Is The Slingshot Turbine the Best Light Wind Kite Ever?

by REAL Watersports

As kiteboarding gear continues to improve and advance, light wind (10 - 15mph) sessions are becoming more and more accessible. One of the driving forces has been The Slingshot Turbine, which has been around for a few years and taken the REAL Lesson Center by storm. Our coaches report that the Turbine has transformed the way people are learning to kite - 13mph is now a dream scenario for new students to learn in. I agree with you - that sounds hard to believe. So I took the new 2013 Turbine for a test drive to find out more...

Back for the third year of light wind domination, the Turbine is once again blowing kiteboarder's minds about how much fun you can have in light wind. Slingshot made adjustments to the wing tip, construction and bridle to make the 2013 Turbine much faster, better up wind and have superior water relaunch to any light wind kite on the market.

What we like:
This kite has changed light wind kiteboarding. You can go out in extreme light wind and the kite stays in the sky. If you are a beginner and crash it, the Turbine relaunches every time with no effort. The current design really jams up wind in almost nothing. If you own this kite you will get way more sessions and you will be stoked out of your mind.

What we don't like:
This is a big kite and it is slow just like all other big kites. If you want to sit on the beach and talk about how fast your 12m is then have at it. If you want to take a lot more sessions then pony up and get a 2013 Turbine. The sessions are worth the cash.

Why you want the 2013 Turbine:
There is no question about it that you will get a lot more session with the 2013 Turbine. They are really fun sessions too, not just mowing the lawn. As soon as there is a ripple of wind, you can fly this kite and go kiteboarding. Once you hit double digits you can get good jumps and ride a regular board. Since it water relaunches so easily, any level of rider can appreciate the value of adding the Turbine to their quiver.

Do you want to read more? Check out some more pictures and reviews of the 2013 Turbine.

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14 thoughts on “Is The Slingshot Turbine the Best Light Wind Kite Ever?”

  • Jeff

    What size is the Turbine?

  • Tom hackler

    Video shows 17 meter

  • Miguel


    I just bought a brand new Slingshot Turbine 2013 (I upgraded from Turbine 2011) and I just noticed that the 6 battens are missing on the wing tips!? :( This makes the canopy flapping a lot in that area.

    It's an incredible kite but I need the battens to fully appreciate it.

    How can I get those battens please?

    Thank you,


    • chris


      They come in the packaging, but are not pre installed. If you can't find them give us a call at (252)987-6000 or email us at


  • Mark

    I picked up a used 2011 Turbine this winter and took it out for the first time last week. Holy smoke! I can attest that its a low wind beast, but it also is a handful once the wind picks up a little. I don't know the wind speed, but I would have been fine on my 12m. In that wind, I could not hold down the Turbine. Depowering was super difficult. The depower is below the bar, which makes it hard to muscle in the line. I had to really pump the bar in order to sheet in even a little. Then it is hard to cleat the line when you are pulling so hard so close to your body. Even with all the depower line in, the kite is only slightly depowered. I could not sustain enough upwind carve to slow down the kite and keep it slow; so I kept having to turn down wind to dump speed. This kite is way fun in light wind, but can be dangerous the moment the wind picks up.

    • Pete Hardie

      I hear you Mark, heaps of power isn't always a good thing - especially if it starts to get really windy. Just as you said though the key is to try to edge harder and get the kite to fly to the edge of the wind window although I understand that's not always possible!
      Over the past couple of years the Turbine has evolved to fly a little closer to the edge of the wind window which makes it easier to go upwind and a little easier to control when the wind picks up although the 2011 Turbine is still a cracking piece of kit! Glad to hear you are part of the Turbine Club and I hope you have many happy light wind sessions ahead of you!

  • ivan from croatia
    ivan from croatia July 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I have the turbine 2011 since Slingshot made it, and i'm fascinated every time when i'm driving it, it has a wind range from 6 knots (with the crazy fly cruise LW board) till 20-22 knots (with brunotti xray carbon board), so i have now the turbine one rally 10 m and 6 m and i have between 150-170 days on the water, 70% of the time with the turbine :) i won't give up from it never!! :)) cheers!!

  • Nick Rivlin

    Hi Pete
    Your Dad tells me you are working hard over in the States. From what I've seeing on the net you're having a hell of a ball! Keep it up.
    Now onto more serious business, the Slingshot Turbine 2013 looks a great lightwind kite. Just what I need for the Island, when the 12m won't go. Any ideas on where best to buy from in UK?
    Let me know and do look me up when next in Seaview

    • Pete Hardie

      Hey Nick - Great to hear from you! I agree, the Turbine is exactly what you need for the island, It will transform those summer days into fantastic sessions! I'm pretty sure that we can get a Turbine shipped from REAL to you in the UK for the same price as you'd pay in the UK. I've emailed you a quote for the shipping etc...!

  • Spatsy

    The first thing you will notice about the kite is its size. Turning the kite on its side for launch, the center strut is about 7' off the ground. Not being a fan of huge slow turning kites, I was skeptical. But with the extra line length and bar size, your initial power stroke has grunt and seems to go on forever. Im 215lbs + what ever gear I might have on, and with a small twintip board, I max out around 20-22kts. Surfboard is a bit less due to being overpowerd on a surfboard does not let you edge as much to control your speed. This not an easy kite to hold down when the afternoon thermal kicks up. Depower Is a bit difficult and takes a bit of strength to pull, But depower is not what you buy a 17m for. Low end initial grunt and smooth even bar pressure in light wind make this my go to kite in summer. Its the fat mans 13M

  • Miguel

    The battens are a must on the Turbine 2013, it's changes everything about the turning ability's. Also what's nice about the 2013 version is the new bar: very easy to play with the depower compared to the 2011 version. And one last big improvment of 2013 is the upwind capability which is a lot better then the 2011 version due to the higher aspec of the kite. It fly's a lot faster too.

  • jon siddall

    I'm after a light wind kite for freestyle.
    Is the turbine better than the Ozone Zephyr and the
    Naish fly ?
    Really looking for fun in light wind so I can handle pass.
    Rider weight 72kg, board Nobile 666 nhp 131x42 2014
    Its winter in UK and mostly 7m weather.
    Should I wait till summer and go for a 2014 turbine ?

    • Matt

      Thanks for the question. The new Turbine is mental. It is much better than the Ozone in my mind because it has a lot more low end and it goes upwind better. Both are pretty slow, but that is how big kites are. The Turbine also has a boat load of pop so it is sick to edge against and try Wakestyle tricks.

      The only other kite I would recommend is the Core Riot XR3 17m. It is a lot faster than any of the big kites on the market. The Turbine has a touch more grunt though.

      Let us know if you have more questions. We will have the 2014 Turbine available for sale on 1/6/2014.