Slingshot Asylum 2014 Review by Toby Diggens:
The Slingshot Asylum now in its second year as a standout wake/freestyle board from the Hood River (OR) company draws on inspirations from wakeboarding and aggressive park and freestyle kiting. With Triple-S winners, Sam Light, Eric Rienstra and Alex Fox currently using this board, you really get the idea of who it is aimed at.
First Impressions were good and riding this board felt locked in and very much ready to hold down good power. As with all kiteboards it went back and forth so there was not much surprise there. It also went upwind and downwind so that was good also.
Surprisingly the Asylum felt too wide for straps and I really felt that there was a tendency for the board to want to hop out when railing hard against a powered C-kite. The placement of the straps to a more heel side bias may alter this so be aware when you are riding if you feel like the tail block is becoming hard to wield. I think that actually, the board would suit boots better than straps and in this case, when you are wanting to ride powered and try new moves, the necessity for holding as much power as you can to then release into a trick is crucial. Should you become overpowered and try and load with the straps on, then it can cause the lack of pop, very fast downwind pull that you get sometimes when lit. This will not allow you to gain crucial line slack for any pass.
Most of the basics are covered in the main review but I want to concentrate on the straps. The Slingshot straps are not my favorite. Many other brands now have created very foot friendly, ergonomic straps that offer superior control and locked in feel. This really now puts the freestyle rider at a decent advantage as he does not have to go to boots to perfect low powered tricks, and it saves the numerous brain numbing heel edge slams that you will take in boots! The Slingshot straps however are too wide and uncomfortable for my liking. You simply cannot lock your foot into them enough to feel that every pop will be the same. The contrasting thought to this however is that these straps are very versatile, and for riders who alter between booties and bare feet, this spacious and generic design might help. For the REAL Lesson Center this is certainly the case.
Overall, the board felt great. Upwind is decent for a more rockered out board and the landings are super smooth with the added rocker. The board is stiffer and will enjoy flatwater more than chop but again the rocker helps a little here.
Riders looking for a great board for boots, a solid wake and park performer or just something that comes down from jumps with some cushioning will love this board. Intermediate to Expert is where this board will be best received.
by Jason on September 2, 2013