I’ve “personally “ been riding SS Rally’s for the past two years in the Gorge mainly strapped on a 5-11”pit so this is my opinion of the SS Rally’s 2012 vs. 2013. I must admit my first impressions of the 2013 Rallys was mixed but I did not let the 1st, 2nd or 3rd session bias my opinion just yet, first impressions can sometimes be misleading. Now I’ve have had at least 25-30 sessions on the 2013s I really like the redesigned 2013 Rallys for what they are, a more powerful performance kite.
My first mistake, the 2012 Rally 8m is not the same as the 2013 8m, the 2013 generates more power and for that matter all the sizes have more respective power. Thanks to some of the obvious – larger reflex wing tips, mini struts and forward attachment points the canopy is rock solid and less forgiving than the 2012s, it doesn’t twist, flex or over sheet and larger riders will like that. When you demo the kite consider sizing down, of course use your best judgment but think smaller kite if you’re on the fence.
The first thing you might notice is the slight increase in bar pressure, your well established muscle memory for the 2012s Rally bar won’t work, it requires more bar input than your use to. And yes, in my opinion, the kite does not pivot turn as fast size for size (think smaller kite = faster turning speed). However it will turn fast enough it just requires more bar input than your use to. So, try a slightly wider hand placement on the bar and/or use more force. I’ve also tried the 10m (wider) bar on the 8m; it helps but the 10m lines are 3 meters longer and add an additional element.
Now, what do you give up? Well, if super turning speed is the most important attribute you must have then the 2013 Rally might not be the kite for you. However what do you gain? It generates more power, better low-end grunt, wider wind range, precise handling, better upwind capability, easier kite relaunching, bigger more explosive airs, better loft and hang times, softer landings and it drifts perfectly…
So are the 2013 Rally’s right for you? Demo once, twice, three times have an open mind without expectations and have fun. Find out what the kite does rather than holding on to expectation of the past. You might find, as I have, I can live without the “super fast” turning speed of the 2012s, but all that I have gained I really like. For me this is a great kite for the characteristics it does have, it might not be what you expect but give it a chance and relish in all the new attributes it does have. So visit Windance here in the gorge or a Slingshot dealer near you and form your own opinions.