Page 1 of 2

2010 Slingshot Octane

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:00 pm
by Balotelli
Hey guys,

Been reading past posts on the SS Octane and it seems that people either love it and acknowledge no real issues with it or people despise the thing and wish it was never built.

SS discountined the model pretty quick which would lead me to believe that there might be something up with it.

Anyways, I have been offered to buy one at a pretty good price and was wondering if I should get it?

Thanks for the advice in advance :wink:

Re: 2010 Slingshot Octane

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:16 pm
by stefaans
just move on. The original Octane (2006) was a good kite but the (2010) not so much.

There are great deals out there on better newer kites for sure.

Re: 2010 Slingshot Octane

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:39 pm
by romkite
I know this octane 2010 quite well, I had the 11 and I currently fly the 9 & 7. They do have
a problem : they fall from the sky as soon as the lines get slack. I knew it, the reason why
I bought them (last month) is they are dirt cheap nowadays. I would not advise a beginner
or intermediate to buy those. (plus, they have a design problem with the p-lines pulleys,
I changed those for Antal rings a la BWS, works great).

Re: 2010 Slingshot Octane

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:02 pm
by jbdc
I have the 2010 Octane 13m and I've been happy with it.

It's my first kite since I took a hiatus from kiting in 2005. I've heard negative appraisals too, and I think they're a bit overblown. The kite isn't perfect (which one is?) but it's pure hyperbole to say that it's an unmitigated disaster.

As romkite mentions, it's not exactly beginner friendly and it took some time for me to get comfortable with the kite. Now that I'm familiar with it's quirks however, they could almost be considered features. I think most of the issues people complain about come down to the loose trailing edge.

Without some pressure on the bar, in a gust the Octane *will* over-fly the window and Hindenburg out of the sky. If you're lucky, it will go to the side and you'll be able to recover; if you're not, it will fall straight downwind and invert (go inside out). I've had this happen exactly once because I learned to prevent it from ever happening again. I would expect similar behaviour if you allowed too much slack on all the lines as romkite describes.

In the same vein, it seems a bit nose-heavy and doesn't hang around the zenith for as long as other kites. It requires some extra coaxing to turn it up off the deck when launching in marginal conditions. On the light bar pressure setting especially, it is easy to oversheet and backstall.

The flipside to all these foibles is that it points upwind really well by flying at the edge of the window (loose trailing edge) and has lots of low-end grunt (oversheeting). And so long as you have a bit of tension in the rear lines, it drifts okay too. It has a goodly amount of de-power, turns well for a big kite, and remains the core of my limited quiver.

I can't comment on it's boosting as I haven't tried that quite yet. The conditions we get here in Toronto aren't consistent and the last few times out I've either been overpowered or struggling to stay on plane; neither of which is conducive to trying my first real jump. (...since breaking my ankle on land in 2005 with the old gear.)

The thing I like most about the Octane is the lines, control bar and safety systems: amazingly strong, stiff and slick lines, 3 ways to flag the kite, pulley/cleat trim adjustment, and a re-ride system. When I got a 2011 Cabrinha this year I was sorely disappointed by the lines and safety system, I really expected more.

So, I guess it all depends on your preferences and how good a deal it is. I've been happy with my experience, but can understand the complaints.

romkite: thanks for the heads-up on the pulleys, I'll keep an eye on them and my bridles!

Re: 2010 Slingshot Octane

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:29 am
by Balotelli
Ok thanks guys.

Ok so just a few questions left.

When the kite is parked at Zenith and rear lines pigtails have been removed.

What is the behaviour of the kite like when the bar is.....

Sheeted fully out?


Any fully in?

Re: 2010 Slingshot Octane

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:21 pm
by CaptainArgh
Balotelli wrote:...
SS discountined the model pretty quick which would lead me to believe that there might be something up with it....

Thanks for the advice in advance :wink:
I also think that rather than tweaking it, SS decided to drop it in favor of a Delta design (the Rally). They have been trying to operate a pretty lean kite line-up with a C kite, SLE and delta. There are some school and light wind kites thrown in also, but they focus on the 3 main lines.

The Rev was a popular kite. The next gen was the Octane (nobody knew why they changed the name). Then they dropped that and came out with the Rally, which seems to appeal to the same audience.

That's my take on the history, for what it's worth...

BUT, I've never flown the 2010 Octane.

