2011 Slingshot RPM Review

At a glance
Slingshot claims that the new 2011 RPM is there strongest kite ever. The kite is an extension of the previous years 2010 version, maintaining the open C profile with dual pulley-bridles like we’re a re used to. The 2011 RPM comes with 3 split strut design which means that the struts are embedded into the canopy and hence makes the kite even more solid with enhanced durability.
The 2011 RPM has a one-pump inflation system and four different connection points for the rear lines that allows you to tune the settings for your prefered bar pressure. The front lines also have different connection options so the kite can be tweaked for freestyle och wakestyle.
 The solid metal bar is more or less identical to the previous year and it remains a leader on the market. A small modification has been made on the sheeting rope where a rubber tube is attached in the end of the rope to prevent the rope from sticking awkwardly into the shutter box. The smallest bar set up is a 17 inch bar with 20 meter lines extending to 20 inch with 27 meter lines for the biggest kite. The lines are the strongest on the market and each of them can carry a load on 800 lb, so you don’t snap these lines in the first case!
In the air
While testing a 9 meter kite on the beach in lighter wind we find out that the kite flies fast through the air, has great stability and generates some impressive lift even in light wind conditions. The bar pressure settings can be set between medium light to heavy and you can really feel the difference here. Adjust the settings to wake style and the kite sits back a little in the wind window. Perfect when you want to be able to park the kite in the sky and keep it in the same position so that handle passes gets easier since you have “plenty” of time to perform your trick without having the kite dispositioned in the wind window.
On the water
The bottom end of the RPM seems to have been improved and we managed to get up on the board and ride in winds as low as 14 knots. Just pilot the kite through the wind window which increases the bottom end significantly, and it gets you going. The RPM flies upwind easily when you power up and it gives you nice boosts and floats with great precision at all time. The rock solid construction also provides great stability and we were impressed of the way that the RPM handles various wind conditions. Strong gusts are smoothened out which gives you confidence to perform tricks even when the wind is a bit to rough. The line swivel is a small, but great innovation since you don’t have to worry about your front lines getting tangled up and you don’t have to mess with bar after a break on land. Small thing like this swivel, adjustable bar settings, strong lines, reliable construction etc make the kite an overall user friendly kite without and annoying things to bother about. The RPM is the kite’s Volvo or Ferrari depending on how you look at it. It turns fast, gives great boost and loops fast and powerful. It relaunches with ease and is a pleasure to fly. Also a great kite for unhooked tricks since it generates good amount of pull when popping. Its park and popping performances are among the best on the market and there is no surprise that Youri Zoonand other pro´s are nailing 900’s and other insane tricks, it all becames a lot easier with the RPM. Without hesitation on of the best kites on the market suitable both for advanced riders and beginners that need a kite they don’t have to exchange as they progress.Conclusion
The 2010 RPM was a great kite and it´s no big surprise that Slingshot has chosen to tune up an already winning concept with some improvements when it comes to wind range, stability and rigidity. The RPM is now a very refined kite and you really get value for this kite, which besides has a good second hand value as well. Slingshot has set the bar high for all competitors this year and it will be interesting to see if they can match this monster. In fact with RPM, Slingshot might squeeze the market for the also very popular Fuel which from now on may be the choice for the more extreme and aggresive form of kitesurfing. 
For more information on the 2011 RPM check out Slingshot’s Official Site or visit Kiteboarding Review

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