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Slingshot has launched a new platform for beginners to start their wingfoiling journey. The all new LTF or “Learn To Fly” inflatable series is a versatile board with a strong emphasis on stability and ease of use for new riders. Integrating both a foil track mount, and keel fin slots, the LTF platform is designed to get complete beginners with no experience moving on the water and transitioning into their first glides on foil. The option to start with keel fins helps remove some of the intimidation factor of the full foil kit and allows new riders to build confidence and comfortability with simplified gear before taking on the foiling challenge.
With a very wide outline the LTF is incredibly stable and easy to balance. The inflatable design keeps the board light weight compared to a composite board of a similar size. A soft deck mounted carry handle makes transport and launching easy. Slingshot has integrated a carbon bottom plate to facilitate a stiffer platform for foiling. The Slingshot LTF 6’0 x 34” x 6” @ 180L was tested using a 1300 surf foil, 3m wing, wind 25-30mph. Rider 6'4, 170lb.
As a beginner platform the LTF excels in stability, the balance position is huge. Even when standing near the rails the LTF will stay upright, and not tip over. The inflatable TPU construction has a softer feel than a composite board, so there is an element of added safety when crashing or accidentally landing on the board. Using the inflation valve located on the nose of the board, the LTF will perform best when pumped up hard towards the upper end of the recommended inflation pressure. Mounting the foil or the keel fin is quick and easy with industry standard hardware. Configuring the LTF with the keel fin setup is almost exclusively for beginners or first day wingers. The added surface area of the keel fin does help the board track, and is a great way for a first exposure to being pulled across the water by a wing, however maintaining upwind ground is quite difficult so riders with more experience should dive right into the foil setup.
Mounting the foil to the LTF is the same as any other board and uses standard M6/M8 hardware. The long tracks allow for a significant amount of adjustability so any foil can be perfectly tuned in. Due to the long length of the carbon bottom plate, the LTF does not have a significant flexing point in front of the foil. When everything is fully pumped and mounted securely the LTF is one of the stiffer inflatable platforms available.
Experienced riders that are coming from a traditional composite board should expect a brief adjustment period as inflatable boards do have a different feel. The air gap inside the board does provide a dampening effect so the ride is a bit smoother with less feedback from the foil. Also, as with all inflatable boards, there are no bottom contours so there is a higher degree of ‘stickiness’. That said the LTF was a very impressive and easy to ride board and, for beginners, provides a riding experience akin to a composite board so is an excellent starting point.
Overall the LTF is a perfect platform for families looking for one board that is easy for everyone from kids, beginners, or experienced adults to ride, and can easily be packed up, transported, and deployed. The wide outline and light weight make the LTF a champion in stability, and still has performance capabilities to keep intermediate riders entertained. ST
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