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in front of the board

kite1You may not have noticed, but that world-famous breeding ground of both great and horrible ideas – the Sailing Anarchy Forums – has a new addition this month.  We welcome all of our kiteboarding friends to Kiteboarding Anarchy, and Anarchist “maestro” rekindled an old tradition in the forums; the reader boat review.  Only this time the boat fits in a bag, and goes 30 knots…or more. More pics (and ask the reviewer questions) here, and the manufacturer site is here.   And in other kiteboarding news, we’re proud to be a sponsor of the inaugural Fort2Battery Race in Charleston, SC right after the Moth NAs and just before Charleston Race Week.  Already a pile of boards and moths are entered for this event modeled after SF’s Bridge2Bridge but in the East Coast’s kiting capital, and it should be a blast to hang out on the Battery and watch the carnage.  Nice going from a big Anarchy fan with the balls to give something new a try – Tim Fitzgerald.

MFG: Slingshot

Model: Darko

Size: 134 x 41.1

Year: 2013

Conditions: Salt water, flat/choppy, no waves 14-25kts

Boots: Y

Kite: RPM, Rally, various sizes

Initial impressions:

The artwork is great, and the bottom of the board is super visible if you lose it, or if someone is taking pictures of a grab.  It has fairly little rocker, and carries its edge all the way up.  The board is on the heavy side of medium and the flex is on the stiff side of stiff.  Slingshot fastrack, for super adjustability of stance.  All the bolts needed tightening before/after the first ride, but all good thereafter.  Bindings are quick to adjust.

Performance: 

The board rides like its a bigger board, you can really agressively downsize because of how wide it stays tip to tail.  This board generates a ton of pop with the right speed and ability to use it.  Even though it is 134x41cm wide, it doesn’t feel like a wide board.  Even though it’s a fairly stiff board, you can still feel the flex on the slop, though landings can be more abrupt than softer boards.  Beginners will like how well it gets up on plane, upwind, ability and speed…at the cost of a bit of face spray.  Experts will absolutely launch on this thing.

Verdict:

This is my favorite 2013 twin tip from Slingshot (I’ve demo’d the entire line).  It’s definitely a go-to medium to heavy air flats kiteboard that will take anything you dish out at it.

March 11th, 2014

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