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The Turbine has been in the Slingshot range for a while as their lightwind kite. Last year they thought they would experiment with downsizing it… And they were impressed. So for 2017 they have gone hard out and introduced a whole new range of sizes. The 15-19m remain focused on lightwind riding, the 11 and 13m sizes work as lightwind kites for most guys or as a ‘nuked up’ option on moderate days for regular riders, and there is then 5, 7 and 9m versions which are now high-octane performance freeride machines – they are designed for boosting big and for riding hard. And – with the upwind performance – the whole range is also designed with an eye on the foiling market. We were intrigued.
We rode the Turbine for a while and it did take a few sessions to fully appreciate its potential, but once we were there we became ever more impressed with what the Turbine could do… Hacking big jumps on the Turbine is a great experience (and if you take a look at Sam Light’s recent antics in Cape Town you can see its real ‘top end’ potential), it gives you a proper pull off the water, and with the bar sheeted it gives a superb secondary lift and plenty of float and hang time.
The Turbine is also good for un-hooked tricks – it isn’t twitchy at the bar and doesn’t show any signs of the backstall or overflying. Relaunch is also quick and easy with Slingshot’s compact bridle systems. For foiling you really do appreciate the upwind performance and the smooth power delivery and massive amount of depower. You can get up and going easily and then you have as much or as little power as you like on tap. We have really enjoyed the larger sizes for foiling on super-light days, but the smaller sizes are very well refined for more moderate days.
In a sentence: It’s a different way of flying a kite, but once you have it tuned you can get a whole lot of white-knuckled performance out of the new smaller Turbines.