The 2012 Slingshot Rally is the top choice for crossover freestyle and surf minded riders. Proven Delta features, such as low-end power, responsive, pivotal turning, endless lofty hang-time, effortless relaunch and unbelievable range are matched with C kite-style predictable power and uncompromising stability. The three strut design of the Open Delta C delivers smooth efficient power through the stroke and offers a light weight, balanced build for maximum flight stability. The Rally's range has been optimised for maximum low-end grunt, meaning you can ride in lighter wind speeds with a smaller size kite as well as getting noticeably bigger boost withlonger, lofty hang-times. The stroke at the bar and the pulley-less bridle lets you tap into a top-end range with complete control when the wind picks up. Fine tuning the Rally is easy with Custom Fuel Injection attachment points. CFI alters the overall feel and bar pressure enabling you to tune the kite to meet your personal riding preferences.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Slingshot always build their gear as if it's going into war; everything is highly-reinforced, with good mark cloth where the canopy joins the leading edge and there's also now extra reinforcement on the wing-tips under the rear line attachment points. Slingshot's One Pump is a proven success and there's a large dump valve next to the inflation valve. The bar is just fantastic. Super strong front lines, tough grip, solid chicken-loop that's always perfectly sized for hookedin or unhooked riding – it's all just bomb-proof. One thing to note is that Slingshot have the depower system located on the side of the chicken-loop under the bar, but it does work nice and smoothly, so it's not difficult to find leverage to operate it and means the Rally is allowed a nice long throw above the bar for lots of depower. The push away quick-release remains from last year and is just slightly smaller than you might be used to, but operates smoothly. The Rally is definitely a pure-bred freeride kite for the masses, with a three strut delta design and pulley-less short bridle. The low-end power is excellent and the power comes on smoothly but with plenty of grunt to get you going with just one stroke of the kite. The top-end is very impressive too, and it would probably take a 30 knot gust before you
start getting really uncomfortable on this. Having such good low-end abilities and incredible top-end really will make this a very popular freeride machine. Boosting on it is very easy, it's a bow-type boost, so all you need to do is send the kite back somewhere over your head, pull down on the bar
and up you go, pulling you very vertically and with good lift before floating back down with plenty of feel for where the kite is throughout the jump. You can turn every jump into a transition if you want as the Rally turns on a six-pence, you can redirect it in a heart beat and there's a lovely hovering quality for lower level transition work, too. Super pivotal, it
almost draws a circle around its own axxis with incredibly light bar pressure, which is an unusual trait for a delta kite. We didn't actually get to try it in waves, but this rapid, easy handling and huge depower should make it very good for throwing around in the line-up.
The Rally is an ideal freeride kite for anyone, from the smallest of girls to the biggest of fellas. The superb mix of low-end grunt and super easy, pivotal steering and lack of power in the turns makes it an incredibly easy, safe kite to just get on and use. Loads of forward flight make it a dream
to ride upwind and the Rally seems allergic to water, relaunching itself in seconds.
If you're fairly new to kitesurfing and want a kite to be able to get out and ride in a low force four and above, but don't want to have to buy a 15 metre, then this is great. You'll also easily be able to hold onto it when the wind picks up too. Super easy-touse, safely throw-about when learning tricks without any unnerving surges in power, this really is
your bread and butter freeride kite for all conditions.
Super-easy handling in a kite that's so safe you could teach your gran how to kite on it.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Wave riders and racers will like the kite too, but anyone who likes a bit of power in their turns and a bit more consequence to their tricks should look elsewhere in the range.
14, 12, 10, 9, 8, 6 and 4m
This test is in issue #53