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R2 20 Review and Slingshot

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hwenn
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Location: Boston / Miami

R2 20 Review and Slingshot

Postby hwenn » Fri Apr 18, 2003 1:24 am

Hi

Rode the North R2 20 today in 9-13 knots. Pumping it up, it really did not look too big, because of the high AR. In the air, it was extremely stable, I am a mediocre kiter, and I stuffed 3-4 jumps. The kite recovered after luffing every time.
Jumping ability was pretty good, I had one 10 foot triple back loop in 12 knots. Getting the timing right was a little difficult.
Turning ability was very good, it I really yanked, it spun on a dime. I still may have preferred a faster kite, but north has decided not to make their kites too fast.
Upwind was 5/10, I guess it's tough for monsters to rip upwind. When it got to about 12 it was no longer difficult.
Last words: Great kite, awesome feel in the air-smooth and decently quick. Very stable, it will probably take a while before I can report on the relaunch.
Is this the best light air kite? I haven't tried the SS or Cabrinha kites, are they better?

Good Winds
Henrik

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:08 pm

of course the slingshots are better. lay your north out on the beach next to the slingshot and compare construction. then stretch out the stock lines and feel how soft and stretch norths are. then rig and fly both kites and you will see. no comparison

hwenn
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Posts: 81
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Location: Boston / Miami

Postby hwenn » Sat Apr 19, 2003 4:07 pm

Agreed, the lines on the north are not really up to todays standards. How do they compare in jump, feel, and range? I'm seriously considering the SS Fuel 17.
Thanks
Henrik

Guest

Postby Guest » Sun Apr 20, 2003 3:57 am

The Slingshots are much slower kites....they comapre more to a North Toro in speed...the Rhino is really fast and responsive...due to the highrer aspect ratio.

Lines can be easily changed......don't judge a kite based on the lines....as for construction.....I have both kites and use them fairly evenly....they are both well made......

Guest

Postby Guest » Sun Apr 20, 2003 2:40 pm

To the guest above:

Do you actually have the 2003 Fuel 19 and Rhino II 20 and have compared turning speeds to each other?
How do they compare in terms of wind range?

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Johnny TBKS
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Postby Johnny TBKS » Sun Apr 20, 2003 7:30 pm

For starters let me say that I have nothing against North at all. They are a fine company. I am only responding to this message, IN DETAIL, because of the above words from our beloved guest. What I say here, I find to be 100% true and factual and I am only relaying things that I see for myself. DO NOT confuse this with brand bashing! I am not trying to bash any brand. I am just sharing some facts. If anyone has pictures or other means of proving what I say to not be true, I welcome you to post them here.

I seriously doubt that the above guest has and uses both brands. If so I cant see how they can say that they are built equally as well. See for yourself. I'm not saying Norths are built poorly, they are built as good as the other brands. I actually do have in posession the Rhino and the Slingshots and have flown them both and the guest above telling you the Slingshot is slow is filling your head of crap. He obviously hasn't flown a 2003 fuel, but this really isn't of much matter if you just take the time to read users comments here about the 2003 fuels you will see he is joshing you. Take a poll, ask people to vote. A lot of users of this forum know already the truth. Try before you buy if you can, COMPARE before you buy if you can, then the answer will become obvious for you. I dont imagine that you would want a kite any faster than a 2003 slingshot. Ask the slingshot users of this forum if in doubt. Once you are past the speed propaganda you should compare construction. NO one on this forum can set here and HONESTLY tell you that the Norths are built better or stronger than the Slingshots. If they do then they either havent even looked and compared or they are lieing outright.

Their is really no comparison in construction. Here are some things to look for when you compare kites, all kites, not just north vs sling:

The slingies have their seams taped with mark cloth(mark cloth is 20 times the strength as regular ripstop), then glued, then sewn. Most others are simply sewn. No glue, no tape, no mark cloth. Drop that into the surf.

Next look at the contoversial seam on the inside of the leading edge bladder. That seam that cuts the canopy off of kites that are allowed to set on the beach. The slingy will have that seam covered to protect the canopy. They have been doing this seam this way for over 2 years now. Some other kite companies are still today using this bad seam and letting it shorten kites lifespans to well under a year even though they are aware of the issue and have been aware since 2001.

Next to notice is where the canopy meets the leading edge. The slingy has a 2 inch wide strip of mark cloth between the leading edge and the canopy. The north's and others have the canopy ripstop sewn directly to the leading edge. So if you happen to have a canopy ripping crash of some sort, on the slingy the rip wont be able to get past the mark cloth to reach the leading edge(this will be the only place on alot of kites where you will see a glued and sewn seam by the way), on others the tear can go right into the leading edge. Difference? The slingy repair would be 25.00 versus a tear into the bladder casing in excess of 100.00 to repair. This same is true for the struts. slings have markcloth protecting the strut casing from canopy rips while others have nothing. Go look. Go ask some kite repair facilties which kites they repair the least and which they repair the most. Also ask them which brand is the least expensive to repair. I bet you find I am leading you in the right direction.

