Hi, It's time for me to change my bar and I can have a good deal on both Slingshot CompStick 2013 and Airush smart bar II. I don't mind under/over the bar trim I'm used to both. If you have use them can you let me know what you think of it/them: - quality of the bar/Grip/lines - safety features - any issues (for ex I tried a switch bar recently and for me the grip was a bit hard and not enough length on the trim line to have "full" depower).
I have owned the Compstick (CS) for years and still use them for most school kites but am riding the Smartbar (SB) now and have been for a little over a year. I am going to rate as equal but for different reasons.
The releases are almost identical. The SB release is bigger and easier to feel when needed. Also bright red if your looking for it. Both are easy to release and reassemble. The SB also has a stronger leader on the centerline safety. Less likely to break if you release a lot.
The spinner on the CS is above the bar, just out of reach when it sticks a bit. You have to keep up on rinsing and dry lube. Kind of a pain for some. The SB is below the bar and easy to reach but is kind of small and sometimes a pain to turn by hand when powered. Could be bigger. The difference between the 2 here is if you unhook a lot, the SB spinner is below the bar and can cause the c-loop to spin just enough to make it tougher for some to hook back in. HINT: use your thumbs to spin it straight just as you hook back in.
The SB is super easy to change bar length sizes. Less than 15 seconds for both sides. A little rinse and some lube once in a while keeps it moving freely but if you don't maintain it for long periods of time, it can corrode and make it hard to get apart. I don't think the CS has any adjustments.
As for the trim strap. Love both. The SB is above the bar and easy to use and reach. Red and Blue pull strap that are marked as Less/More. The CS is below the bar which cuts down on the clutter above the bar. It is much tougher to pull the below the bar depower. Sometimes not possible without stopping but on that bar I tended to not use the trim strap much.
I have not had any problems with the grip on either.
The lines are nearly the same except the SB has multiple extensions to change line lengths. I have not changed them.