Full review with pictures are <a href="http://www.chicagokitesurfing.com/reviews.html">HERE</a>
Today at Michigan City Beach I tested the new Slingshot 2003 line of kites:
Air 40-45 deg F
Water 50 deg F
The conditions warranted that I use the 17m Slingshot for good power.
The Bag - First impressions are the bag. It has a handle, a shoulderstrap, backpack and clip. It has a separate chamber for your bar/lines/leash and both ends open with one end being expandable to allow storage of the kite with the struts inflated. There is also an ID tag pouch with a clear plastic viewframe.
The Kite - As I was pulling the kite out I already noticed a big difference in the construction with this kite when compared to the 2001 and 2002 kite lines. The kite is built like a rock. The materials are bomber, with folded seams. The valves have a triple velcro seal with one functioning as a pull tab to easily remove the plug. All the tips were extended and reinforced with extra reinforcements along any "touch points" where the kite may contact sand frequently for launching/landing. The battens are rods, not bladder, which is nice. They are very stiff. Unpacking and packing the kite today was easy.
The pump functioned well and has Slingshot graphics on it.
The Performance - I've been flying ARCs for a while so my timing was off today for jumps, but it had great lift. The depower was very adequate. I had the front lines connected to the most forward attachments, and the rears attached at the rear TE of the kite. This should give me "medium" turning with the least depower. What I found was the depower was quite efficient with these settings. The steering was extremely responsive, and for a flat 18m kite, I was amazed at the speed at which it cranked around. I was using a 28" bar with the kite. It was turning 50-100% faster than the 15m ARC I typically fly. This kite turns FAST. Through the turns, there was a little less power, but there wasn't really any stalling of the kite which impressed me as well.
I was riding the 157 Jarvis at first, on the low end of the wind, with it building. I was able to hold wind when it was blowing, but would be pulled downwind a bit on the gusts. After about 5-6 tacks out and back, I decided to switch to the 169 LFT (which was probably when I should have been switching from the LFT to the Jarvis). I was well powered and could sheet out to depower at the edge of the window and crank upwind. The kite loves speed with these line settings. Jumping the kite with the LFT was a bit tricky due to my not being used to the timing and the bar pressure required to get the most performance from an inflatable.
At the end of the session which was about an hour, my arms were not sore, but my legs were a bit. So the bar pressure wasn't as bad as I was imagining compared to the ARC.
The kite didn't go down once, even with a dozen, or so, failed jump attempts and lost boards.
The wingtip battens are rods. The Naish X2 has the LE bladder bend 90 degrees and function as the wingtip battens.
With the rear attachment points at the TE of the kite, I should get the least depower. If you move the attachment point away from the TE (more forward), the angle of attack of the kite can be changed more with the same movement of the bar away from me. So thinking in terms of physics, this was the least depower setup. The kite should also turn faster when the rears are attached more forward, due to the moment arm being closer to the CG of the kite, creating more force for it to turn.
Of course, I only flew the one line setup yesterday, so I'll post the results of additional tests as soon as I can fly the kite some more. I was just too stoked to come off the water to fool with lines. Plus there was only two of us out, and land/launch would have been a pain.
This is the way I understand it based on the Slingshot graph and my limited experimentation so far:
You can depower the kite to the same level on any of the rear attachment points. Granted, you have to move the bar a little farther if using the rear-most (or you have to pull the trim rope a little farther).
The front lines are a different story. Using different attachment points will affect the amount of depower available regardless of how much you unsheet. Connecting the front lines to the front most connection point should give you the most depower, not the least as you said in your post. Please correct me if I am wrong!
Hey guys, thanks for the reviews on the new SS's. Does any1 know when the SS website info will be updated with the new 2003 kites, or is it already? And also, are the 2003 sizings (odd) 9, 11, 13 and 15's etc flat / actual sizing, or are they 1 meter bigger than marked, as some posts have suggested. I.e and 11 is really a 12? Sorta silly question, sorry, but looking at fiting a new SS into my quiver.
You can depower the kite to the same level on any of the rear attachment points. <b>Granted, you have to move the bar a little farther if using the rear-most (or you have to pull the trim rope a little farther).</b>
Well, that's what I was saying. I can depower more with the bar sheeting out the same amount, since the AOA change will be greater - the more forward you attach your rear lines...
Connecting the front lines to the front most connection point should give you the most depower, not the least as you said in your post. Please correct me if I am wrong!
Right. I was referring to overall depower. Most forward and most rearward should cancel each other and give me "medium" depower LOL. I get the most depower from the front hookups, but the least on the rears, so I figured "medium".
The kite size flat is about 1m larger for all sizes except the 19m....which is 21.5m flat
The 19m kites I ordered are on back-order. Should get them in a week or so. I am dying to try the big-boy but its getting cold! 20 degree air and 43 degree water...