REVIEWER: BONNY SULISTYO
Welcome back Slingshot! The Wave SST is a true wave kite in every sense. Firstly, its intricately structured canopy is built with pumping surf in mind. Segmenting small panels and reinforcing with large wave stitching makes Slingshot kites the strongest in the market. Made from material that flexes with the wind without cracking, it’s designed to last the test of time. The SST also has a short bridle and bungee suspension to counter and react to gusts of wind and reduce kite inversion in lulls.
Recently, during a wind change at a popular Perth river kiting spot, my SST was the last kite flying. When it eventually did fall, I noticed it didn’t invert as it parachuted slowly to its leading edge. A characteristic owing to the short bridle, it’s a simple, yet effective piece of engineering.
Unlike some kites, the Slingshot bar allows you to depower as much as you wish. Once you set the trim block to the throw length you require, you will still have the option to trim to almost 90% depower. You might think that this has a negative effect on steering with so much slack on the back lines, but the kite is built for it. This means that when the kite is set on drift and you have slack lines, you will still be able to steer and the kite will react to your command.
I have a 7m, and 9m SST for WA conditions for my strapped and unstrapped kitesurfing. This is perfect for my weight of 68kg. The 9-meter is so stable and has a medium speed compared to some 9s in the market. I like this as I can still use this for both unhooking and hooked in riding, or a boosting session with my strapped surfboard. The 9m is great from 14 to 22knts on a surfboard. It’s a great kite to set on ‘park and ride’, the predictable bottom end power, is perfect for the below average WA conditions for guys up to 80kg. The disadvantage of that torque is the wind window will be smaller, however trimming down will give you less pull on your upper body. So now you increase the wind window and be rewarded with that full wrap cutback and the rebound to boot.
When switching from upwind to downwind with the 7m, the kite doesn’t explode in an untamed tantrum of power across the window, but is smooth, providing the perfect amount of torque to set you up for the downwind hack. This is fun for unstrapped surfing and that predictability will set you up for an aggressive top turn. Alternatively, the predictability of this kite is great for the novice rider, simplifying one of the most demanding tasks, which is controlling the kite before setting up for a manoeuvre. The 7m is my go-to wave kite, it’s the perfect balance of power, speed and drift.
The above bar trim on the Sentinel bar is exceptional, allowing a big swivel on the bottom of the bar to easily unwind the frontlines. The quick release and recovery system on the chicken loop is amazing. My only comments for room for improvement are the white lines are old school and it’s hard to determine with a glance which way to unwind. Also, the trim line is exposed, not sleeved like most modern bars. I feel that this is a step backwards. Personally, I would prefer the center line to be sleeved for safe functionality and aesthetics.
The Slingshot kite bag and pump is sick and never fails to impress. The spare parts are a bit stingy, with only a bungee and a bladder patch. Think of us travellers, please, and provide some cloth tape!
Finally and surprisingly, the SST is a great boosting kite. With this, I mean not just insane boosts but controlled and slower landing than most freestyle/wave kites even with the 7m. It’s also a great foiling freeriding kite, as its drifting qualities are matched for downwinding with speed. So if you ride twin tip, strapped or unstrapped surfboards or a foil board, you will enjoy this kite for its versatility.