Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

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Bob
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Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by Bob » Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:02 pm

As many of you know, the 2012 Rally's have been a favorite kite for wave riding and there is a huge following with this kite in the region. There are a lot of Slingshots in the Midwest and for good reason. They make great kites and as dealers, we are here to support you when needed with demos, advice, etc.

We've been on Slingshot's tail for years to bring back the 2012 Rally. In 2013 and beyond, the Rally was changed and quite different. Better for twin tip riding, but not waves. They said they were making a new wave kite for 2016, so I was stoked, but also skeptical.

I had a chance to try a prototype SST a while back and was impressed, but gave it a 4 out of 5. It wasn't quite finished.

I was still skeptical and told this to Neil H. (my rep for Slingshot). He said, "trust me Bob." Man....he was right.

I had a chance this week to ride the 10m - 2 times, 8m and 6m all in a few days back to back to back.

First I lent the 10m to Greg M.

I let him try it straight out of the bag (brand new), while I was training someone else. I'm a little nervous wondering if Greg is going to like it. He's a great rider, but we all really like the 2012's.

He comes back and basically says...."take my money." Sweet....I'm stoked he's stoked.

Ok.....so if he's impressed, I need to try this kite. I let Jeff F. also try the 10m SST and he loves it. He was a little overpowered due to being lighter than me and should have been on an 8m. A little too much pull for Jeff at times, but he loved everything else about the kite as far as I know.

I get a chance at the end of the day (after 2 lessons - very tired) to take it out and after riding it for 10 minutes, I'm screaming and yelling at the top of my lungs. Damn.....that's a fun kite and I can NOW SELL MY 2012's. I found my new wave kite.

All of the riding was in the Madison area and at Burrows on Friday with the 10m and then Sunday with the 10m, 8m and 6m SST's. I can't wait to get these on some Lake Michigan waves as well as OBX during our annual fall and spring trips. Maybe Maui again this spring? We'll see.

Here is the in-depth comparison.

In order of importance to me:

1) Turning speed. 2016 SST is Fast. Not quick, but Fast turning. Quick is good....Fast is great. The faster the better as far as I'm concerned. 6m and 8m are lightning fast. Similar to 2012 Rally. Check.

2) Turning radius. 2016 SST is more of a pivot turn if you need or arcing if you back off of the bar movements. Smother than 2012 Rally. Check.

3) Drifting. Holy mother. This kite drifts with no flutter at all and once reengaged, doesn't all of a sudden pull your arms off. Much better than 2012 Rally.
*Side note: Some kites will loose the ability to steer if the bar is pushed out all the way or heavily depowered. Not this kite. I could rip deep downwind and depower hard and control the kite with one hand with just a tad of upper hand pressure to keep it in place. Damn Neil.....you told me so and I'm a believer. Checkmate. I'm done and convinced this kite rocks. The rest is gravy.

4) Stability. Huh? Stable to me usually means boring. Not on this kite. It's not only stable, but it doesn't flutter at all. I think it made a little noise once when I was doing a tack transition on my surf board and downlooped it right through the power zone, but not much at all. Much better than 2012 Rally.

5) Jumping? Can't tell you myself because I only rode it with the surf board, but the other guys really liked it.

6) Relaunch. 2012 Rally might be a tad better just due to a rounder leading edge curve, but the SST is excellent. I haven't had a chance to try in lighter winds.

7) Pull and power. The 2016 SST has more pull than I expected. I'd say similar to the 2012 Rally's, but the larger size 2012's probably have a little better overall low end. Just a guess. The kite has a really consistent pull and absorbs gusts much much better than the 2012's.

8) Depower. The SST has a lot of depower, and I had no problem doing tack transitions with this kite. On some kites....2016 Rally's.....will pull too hard with the kite overhead when tacking. Not the SST....easy to do tacks. On our last day of riding, I was riding the 10m Lit....no problem, but should have been on an 8m. Went to 8m and was lit...no problem. Should have been on the 6m. Went to the 6m and was lit once again. Geez....this kite handles gusts like a champ.

For the first time, all my 2012 Rally's are now up for sale.

The SST is not only a phenomenal wave riding kite, but will excel in aggressive freestyle and freeriding.

The SST at first glance it looks like an RPM, but with a lot of the characteristics of the 2012 Rally.

It has a super simple short bridle and can't wait to try it also on my Alien Air foil board soon.

Any negatives? Not sure yet. Self inflating kites would be nice. I'll add something negative if I come up with it.

Since I'm a dealer, take it for what it's worth, but I'm also a critical rider.

Let me know if anyone wants any of these bad boys or wants to try them as a demo.

