Is the 2013 Slingshot RPM the Perfect Kite?

by REAL Watersports

Find out why the RPM is the #1 selling kiteboarding kite at REAL for 4 years running.

When the RPM hit the market in 2009 everyone was afraid of this radical new design. It looked too much like a C kite and had this crazy new compact bridle system. Top that off with only 3 skinny struts and everyone pretty much wrote it off. Fast forward to 2013 and the RPM has been Slingshot’s most successful selling kite at REAL the last four years running.

You need to ride it to believe it.
At REAL we are a pretty critical bunch when it comes to anything kiteboarding. When new kite magazine hits the floor and you hear “Totally missed the grab.” “The cover shot is out of focus! What are these guys thinking?”

The same goes for new kites and kiteboards. They are normally met with a quick glance over and Tommy our GM saying, “Let’s get a REAL logo on this thing and test it out.” From that point we put gear through the paces and compliments are hard to come by. We put it in the hands of a true beginner, crash it in the surf, jump over islands, activate the safety system at the most inopportune times, jib the slider park, and anything else we can think of to know what works and what doesn’t.

In 2009 the RPM silenced all the naysayers on the REAL Team and quickly rose to legendary status. Every year since the RPM was released, it has attracted a cult-like following because every size works for every riding style. All manufactures claim this but few can deliver. You have to work pretty hard to find something you don’t like about the RPM.

Innovation sometimes comes in small adjustments.
Slingshot has always prided themselves on being innovators in the industry. They came up things like One Pump and the Center Line Safety System, but one of their biggest innovations has been the small tweaks to products that work. The RPM has gone through 5 years of the small tweaks to get every size perfectly tuned. We see a lot of kiteboarding companies striving to be different every year and often times they end up completely ruining a great product. The RPM 2013 is a very different kite from the first one we saw in 2009, but it has only gained where it needed to gain without losing everything that is good about it.

Why are customers so loyal to the RPM?
We have clients that bought a RPM as their first kite in 2009. Every year they add a size to the range or replace the ones that they trashed. The new RPMs ride better than the old RPMs, but you can still transition from a 2009 10m to a 2013 12m and not have to adjust your riding style to accommodate the time gap. Having your quiver fit together is one of the most important factors in progressing as a kiteboarder and the RPM allows you to do that.

The RPM is the REAL Coaches’ choice.
If you coach kiteboarding for a living there are a few basic things that you need your kites to do so you can be successful at your job. The #1 thing is kite stability. You need the kite to stay over head at all times. Beginners are going to swing way under the kite, go around the horn, sheet the bar in and out like crazy and everything that you can throw at it. If the kite stays in the sky through all that then your student will have a lot easier time learning. #2 is water relaunch in all wind conditions. #3 is durability. #4 is wind range. The RPM gets top marks on all these items and without fail it is the first kite to be checked out for lessons and the last kites to be checked back in after the coaches are done free riding after work.

New key features for the 2013 RPM:
•Redesigned Comp Stick Bar
•More Dacron in all the right places
•Reinforced high wear areas and zippers

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