Apr 3, 2010
Author: SBC Test Team / Shane Thompson
Size Tested: 11, 9 m
Style: Hybrid SLE
Replacing the popular Rev 2, the Slingshot Octane represents the next generation of SLE performers and merges the successful design traits of its predecessor, the Rev, with the DNA of the original Octane. The Octane is the answer for the kiter who’s looking for the C kite performance with instant depower and range of an SLE. Compared to the Rev the Octane has increased width of the wing tips and the canopy, ensuring more direct feel in steering, better low-end power, and massive boost capability.
Control Bar and Safety System
Slingshot paves the way with some industry leading innovation on the new Comp Stick Control bar. The new quick-release trim loop has a slick, streamlined design and it’s quick to activate and reassemble. The main trim line cleat is housed on the side and has smooth pull through to control the kite power. Slingshot also receives top marks for the beefy and easy rotating, front line swivel, which keeps the lines untwisted and also houses the mini fifth line leash system which connects below the bar and ensures 100 per cent depower by flagging off the front line. OS emergency flagging handles are fitted on both back line flagging, add the increase the safety factor. Overall, the Comp Stick represents a solidly designed and streamlined set-up that rivals the best on the market for safety and simplicity.
On the Water
The Slingshot Octane delivers the performance riders are looking from a kite that can handle a wide range of ridings styles, skill levels and water conditions. Great graphic style and colour combos complement the sturdy build quality, and feature-packed new bar set-up. The well-rounded performance of the Octane will satisfy the large group of riders that want a do-it-all kite for their quiver. Test Team members were impressed with its smooth power delivery while unhooked. The steering was predictable and direct with good combinations of backline pressure for positional feedback. This kite is very tunable with noticeable differences in steering speeds and bar pressure as the back lines are moved forward and aft. The kite wasn’t the fastest pivotal turning kite of the group, but it did have good power available for transitional carving turns, and good amounts of low-end power were noted in the 13 m. Jumping and hang time were more than sufficient for the average rider and the kite reacted well to bar input with no lag time in turn initiation. The Octane was also one of the easier kites to water relaunch in lightwind conditions and the ability to use the OS handles for back line steering pull helps in this regard. Smooth depower at arm’s length gives the kite acceptable performance for wave riding. Intermediate riders that value versatility over top-end performance in a specific discipline will gravitate towards the Octane. It has enough performance to carry a rider from the early stages to advanced levels.
Some stability issues were found in backstalling and canopy distortion when aggressively flying the kite.
The Octane will easily take you from the early stages of riding to shredding waves, boosting big air or throwing down the latest freestyle tricks in your bag. Its versatile character will encourage intermediates to push the limits and experience new levels, styles and disciplines of riding.