Re: 2010 Slingshot Octane

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:10 pm
by jbdc
I've never flown it without the rear pig tails.

Are you thinking shorter back lines would mitigate over-flying the window? While this may be true, it would only make it easier to over-sheet and back-stall the kite. It would be more reasonable to do that sort of tuning with the knots on the pig tails and/or the rear length adjustments under the floats on the bar. Or, more simply, move the stopper ball down to keep a bit of tension on the rears.

The zenith behaviour of my kite at the default settings (middle knot at all four corners, trim set to full power/longest center lines):

Bar fully sheeted out: Can/will over-fly the window in a gust, moderate lift.

Middle: Prevents over-flying, not much more lift than sheeted out fully.

Fully sheeted in: Pulls the kite a bit farther back in the window, will back-stall the kite in marginal conditions or a lull. There's a decent amount of lift here, enough to lift my 150ish pounds + wet gear in a gust.

I'll note here that when I mean 'gust' I'm not talking about some nuking blast well beyond the range of the kite; but something at the top-end or just beyond it.

Overall, it feels like the kite was designed to behave on a certain range of control inputs, and the control system you get allows you to go well outside that. You gain some extra wind range on the top and bottom ends at the expense of having to pay more attention to the kite.

Please bear in mind my experience with other gear is rather limited, so I can only give you my own experience compared to what I've seen with others in the same conditions . Like guys taking their hands off the bar and not even looking at their kite for 10 seconds (not on PL ARCs or anything like that). My Octane would be in the water or on the ground by the time I counted to '5'.

Hope that helps!

Re: 2010 Slingshot Octane

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:45 pm
by romkite
Balotelli, removing the pigtails on the rear lines (yes, the kite was underpowered out from factory,
go figure) does not help much. The problem is still there and it is dangerous for you & others
especially when you are on the beach.

If you are not experienced and you don't know well about backstall problems, I would suggest
you buy something else. The captain mentioned the Revs, I had the 9m 2009 for 3 years until I
crashed it for good last month, hence the octane. I love this Rev, it has the same easy to fix p-line
& pulleys design flaw, but no backstall issue. It is interesting here to note that newer generation
does not always mean better, sometimes they make it worse...

As jbdc said, the Octane goes upwind very well, maybe too much, and that might well be part of
the problem. Letting go the bar while the kite is above you is a very good stability test: the Rev
and most kite nowadays will stay up, the octane will fall down and might pull you hard in a gust
before it actually lands. Even when there are people, fences, rocks or whatever around if you
see what I mean...

You're asking what would happen when you sheet fully in at the zenith, this is not a kite problem
and is not related to the above problem. This is simply about properly adjusting your lines, you
should do that in light winds because it is easier and safer: If the kite tends to backstall then it
is overpowered and you need to shorten the front lines (or lengthen the rear lines) until it doesn't
backstall anymore. When buying a new kite, I would begin with (too) long back lines on my
heavily modified bar and start shorten them until the kite starts to backstall when fully sheeted
in. I would then go back to the previous position before backstall, and there I know that this
particular knot position on my bar will allow me to get 100% power out of this kite.

If this is all chineese to you, you should buy North ;-)

Re: 2010 Slingshot Octane

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:47 pm
by antatack
I've owned the SS octane 2010 9 and 13. Never had trouble with them, the 13 never failed out of the sky. I had the 9m dropping out in ugly gusty wind, (other kite we're having trouble ....)
I really liked the 9m for wgave riding, one of the best kite you can find for the price. Ben Wilson used to ride them in 2010 and in 2011 he launch his company BWS based on the same platform. The noise looks just like the octane(I never tried them)

The bigger size of Octane are very strong and can pull you in marginal winds.
Smaller size very good for jumping, wave riding, relaunch super easy. Not good for un hooking or kiteloop

Re: 2010 Slingshot Octane

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:17 pm
by eree
i also think octane is the principally the same as bw noise. and they both low profile wing kites, wich means easy to overfly and crash on your head if your not take preventing measures.

there were absolutely no reasons to design the kite like this. it was no race kite, it was no low wind kite, it was no fs kite, it had lousy bridle configuration, so it was terminated. may be the team riders would really appreciate the kite with the higher air speed, but it loses the attraction for the average kiters.

kites like these not have a big market. you don't make kites for team riders for living, you make kites for average joe kiters for living!