Review for Slingshot Link 2007 15 Times tested:
8kn to 13knGood:
Turns incredibly fast for a "15m"
Heaps of depowerBad:
Doesn't pack well due to all the battens.Review:
I ran into the SS rep who suggested I give a demo Link 15m a go. Made it out on the link in 10-15mph avg around 11. (I know it's light, but that's what we ride around here)
The kite looks well built, better than the TD1's and includes scuff guards and all the usual SS features. There are a ton of struts on this kite, plus many battens. This is not a light kite. This may explain part of it's poor light wind performance.
Kite was tested in light winds (10-15mph) on both 5'10" surfboard and a FLX 142. I'm about 80kgs dry and was wearing a full suit.
This link has the newer "red bridles" and was rigged 4 line. The bridle is huge and has 2 pulleys, there are no pulleys on the bar. I don't know if the pigtails were standard as this was a rep's kite on loan as a demo. There were no knots on the pigtails and they were quite short so I rigged to the only knots available.
First impression of the kite is how fast it turns! This thing turns as fast as my TD12 and dare I say, faster. Unfortunately it does not generate much power in light winds. Even once up and planing I could not get much speed built up. Perhaps user error as this does fly differently than the TD's. I found a dead spot in the kite pull at the lowest point when sining, just went the kite turns from heading toward the water and starts to turn back up. I tried everything I could think of, sheeting more, sheeting less, turning sooner, but everything caused a slight power lull at the same point in the turn.
My impression of this kite is that it's sized wrong. It may be a 15m on paper, but it acts like a 12m. I think it would be a very fun kite in about 15mph+ and in surf. The power shuts off easily, but the kite is heavy so it didn't want to stay aloft when carving downwind in light wind. More wind and it would be fine. This is not a low-end, light wind kite. It wants more wind. It's high aspect and probably jumps quite well with some more wind. I was unable to get much pull from it in these conditions.
To compare, I jumped on a 14m Contra back to back with this kite. With the Contra I was well powered, could ride the 142 twintip and could jump when I wanted. The Contra had loads more power, but doesn't shut off the power as well as the Link. A 16m TD1 also has much more grunt than the Link, but the turning speed doesn't even compare.
Relaunching (only one time) was between a C and bow. It rolled up by pulling a rear line, but didn't want to hot-launch and waited until it got to the edge of the window where it launched like a C.
It did drop from the sky once while standing on the beach, something my TDs have never done on me. I don't know why, could have been a lull which I didn't notice, but it came down nose first making me feel silly. Could have been how much depower the chick rope has. The stopper ball was so far out that I'm not surprised in light winds the kite might tip.
Overall, this is not a bad kite as so many people claimed. It's different, probably fits a certain style, and wants more wind than it's sizing might suggest. I was reminded of the Caution Answers which also turn fast, are sized smaller and want to tip out of the sky if you're not looking.Rider Profile
Weight (kg): 71-80
Preferred Water: Wave
Preferred Power: Good
Preferred Kite Size: 12.0
Most Used Kite Size: 16.0
Preferred Board Style:
Preferred Board Size: 190+
Brand Affiliation: Normal Customer
Similar gear used: SS TD 16,12, Fuels, Machines
Contra 14For pictures and more reviews click here