Man, sometimes Slingshot just can't resist messing with a good thing... and then screwing it up. The Rally is a good example, but they do it to their surfboard lineup too. The Celeritas has changed so much since Ben Wilson left Slingshot. The 2014 is great, but is totally different to the original Celeritas. In between those, they screwed around with the tail shape a lot, too. Sometimes you just have to ask "why???"!
I don't know...I don't think they are much different than any other company, or even better. They have only tweaked the Fuel and RPM for the past several years because people kept saying not to fuck with it, so they didn't. They changed the Rally after two years because everybody on this forum was complaining so much about that momentary wing tip bend under load...so, they came up with a rock solid design (yeah, I liked the way the old one flew better also). Boards...some stay the same year over year, some change...just enough to improvise, try out new things...and make you buy new gear!
That's the goal, right?
I didn't like the board graphics from afar, but when I looked at them close-up, I think it is a nice change. The alternating colors on the side rail is sharp and the tail graphics are nice, but mostly covered by the tail pad anyway. Although, yeah, I like the clean look of the Ankle Biter best. The good thing is you can always find the prior year's boards on close-out for a couple years. So you can buy what you like for the most part. Overall, seems like subtle kite changes, some new boards, new graphics...and a new wave kite rumor.
Damn...I just noticed the Ankle Biter doesn't have FCS II. That's too bad, I love taking the rear fins on and off that board. Oh well... It is on the T-REX though which makes sense...5 fins, lots of options. Might as well make it easy.