SLINGSHOT VISION 138
Inspired by the performance and versatility of the RPM kite, the Vision was created to bridge the gap between competitive and recreational riding. All the features on the Vision are carefully tuned to deliver a balanced ride for all ability levels and style. The Vision’s flex pattern is designed to deliver outstanding pop and soft landings, regardless of whether you are riding boots or footstraps. The outline and chined rails prevent spray by focusing the water down and away from the rider. Laser cutting technology has allowed Slingshot to create the first ever 'bonzer' channel configuration on a full wood-core board. Combined with a continuous rocker line that delivers smooth turns and landings while still providing maximum edge control and maneuverability. The 2014 Vision is built with the legendary Slingshot construction, using only the highest-quality and greenest materials available.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Slingshot boards have a certain industrial quality to them. Handmade in their own factory in the Gorge, their influence from the area can be seen in their meaty, bombproof and yet beautifully finished construction and graphics. There is no denying the quality. Rounded off with a matt finish, these aren't the shiniest boards in the shop, so the magpies are initially drawn elsewhere, but it's on closer inspection that the Slingshot boards really shine and in their longevity that they become coveted. The Vision comes with the all-American homegrown stamp of approval.
We rode the Vision with Slingshot's standard Bolt On straps, which are simple but grippy, comfortable in a firm way, provide plenty of grip and purchase and we were impressed with the Vision's performance with straps, considering we only ever see images of it ridden with boots by Sam Light or Alex Fox. Slingshot's Fastrack mounting system is great and offers infinite adjustment to your stance.
Combine the pronounced wakestyle rocker with the freeride outline and the Vision is remarkably easy to ride. The light channeling / chime in the bottom is quite unusual in its design, running to the tips from just beyond the centre of the board, leaving a flat section in the middle. Incredibly swift and easy to switch, the Vision is another board that doesn't work your back foot very hard at all. The very generous rockerline ploughs through the lumps and bumps, making this a very accessible board that can still throw down at the top level of the wakestyle game. You can feel yourself riding it flatter with a nice even pressure on your legs as the nose of the board looks after itself in and around the chop. The relatively big and fairly soft rails provide a soft, fluid grip, rather than being overly bitey.
Extremely predictable in its handling the Vision seems to have just one speed: cruisy. Whether you're freeriding your home spot or wanting to load up in the slick, the Vision maintains its gearing and feels very assured. What needs to be noted is that although the Vision is very easy for most levels of rider to adapt to, that all-round performance does come at the expense of some comfort. There are many more comfortable freeride boards out there, so if you are in your early progressive months or years in the sport, or suffer with aching knees after a long session, then this is something to be aware of. The flat section in the middle of the board provides the stiffness needed to counteract the deep, forgiving rocker, but it does make for a firm ride, which was really apparent on our first few landings, but you do adapt and learn to land not quite so flatly. Or you're wakestyle hero and you just man up. In boots it would be softer anyway.
The Vision packs a lot of credible performance. There is no stickiness in the ride so the Vision pops off the water very nicely and is always eager to please. Load it up and you can feel the Vision growl under your feet and the manoeuvrability from the stiff rocker makes it very easy for short, sharp pops as well as a more progressive load. For a robustly constructed and bombproof wakestyle board the Vision feels relatively light and easy to throw around in terms of its swingweight. All riders will be impressed by the manoeuvrability that the Vision offers, carving easily and with good grip all the way through a turn, sliding into switch with minimal effort and then throwing buckets.
The Vision is remarkably easy to ride, especially in the demanding ocean conditions that we get in Cape Town. This certainly isn't just a flat water charger for the committed wakestyle bandit. Predictable, steady and well tuned for the basic board manoeuvres, the Vision steps up its game face to more hardcore performance very naturally. If you're the kind of kiter that likes to ride around as fast as possible in extreme comfort then this isn't for you, but if you want to make long, drawn out carves and style it out with all sorts of manoeuvres in good and bad conditions (provided your knees aren't too old) then this is fantastic. If you're thinking about stepping up your freestyle game and want to add boots to your set up, you'd be better doing it on a board like this that is properly strengthened in the right places rather than just putting boots on your freeride board.
Excellent ease of use for a wide range of riders and insane bombproof construction.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
If you're stepping up from a soft freeride board you will feel the extra effect on your knees with this. The Vision could be softer, but that would effect the rockerline, which we also really like.
VISION BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 9
Fixtures and fittings: 8
Slider proof: Yes
SIZES: 140 x 43.1 and 138 x 42cm