Slingshot T-Rex: Are 5-fins the future?

Posted on July 24, 2013 by Pete Hardie

Any new product or design always spikes our interest. No strut kites, inflatable stand ups, kite bars with no lines - we love getting our hands dirty testing it all out. The Slingshot T-Rex with its radical design and 5 fin setup is a board we've been looking forward to testing ever since we heard about it.

Test Conditions:

I tested the T-Rex in side/side-off conditions with decent 8m wind. The waves were about stomach high with fun peeling rights running down the point. This was a great testing ground because it provided the variety of mushy waves on the outside pushing through to a punchy little end section on the inside.

For this test I used the 2014 Slingshot Rally, which is an amazing kite. Insanely stable and smooth with tons of power and a huge wind range. Check out the full Rally review here...

First Impressions:

Right off the bat, the board feels extremely stable and hammers upwind which makes it a pleasure to cruise and ride around on. The shape actually looks a lot like a large twin tip so you can almost edge it like a twin tip (which is one of the reasons it goes upwind so fast)!

Dropping in on my first wave I struggled to create any drive off the bottom, which meant I wasn't projected up to the lip. A good bottom turn is key in kitesurfing and without being able to generate speed off the bottom, it definitely made it harder to ride the wave as I'd like to.

Pros:

The build quality is next level. The board feels really solid under your feet and there's no question that it will last a long time - even if you're doing airs all day long! The stability of this board is a big plus too. We often chat to riders looking for a directional that's easy to "gybe" and ride and the T-Rex is the perfect candidate for that.

Out on the race course, I think the T-Rex would actually be a great choice. As long as you're powered up - it goes upwind extremely fast and still feels stable for the downwind speed run.

Cons:

It's misleading to call this a true surfboard. With the 5-fin setup that we tested it doesn't drive off the bottom and it doesn't redirect off the lip that well either. More fins aren't always the answer and in this case it makes the board a little sluggish (unless you are really powered). Because of the extremely wide nose and tail, if you started stripping fins back to improve speed you would probably loose some of the control... There's probably some fin configuration that you could set up on the T-Rex to make it a small wave shredder but the stock fins don't do the trick.

The construction on the board is solid and feels like it would last a long time. That being said, the T-Rex struggles with "spin and flip" tricks. Of course if you're very talented you can still make it work but for everyday riders, this board isn't going to be your path to mastering aerial trickery.

Why you want the Slingshot T-Rex:

Don't be confused by the marketing and slingshot's product video - the T-Rex is not a dedicated kite surfboard, but it is a really versatile all round directional that can be used for racing or riding waves. If you are looking for a directional that will crush it on the race course, handle the odd surf session and last you a really long time - the T-Rex is a great choice.

6 Response(s) to Slingshot T-Rex: Are 5-fins the future?

  • ToddB says:

    Any chance you guys can try it with 3 fins or 4 fins and post an update? Maybe even just the 2 outside fins?

    Looks sweet and you guys have a lot more wind, waves and time then those of us sitting in cubicles drooling over Real gear videos. ;)

    Thanks for the direct feedback on the board!

    Posted on July 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm

  • Pete Hardie says:

    No problem Todd,
    I'll test the T-Rex as a quad and a tri next week and post an update.!! Sorry to hear you are trapped at work - hopefully you get a session this weekend!
    Pete.

    Posted on July 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm

  • Roger says:

    very interested in your test as a trifin in (smal)l waves!

    Posted on October 17, 2013 at 12:15 pm

  • Andrew says:

    You guys always have awesome reviews. Any luck testing the different fin configurations?

    Posted on September 15, 2013 at 6:58 pm

  • mal says:

    very different board as a trifin. have only tested in flat water so far, with 10 and 8 m Rally. wanted it for directional freeystyle stuff. great with three fins for that! very nice to get into the air and easy to grab. my first try was as a quad and i didn't have much fun with that.

    Posted on October 3, 2013 at 4:57 pm

  • Pete Hardie says:

    Thanks Andrew! We've had lots of requests to test the different fin configurations and should get the testing done this week - keep an eye on your inbox for details on the test in an upcoming newsletter...!

    Posted on September 16, 2013 at 10:38 am

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