If you know anything about Slingshot, then you know the iconic brand is on top of any new trend in wind sports and has been for years – be it kite, wind, wing or foil. In fact, Slingshot’s Slingwing V2 has helped jump start the wing foiling craze with its ease of use and stability; it is a very well-behaved wing. Well, Slingshot just released the Dart, a high-performance version that’s a bit on the naughtier side. If you have spotted the Spencer Brothers pushing the stratospheric limits, then you have already seen the Dart in action…
The Dart comes in a tight package, bagged and ready for travel, with a couple of nifty improvements. A new neoprene patch on the front handle protects the hands when floating the wing behind you and built-in harness-line attachments allow you to lock in with Slingshot’s universal harness line (which would be a good idea, given this wing’s power).
In terms of design, where the Slingwing features even wingtips or a neutral outline, the Dart is in fact the opposite with swept-back wings and a much more high-performance shape, it looks almost like a hang glider in fact… There’s a pronounced point to the nose to shed wind well, increasing upwind ability and outright speed. The canopy is noticeably loose and bows under load, and connects directly to the high diameter and super stiff strut. The first thing you notice with the Dart on the water is the acceleration, power and speed off the start – this thing absolutely wants to fly. The raked back wingtips allow the large diameter leading edge to shed wind effectively minimising drag, and translating into raw speed. It has a genuinely slippery feeling through the air and you can feel it want to move you, and move all over the place in your hand. Just go with it. The five nylon straps have been improved from an ergonomics standpoint and the Dart handles impressively. You are able to switch your hands back and forth with ease as you move between regular and goofy foot or turning from an upwind position to head downwind to ride swell. Again, the Dart can sometimes feel like it wants to get away from you, but you get used to it and that independent feeling indicates the sheer amount of power the Dart generates.
For getting up and going, the massive dihedral allows as easy water start as you can plant one side of the sail down on that water and use the top half to catch the wind at a useful angle. It goes without saying that – as a high-performance wing – the Dart favors smaller boards and higher aspect wings – anything too cruizy and the Dart is going to take it personally…
Overall the Dart is a classic example of Slingshot design. It’s an extreme shape, like someone sketched a paper aeroplane, and almost resembles a product that could be in concept form and stands out distinctively next to the current market trends, but it meets its design goals well in raw speed, power delivery and loft, and the on/off power it generates becomes very addictive.
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