2013 Slingshot Rally kite Review I found on the net, cant wait to have a go... Looks like they will suit me, being on the heavier side, I still manage to buckle the 2012 model when loaded....
Enjoy the read
The team at XLKITES was lucky enough to get an early 2013 Rally complete with 2013 Bar and lines set from Slingshot about a month before the kites came out this year. We had a number of good sessions on it testing it in high winds, light winds, relaunch, self launch, depower, overpower, everything that we thought would be important to our customers.
2013 Slingshot Rally Kite
2013 Slingshot Rally
Here is what we think of the kite:
Phil Midler (Owner XLKITES):
“The kite has been changed significantly, I found the leading edge diameter was increased which should help the kite from bending when highly loaded. We saw this when teaching heavier students in high winds…the 2012 Rally would buckle a bit in the air. The new kite with the larger leading edge diameter should be able to hold up better in these conditions. The biggest change you’ll notice when you first see the new Rally is the two tiny struts on the outer wing tips that Slingshot added this year…they are small but make the sail stiffer in the air so it feels like the new Rally has more grunt. Another change is they moved the bridles forward toward the leading edge of the kite allowing for a more stable feel in the air. The bar pressure is a lot higher but the kite turns much faster. Overall, the the 2013 Rally will be better than the 2012 for heavier riders, students, and anyone flying in higher/gustier winds. The one down-side I found with the new Rally was light wind relaunch (under 10mph) the kite was more difficult to get into the air even with the increased bar pressure, but I feel that the added stiffness in the sail with the new struts is worth the trade-off because the kite will have more efficiency and will be stronger for people riding in high winds.”
Chris Summers (head instructor XLKITES-Houston):
“Slingshot has made some design changes to the new 2013 Slingshot Rally, first change is the leading edge is wider. This will give the kite greater stability in the air, which you can feel when you ride it in gusty conditions. They have also added two smaller struts that they call ‘mini-struts’ to the wing tips, which gives the kite more drive foward to the edge of the window giving the rider better upwind-riding ability. The next significant change is the bridles on the kite, they have taken the steering line (rear lines) and moved them to the knuckle point (forward of where it was in 2012) which allows it to perform better in gusty conditions. My overall impression of the 2013 Rally is good and the aspects I like the most about it is the faster turning speed and loftier jumps. The 2013 seemed to have a lot longer hang time in the air also. The bar pressure is more but it is a fair trade-off with the kite speed and feel when jumping. 2012 Rally had more of a ‘pop and drop’ feel in the air when you are jumping, which is great when you get it dialed in but the new Rally feels floatier and should be easier for newbees to land tricks etc. The 2013 Bar looks like it has a bit smaller diameter to it but I can’t be sure as I’ve not measured it. The grip feels a bit different though and I like it better than the old bar. There are no more numbers marking the size of the bar and the graphics are a bit different as you can see in the photos. Oh, one more thing….the Graphics on the new Rallys are amazing! The new kites are by far the best looking slingshot kites ever produced. They look sexy!”
Garrett Hazley (Instructor XLKITES-Texas City):
“Overall I think the 2013 Rally is a good kite but in lighter winds I would rather be on a 2012. It is a tough call because there really isn’t another kite that can relauch in light air like the 2012 Rally. On the water I thought the kite pulled harder than the 2012 and the bar pressure was higher. The kite was quicker in the air and it moved though the window faster so I could pump the kite easier than the older Rallys. Jumping on it was super floaty, which will make it easier for new jumpers. Unhooking on it was amazing! It seemed to ‘sit’ more consistently than the old Rallys which made the whole process easier. The bar (which is almost the same as the 2012) was easy to hook back in with after completing unhook tricks. Coming off the water for relaunching, it was tougher to get off in lighter winds, but it does have the ability to back fly up using tension on both rear lines at the same time. This will be very useful for snow kiters or anyone wishing to launch this on rough terrain as it will come straight up instead of sliding across the ground/water. Another technique that worked well is rocking the kite back and forth to get it more into the power-zone before relaunching. I liked the kite and look forward to teaching on it in higher winds. I think for low wind instruction I will stick with the 2012 Turbines.