Slingshot RPM 2012 Review
Kites Tested 8,10,12,14 2011 RPM
(2011-2012 remodelling, virtually none apart from GFX and very minor tweaks to bridle lengths) CSS Bar & Lines remain the same.
The Slingshot RPM was introduced into the LEI line-up of Slingshot in 2009, to bring the out-and-out grunt of the Slingshot ‘C’ FUEL together with the water-relaunchability, safety and overall manageability of an SLE/Hybrid kite.
It can be noticed quite easily the kite inherits the mandatory ‘square’ old-school LEI wingtips of the conventional ‘C’ kite but with a full leading edge bridle array of an SLE.
Many have questioned weather the, somewhat elaborate, pulley bridle system is required, but the system has proven to produce amazing turn capability and responsiveness, and also helps to accentuate the de-power throw of the bar.
New to the 2011/2012 versions of the RPM is the introduction of ‘Split Strut’ technology. This ‘Split Strut’ simply means the canopy of the kite attaches to one side of the strut, then continues at the other side. This gives the strut a balancing and strengthening attitude to the overall shape of the kites dynamic. Why the 2009/2010 RPM’s didn’t have this beats me, as the latter day Fuel & Diesel (circa 2003/4) were already sporting this technology and always has.
All impact points of the kite and struts are re-enforced with webbing and from my knowledge there has never been an issue raised out of fault, or undue wear.
There are a couple of adjustment points to the kite, being angle of attack and bar pressure kite/reaction setting.
The angle of attack adjuster (x2) brings the flight of the RPM closer to a ‘C’ than a conventional SLE by releasing more of the leading-edge to the wind. This is great if you’re predominantly after a point & fire attitude, great for boost and waves, less friendly for beginners or surfers needing on/off power and pretty faultless water re-launch. Move the adjuster further toward the wing-tip, to give the kite more of a ‘C’ feeling, resulting in slightly less de-power, but more grunt.
Other bridle options are Bar Pressure Points along the trailing edge of the wing tips. There are four of these, as you relocate the steering lines further away from the edge of the kite you will notice more bar pressure at the Bar End. Good for if you require more steering input. As a preference I like my setting midway, for me the best of both worlds.
The kite overall is a joy to use, weather a seasoned Pro or a learner, it seems to cater to all as proven by Youri Zoon winning trophies world wide on the RPM, and also a kite I recommend to friends as a starter kite, of which there has only been reports of excellent progression.
Arguably, a great all-rounder.
Bar and line lengths (Inches & Meters)
Author : MrM
Slingshot RPM 2012 Review,