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Slingshot Fuel 2002 14 vs. Slingshot Fuel 2003 15

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Slingshot Fuel 2002 14 vs. Slingshot Fuel 2003 15

Postby inspiron » Tue Apr 01, 2003 4:25 pm

Just had a chance to use them both in the same afternoon with basically same conditions (15-17 knots).

I have had Fuel 2002 for a year, just rigged up 2003 for the first time (brand new). The size is comparable.

-The leading edge can be pumped up quicker on 2003 model, although it does not seem the tube would be smaller in diameter. They have, however, NOT added the "air stopping" balls in the smaller struts (naish style), so it is still somehown annoying tu pump it up alone

-Better build, more reinforcements, black color rocks ;)

-Had a 2002 bar on both, lines and safety leash - so cannot comment on this part

-Did not get a feeling that it is really much faster turning than 2002 model, although this might be due to my attachement point settings. I followed JohNny TBKS advice (I think it was him) from this forum, wherE he suggests putting leading lines to the 3rd position (farest away from the leading edge) and rear lines to the farest away position from the trailing edge. The turning speed might change if I would put rear lines to the closest setting to the trailer edge.

-2003 has just so much more lift and hanging capabilities. I could not believe my eyes: with the same move, same tehnique, I could stay up there in the air for substantialy longer. Additionaly, with 2002 I was comming down rather fast - with 2003, it was softer and smoother. Cannot explain why...

-2003 goes into the end of the window much quicker and basically without doing anything special with the kite - it just goes in front of you. Nice for holding it up in higher winds (less power) and helps you edging at the same time. I was even annoyed sometimes in around 15 knots wind, since i had to power it up time to time to get it more back into the window to get more power out of it.

-After a few crashes, using the same tehnique, I got a feeling 2002 Fuel gets water relaunched easier. It might just be the fact, that i know how to do it with 2002 blindly (did it so many times while learning :) ).

-2003 had a very very rigid style of hanging up there - no jellyfishing at all. 2002 does it ocasionally. Anyhow, as far as i can remeber, jellyfishing does not affect performance - it does however give you a better riding experiance if the kite does not jump around the sky that much.

-Cannot compare power/depower range, since my 2002 Fuel has been rearanged in teh sense I put new strap on with longer power/depower possibilities.

-Can it be for 2003 model to have less aspect ratio?? Did not check the actual data, but it sure looked to me once in the air.

Overall, I like both kites. Anyway, juts my first feeling is that Slingshot made some progess in the new model, especially in flying capabilities (more stable) and unbelivable better hangtime.



Postby Guest » Sat Apr 05, 2003 9:38 pm

It was me that suggested you try those settings first. That's not to say that they will be the best settings for you though. I was just finding that the kite was too quick for some people who were starting out with 1-Z. I myself prefer 1-Z over all of the others most of the time. The kite is for sure much faster turning than the 2002. Yours seemed like it was about the same because the settings you used are also the SLOWEST settings for the kite. So if you haven't tried 1-Z yet, or anything else, please do so.

You said that SS STILL didn't put balls in the bladder valves...I Dont think it is a matter of will prolly never see those annoying balls in the valves. It's true, some of us actually find them annoying more than a convenience. But you have been flying your 2002 for a year, so I don't understand why it is still hard for you to inflate the kite by yourself. We have no problems with it around here. It's just technique. What's the problem? Losing air when you pinch it? Losing air when you stop pumping to pinch it? Whatever it is, your hands can be trained to deal with it without even having to think about it. It's just technique. I know that when the day is over, and the few people here with balls in their valves are standing around squeezing their balls trying to deflate their kites, I enjoy being able to walk along my SS pulling out the valve stops and watch the kite deflate on it's own so that by the time I get the last valve pulled open the kite is flat and ready to be folded.

Better build for sure. The seams are not only sewn, but they are taped with Mark cloth AND glued. Superior construction without a doubt. I don't know any other brands that can say that. I just checked out some new Rhinos last week which I always heard were strong built kites, but they dont even come close to SS construction. I was surprised.

I think that the 2003 Fuels depower better than the 2002 Fuels and have a wider wind range because of it.

Thanks for your review!


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