Next to have a look at is the leading edge itself. Segmented. On the slingy you will see the seams of each segment are overlapped nearly 2 inches producing a rock solid shape and feel, sort of a truss system. On most others, each piece is overlapped an inch. Maybe. Maybe less. Have a look, see if I am talking smack.

The Slingshot comes with a bar that is going to still be in good shape in 5 years. In all fairness we have to say that this bar could be a little better in the safety department than it is(though the end users can make any bar have all safety features they wish). What are the others built of? Is it something that is made to last forever like carbon fibre as is the case with the slingy bar?

Are all the different XYZ Brand sizes designed to be flown on one single bar length or should you buy differnt bars for each kite? slings will all work on an 18-20 inch bar. One bar for the whole quiver. Own one and buy kite only for the rest of your quiver.

Slingshots firewire flying lines feel far superior to the soft north line. Dont take my word for it, go fly a north on north lines. It feels spongy like hell and it is no wonder with such soft lines. I guess after you buy your new kite complete, you can then go spend another hundred bucks on better lines as suggested by the above user.

After comparing the kites I can't see anyway in hell that some brands were ever labeled as durable. Maybe because they use ripstop that is just a bit heavier than some others, but not heavier than slingshot. I believe North and Slings use pretty much the same ripstop weight and teijen brand. Slingshot is a young, full on kiteboarding company, that built their reputation in the kiteboarding industry on durable products built for kitesurfing. They are able to compete with the big dogs that did come from huge windsurfing business. They didn't bring their big name over from some windsurfing company. Why is this? Because over time, quality does speak for itself.

I could point our differences and things for you to compare all day long but that would take the fun out of you getting to do some comparisons and finding on your own the strengths and weaknesses. Also if I continue to point out differences someone may think I am bashing North which I am not. North is a fine company with super nice guys running it. Besides it's not just north that is no comparison to the slings. Every 2003 kite I have compared next to the slings have yet to compare in construction. I am hearing rumors that a 2003 yet to be released will be near equal to the slings in construction, but that kite isnt out yet and I have yet to see it for myself so at this point it is just rumor. I CAN tell you that the rumor doesnt involve North in any way.

COMPARE THE KITES IF YOU CAN. If you get to compare, I bet you will without a doubt go with the slingshot. The only reason I feel secure enough to make such bold statement as all of the ones above is because I find that everything I have said is 100% factual, so I am willing to stand behind it. COMPARE. If you can't, contact some Slingshot users who have had other brands before or who can help you to compare. The proof is in the pudding.
Last edited by Johnny TBKS on Mon Apr 21, 2003 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Guest

Postby Guest » Sun Apr 20, 2003 9:47 pm

Nice long reply above. good info, mostly likely all true. I just bought a R2 20m and have also flown the 19m slingshot a few times. both are great kites. the one thing in the above comments that don't agree with is that you buy a kite based on construction. its just one of many factors. for me, where i live the winds are lite, so low-end is the biggest issue for most. as far as i can tell the R2 has quite a bit of more power in 8-9 mphs of wind. the 19 slingshot gets you riding nicely in this wind, but i felt pretty powered up on the R2. more than i though possible in this lite wind. just for reference my next step down in size is a 2002 slingshot 16 (18 flat) which i think is great for me (160 lbs.+wave tray) at 11 mphs and up. also so far, i do think the 19m slingshot turns a little quicker and has more depower.


DP

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon Apr 21, 2003 6:41 pm

Thanks for the info above guys. I have the option of buying a Rhino II 20 or a Slingshot 19 and I just want to know which is a faster turning kite. Please answers only from those who have actually used both kites.

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon Apr 21, 2003 7:04 pm

Johnny TBKS wrote:For starters let me say that I have nothing against North at all. They are a fine company.
Exactly what any good Slingshot dealer would say.

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon Apr 21, 2003 11:49 pm

you can fly the r2 across the window in 03 knots,without it stalling,quite amazing for such a big kite,you can ride in 07 knots,but can't make good progress upwind until 09 knots,the top end for me (90kg) is 16 knots,then i down size.

its really well made and recognised as probably the best lightwind kite on the market this year,north are a well known brand with good dealer back up and are easy to sell on,once you want the latest model.

slingshot are also good kites,but are less well known and harder to re-sell.i choose to fly the r2 with the cabrinha powerlock bar and the standard north lines,absolutely no problems with that set up. its only this year, with this kite,that its been possible for me to have fun in sub 10 knots.

bobbi o


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