After being out on the water about 5 sessions with my new 09â€™ Slingshot Rev 11m I think it is about time to give an honest review for the rest of you poor souls who havenâ€™t had the chance to experience this amazing kite! A little background on myself. This is my second season kiting and Iâ€™m coming from a quiver of 7, 11 and 15m 07â€™ waroos. I would consider myself an freestyle rider. I decided that I needed to upgrade when my 11m waroo was not able to complete a powered kiteloop and the landing it gave was so hard I blew my knee (ACL).
So my criteria for finding a new kite was: Increased turning speed, Solid haingtime and lift, light to moderate bar pressure / feel, wind range, quick relaunch, upwind performance, unhooked feel, Safety system etc.I decided to go with the rev because it seemed like it excelled in all those areas especially the turning speed, relaunch, and the front line safety system.
Enough of the B.S. How the kite flies:
Turning speed is great for the 11m size. It feels like Iâ€™m flying a 9m. It doesnâ€™t loose power in the bottom turn and as well as the upstroke. Just smooth power flow from the kite through the whole transition. It doesnâ€™t take much to get up on plane and then keep the kite parked. I feel that this kite has a significantly better low end compared to my 11m waroo because Iâ€™m able to keep power through signing the kite and then park it. I would say I have ridden this kite through 12 mph lulls. I was heading downwind with signing the kite but I would say that is pretty good for an 11m with a 129 S.S. Lunacy board! I canâ€™t wait to throw powered kiteloops again with this kite but I have been taking it easy with my knee for the time being. I had my friend out on the kite and he was throwing loops on it with no problem. Rod said, â€œit turns like his sisters little kiteâ€. I canâ€™t answer to how hard it pulls thought the loops. Compared to my 11m waroo it has more power through transition loops with a steadier and quicker feel.
This kite has three settings for bar pressure on the rear wingtip. Slingshot says that the settings do not affect the turning speed and I tend to agree with that because I have not noticed a drop in speed on any of the settings. The farthest back setting is for light pressure. Same light pressure as 11m waroo. I can easily feel where the kite is but it is light. On the middle setting the pressure increases a noticeable amount. Reactive feel but not overpowering. On the highest bar pressure setting it also effectively increases the pressure over the middle setting. Little bit heavy for my liking but Iâ€™m sure others will like having this option. On all three bar pressure settings the kites power feels very linear with and reactive on the bar throw. No annoying on/off feel like my waroo. so it makes powered transition turns smooth and predictable.
The relaunch on this kite is one of the best I have ever seen in short. Sitting in the water I donâ€™t need to pull higher than the float on one of the back lines the get the kite to roll to the launch position. The first few times I tried the relaunch I was just amazed because when my 11m waroo would be falling back down into the water when the rev just kept turning up into the relaunch position. Light wind relaunch in deep water with the board on my feet is effortless. I havenâ€™t tried it in deep water without my board but I couldnâ€™t imagine there is a kite out there that would do it better. Reverse launch on the beach is also easy and reliable. Just need to pull both back lines and the kite will effortlessly hover up till it reaches a good height to let go on one of the lines. Kite just spins on axis and youâ€™re off. Again, much better than my waroo.
When the wind picks up to low to mid 20's the kite feels like it has an elevator button. huge lift and haingtime. partly because I can throw the kite back so fast it develops huge pull in that short period of time and it accelerates upward and will keep pulling to add considerable more height than what I'm us to.
The safety system is one of the biggest highlights of this kite. Completely flags out with the under the bar attachment point. I have only tried this once but when I pulled the safety the kite shot out onto the single front line and darted the water. When I got to the bar the lines were not messed up at all. Recovery was simple and I was able to reload the chicken loop with one hand. And then ready for another simple relaunch.
I have not spent much time unhooking with this kite yet but the few times I have I felt that I didnâ€™t need to depower the kite before unhooking like on my waroo. Since the pull of the kite has such a good linear feel itâ€™s not like Iâ€™m overwhelmed by being fully powered. I would imagine in an overpowered situation pulling in some depower would be a good idea but as is the kite feels solid for unhooking.
Depower is also another standout point of this kite. I donâ€™t need to pull the depower strap in far for the kite to feel like a whole size smaller in stronger wind. When I depower the kite I would expect the back lines to sag out and add to delayed and difficult steering in overpowered conditions. Well not the case. Since the back lines are connected to the front lines through the kiteâ€™s bridal the back lines stay tight which gives the kite the same handling in overpowered conditions as it would in normal powered conditions. When depowered the kite flies with the same characteristics as when it does in normal wind. This also gives it a greater usable range.
Slingshot says that they have reinforced the stitching on the kites seams. All I can say is that it looks good. Only time will tell if this is true.
One pump is great. Can pump this kite up so quickly compared to having to blow up individual struts. Defiantly like that.
Comparing the Rev to my warro with regard to upwind performance is interesting. I feel like the rev sits a bit back in the window compared to the waroo but it does just as good upwind as the waroo. Was out on the ocean side with this kite recently and was just powered enough to keep the kite parked and was cranking upwind. So much so that I needed to do one complete tack downwind to get back to the launch. Overall I would say the upwind is very good.
One complaint is with regard to the bar. On the first session the donkey dik got ripped out of the chicken loop by my harness. Wish it could be connected with a longer screw or something. The main factor was the my Mystic firestarter harness has such a small spreader bar hook that the donkey dik got caught in the eyelet when I turned my body away from the kite. The stress from this movement ripped it out. Sure donâ€™t want to find another harness or spreader bar but the new donkey dick has lasted 4 sessions so maybe it was just bad luck.
I would say that it is very hard to get everything I wanted in a kite but for my riding style I have found it with the rev. Everything I wanted the kite to be able to do it does and still amazes me with how well it performs in every aspect. I really canâ€™t find a flaw in this kite. Thank you Andrew at Powerline Sports for getting this kite so early and to slingshot for such a solid product.
Thats the 11m Rev out with a 16m crossbow and a 14m Rebel
Got lucky with some pics from a heli