contender: the Slingshot Mixer has it in the bag. With a double step coming in to a relatively ‘pin-tail’ finish, it’s definitely not an ‘off the shelf’ option and it is great to see a brand put some genuine thought and R&D commitment into what will work best for kite-powered wave riding rather than going for a standard surfboard tail shape. Moving away from the tail and the Mixer has a relatively full outline with a wide entry point and plenty of width (even the 5’6 is 19” wide) before pulling in to the pin tail. There is also a quad concave running through the bottom to help generate speed and keep you trucking upwind. Fins are FCS II. Construction wise and this year’s Slingshot surfboards have a really high quality feel, with the bamboo, carbon and solid glass job providing a solid ‘mid weight’ board that you know will do you at least a couple of seasons.
Heading onto the water and the Mixer is not dissimilar in feel to the Angry Swallow – it’s really playful and reactive under foot. Where it differs is the way it handles power and speed more assertively and also offers a slightly more slashy top turn from the quad fin configuration and staggered pin tail shape. You can really get your weight behind the board, and it just seems to grip and hold on through a powerful turn almost regardless how much pressure you throw tailwards. It needs a little more wind to get going than other models in the range but what was very noticeable was how the board ploughed through chop quite comfortably, it feels extremely smooth and connected with very little slap when the going gets fast and bouncy. Whilst the board planes relatively early for its size, the Mixer is very much geared to run off your back foot, keeping the board flat and engaging the fins to clamber upwind is essential. This takes a little stance adjustment initially but once you have it sussed it feels efficient. The Mixer is a great choice for stronger winds and mediocre onshore conditions and allows you to get a decent angle back up the wave face and spray water on demand like a jubilant porpoise.
In a sentence: The Mixer lends itself well to kite-led powered wave riding and manages to bridge the gap between a more traditional short board and something more gunny and speed focused, resulting in a surfboard which is very comfortable at high velocity, exciting, and satisfying to ride.