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Review: Slingshot Airstrike 7'8" SUP Foil Board

February 16, 2018

 

While others Oregonians were busy skiing, we at Foil Buzz zipped up our drysuits and took Slingshot's new SUPfoil, The Airstrike, out on the Columbia River for some downwind foil action. The board's excellent stability and quick acceleration in the waves handled February conditions in the Gorge well and add up to a solid beginner to intermediate board.  The overall build quality and reasonable price point gained our approval.  Read on for our detailed review.

 

Board Tested: Slingshot Airstrike 7’8”
Manufacturer: Slingshot Sports

Model: Airstrike 7’8”

 

Specifications
Length:  7 feet, 8 inches, 231 cm

Width:  31 inches, 79 cm

Thickness:  4.2 inches, 10.6 cm

Volume: 145 Liters

Weight:  19 lbs

Price:  $1299 USD 
 

Other sizes available:  At the time of this review, this is the only SUP foil board in slingshot’s lineup.  There is a much smaller cousin, the Skywalker 5’10” which is intended for prone paddle hydrofoil surfing.

Skywalker 5’10”

Length:  5 feet 10 inches, 178 cm

Width:  21 inches, 53 cm

Thickness:  2.8”, 7 cm

Volume: 51 Liters

Price:  $899 USD 
We will let you know more if we can get our hands on one.

 

Shape:
Outline: Pointed noise, gentle sweeping curves along entire rail tapering to a modified winged tail which slingshot calls the early take-off tail.  

Bottom:  Flat with three subtle longitudinal ribs

Rocker: Moderate rocker on front third of the board to prevent pearling on touch downs, back two-thirds of the board are flat for stability and speed.

Rails: Soft up front to allow easy release when touching down.  Hard in the mid-section and back of the board for speed and stability.


Construction Materials:

Foam core with Fiberglass wrap, Carbon stringers run most of the length of the board centrally to provide support for massive forces imposed by foiling.  Additional carbon wrap on the rails in the tail section. EVA foam deck pad. Color scheme on back of kick pad makes for easy foot placement.  We would love to see a similar scheme up front to help with front foot placement.  Foil attachment:  Standard Track Mounts.  This is a really nice looking board, well finished.  

 

Overview:  

Slingshot Sports has been a progressive and early adopter in the hydrofoil board sports world.  They offer among the most comprehensive foil product line, including hydrofoil kiteboarding, wake-surfing, windsurfing, surfing, and SUP products.  Admittedly, we are hard on gear.  We typically have a van filled floor to ceiling, and when we get to the water we don't want to waste time handling fragile gear. Slingshot has engendered some loyalty from us over the years because their products seem to be designed to handle all kinds of abuse. With Slingshot gear we have come to expect solid construction at reasonable prices. 

 

This is a great option for beginner to intermediate riders looking to SUP foil surf small to medium waves or downwind SUP foiling. The 31 inch width and high volume will help ensure more time is spent on the board than in the water.  Many SUP and surf foil boards are so unstable that beginners tend to wear themselves out just standing, which is not an issue with the airstrike.   

 

 

Test conditions:  

A handful of balmy February days in Oregon. The water temp was about 40 degrees.  We first paddled this board in the marina on a windless day to get a clear feel for the board's characteristics.  We then took it for a couple of downwind SUP foil sessions.  With high flows in the Columbia River opposed with steady 20-30 mph wind, the swells were clean.  We paired the Airstrike with a Go-Foil Maliko 200 foil.


Ride Impressions:

We had a great time with the Slingshot Airstrike.   The high volume of the board combined with the 31 inch width makes it easy to stand on, even for large riders or beginning foilers.  This is the most stable SUP foil board in our shop at the moment and thus, it has been a go to option for newbies.    The trade-off of the excellent stability is that the sweeping outline makes it somewhat difficult to keep the board tracking straight, which in turn can make it hard to accelerate to catch waves.   When lining up for waves, we compensated by lining up slightly askew of the direction we intended to catch the wave and if we calculated correctly, by the third good paddle stroke we had enough speed, the proper direction, and we were flying.  The high volume and width in the tail provided rapid acceleration when the waves hit the board, making lift off easy.   The nose rocker and soft rails really did save us a few times when the board gently touched the water and sprung free again with minimal effort.  Overall the weight of the board felt well balanced.  As with all large boards, the weight made pumping more work than it would be on a small light board.  

 

Pros:  

Strong construction

Very stable

Great Price

 

Cons:

Limited size options

Hard to catch waves straight on

Large size is great on the water, not so much when flying


Overall Impression:  

The Slingshot Airstrike board does exactly what is is supposed to.  We recommend this board for SUP foil beginners, large riders and riders looking for value.

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