As always, buy with confidence from an Authorized dealer......Kiteridersllc.com in Madison, Wi.

Bob
http://www.kiteridersllc.com
Bob
www.kiteridersllc.com
madison, wi

mrgrey
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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by mrgrey » Thu Aug 06, 2015 5:24 pm

Same very light bar pressure?

Bob
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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by Bob » Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:35 pm

That's a great question. Bar pressure is usually high on my list and it was also for the 2012 Rally. One of the huge benefits of the 2012 Rally is fast pivot turning with light bar pressure.

Since I haven't thought of it until you asked the question, it must be on the light side otherwise I would have noticed if it was heavy or heavier.

I rode the kites for over 4 hours on Sunday and not once even thought about it.

My guess though is it's a little heavier than the Rally, but not 100% sure.

Hope this helps,

Bob
Bob
www.kiteridersllc.com
madison, wi

Pier
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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by Pier » Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:11 pm

Sweeeeeet!

Thanks for the info Bob, the next time I'm in the area I might ask you for a demo... :wink:
Pier Paolo - six3o 6four0 2o8seven

Bob
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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by Bob » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:56 pm

Right on Pier,

Where are you now? I seem to remember you moving to places out far.

Hope the winds are treating you well.

Need some SST's?

Bob
Bob
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madison, wi

Pier
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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by Pier » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:03 pm

Bob,

I live in the Bay Area now, wind is good but I haven't truly taken advantage of it.

I'm pretty happy with my 2012 SS Rally quiver thus far...eager to try the SST nonetheless.

I should be back in Chicago in early September, hopefully when it's windy!
Pier Paolo - six3o 6four0 2o8seven

Rainmann
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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by Rainmann » Sun Aug 09, 2015 5:30 pm

Hi Bob,
I got a quick peek at the 2016 comp stick w/sentinel safety (above bar depower) but did not get to try out. Have you had a chance to try out the new bar?
It sounds like the SST with new bar would be a great setup. Do you get choice of control bar with new kite?
I still have my 2012 Rallys but would love to test drive the SST (I'm in the market for a 9 or 10M). Let me know if you make it up to Michigan!
-Ray

Bob
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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by Bob » Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:37 pm

Pier.....Thant's awesome, the Bay area has a really cool kiteboarding scene and huge foil boarding scene. Probably the biggest in the US. I have a bunch of friends there if you ever need any advice, etc. for places to ride, etc.

Are you moving back to Chicago in September or visiting? Hit me up if you want to try an SST or buy one. I love the new rally's by Slingshot, especially when riding twin tips, but I think the SST is the best kite Slingshot has ever made. I'll verify that though when I get a chance to jump with it.

Later....Bob
Bob
www.kiteridersllc.com
madison, wi

Bob
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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by Bob » Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:40 pm

Ray....I know you've been thinking of other kites for a while and probably good you waited. The SST is perfect for what you are looking for in a new 9m or 10m. I have some of the new bars coming soon, but have not tried them yet. They look great though and knowing Slingshot, it should function quite easy and simple with out a ton of extras.

You would be able to choose any bar with the kite. 2016 Guardian with below bar depower, 2016 Sentinel with above the bar depower or even a 2015 guardian on sale.

Have you been riding much?

later....Bob
Bob
www.kiteridersllc.com
madison, wi

Bob
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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by Bob » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:07 am

I had a chance to fly the 10m Slingshot SST today with the Slingshot Alien Air Foilboard in winds where some guys were on 17m's and 14m's.

Here is what I wanted to find out. Obviously I'm stoked with this kite as a wave kite, but how would it respond with a foil board.

1) Depower. Excellent depower with FULL control. Check.

Since I don't have a new 2016 SS bar yet.....they are coming, I've been using a LF 2015 bar with all my foil board kites due to a longer throw which gives me tons of depower when needed.
*So you would assume that having a super long throw would give me tons of depower and range. That would be 100% true of most kites with this bar. HOWEVER....there are many kites that when depowered a lot will start to flap in the wind and you will also lose the ability to control the kite. Even depowered, you could control the kite.

2) Downwind drift. Check.

When ripping upwind on foil boards, at some point you have to come back downwind. With most kites so far, I have to keep the kite really high in the sky to let it drift properly so that it won't keep sneaking down, down down closer to the water. This is closely related to the depower above. I could keep the kite lower with just a tad of upper line tension at the bar and even when depowered, it would drift right with me. Impressive.

3) Turning speed. Check plus 1.

Fast turning. Enough said.

4) Light wind flying. Check minus 1/2.

