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.