Due to the excellent drift, in really light winds where almost no kite will stay in the air, you have to be more careful with the SST and keep it moving. If you do NOT have good feel for lighter wind kite flying, you may backstall it into the water. Light wind kite flying is a real skill. The SST is quite stable, but you must be great at the feel for the bar.

5) Power. Check.

When it was light, but a decent breeze, I had no problem getting up on the board and I'l a big guy at about 210 lbs.

6) Upwind. Check.

Well it is a foil board, so that's a given.

7) Speed. Check.

I like to ride fast and so does the SST.

I hope this helps,

Bob
http://www.kiteridersllc.com
Bob
www.kiteridersllc.com
madison, wi

Pier
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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by Pier » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:44 pm

Hey Bob, are you planning to come down south this Saturday?

If so I'd like to try the SST the right way: downwinders! :-D
Pier Paolo - six3o 6four0 2o8seven

Bob
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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by Bob » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:58 pm

Possible. Where are you thinking? The forecast keeps changing.
Bob
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madison, wi

Pier
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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by Pier » Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:10 am

Not sure yet, wherever West goes...
Pier Paolo - six3o 6four0 2o8seven

mrgrey
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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by mrgrey » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:28 pm

Got a chance to fly the SST this weekend in 8m overhead conditions. Very nice flying kite that was a pleasure to fly. I'm a huge 2011-12 Rally guy that has been waiting for a response from Slingshot for screwing up the Rally post 2012. The SST is a light bar pressure, tight turning, smooth kite. It sits deep in the window and pulls like a freight train, BUT, does not upwind very well compared to the Rally. I followed out a buddy on same size Rally on the same twin tip and it was evident that I was getting smoked going upwind compared to 2012 Rally. I think it had to do with the fact it sat deeper in the window and didn't get the extra couple of degrees that the Rally gets by flying further towards the edge of the window. Guys riding surfboards did very well on the kite however and I think that was Slingshots market for this kite and not twin tip surf riders.

I've put countless miles on downwinder wave rides with a great crew and would love having this kite in my quiver for those downwinders we frequently run, but I still prefer the Rally at this point. I do recommend the kite though as a wonderful addition to the Slingy lineup..

Bob
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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by Bob » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:49 pm

Mrgrey....glad you had a chance to fly the 8m. So here's something really counterintuitive that Tony Logosz (Slingshot head guy) had to say about the SST going upwind in an interview with Glietentv.

He said there are 2 stages for upwind/downwind. If you pull in on the bar from the sweet spot 2-3 inches or so, you'll go upwind really well. If you push out 4-6 inches or further, you'll go downwind more and you can still steer the kite. Since hearing this, I have NOT yet been able to verify and tried to talk to Tony at Surf Expo, but he was not there this year. It's completely counterintuitive to what we've been told before, but if it works, it will change completely how to fly this kite. Kind of cool though if it works.

Conceptually, if this is true, it makes sense in how well this kite works when the bar is pushed out really far. It's still very sensitive to steering when most if not all other kites have little to no feel or ability to steer. Instant feedback even if the bar is out all the way.

For me though I'll need to test on a twin tip, but love this kite on surf boards.

Hope this helps,

Bob
Bob
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madison, wi

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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by jensmadwind » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:21 am

Over the coarse of the last week I have had a great opportunity to ride the 8m in its full range of surf conditions.

I have been riding RPMs in (everything) the surf for the last couple years so that is what I am comparing too. I have always prefered the RPM over the Rally in the surf on a 9 or smaller.

The SST does everything the RPM did for me in the waves, it has a bit less inherent grunt when setting up a bottom turn but that is the only thing I had to adjust to.


My first couple sessions were on a 23m lines and I was liking the kite but was still wanted more immediate power in the turns. I switched to 20m lines and the quicker turning snap and faster access to the meat of the power window did the trick.

Over the whole week which did include some conditions that were on the light side for an 8m I did not stall the kite. It did not backstall, or oversheet. I was able to ride straight at it going down larger outside waves and it would not fall. It was overall much more forgiving then the RPM as the lines started to approach a slack state. I am very impressed, as being overpowered by the wave and current can often stall my kites if I am not totally powered up.

I had 3 powered sessions in head or overhead waves on 20m lines and am completely sold on the 8m. I am looking forward to trying the 6m in the surf.

I have a sneaky suspicion that I may prefer my 9m RPM for TT freeride(big boost/unhooked) but as far as waves go the SST is the ticket.

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Re: Slingshot 2016 Wave SST and 2012 Rally comparison/review

Post by Rorke » Tue Nov 03, 2015 1:52 pm

Thanks for the info here guys.
If I needed something new, then it would be a tough call.
What a great time to have to pick between Awesome and Awesomer!
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