Slingshot Angry Swallow 5’4” Review



This test first appeared in KW #96 in November 2018


Angry Swallow Surfboard Review


TEST NOTES: Matt Pearce

I’m a big fan of stub-nosed boards because they’re generally versatile and can make lesser conditions fun. Alongside the Screamer, the Angry Swallow is, in my opinion, the more performance-oriented of the two stubbies in Slingshot’s range.

Featuring the parallel rails and cut-off nose that are typical of this kind of board, the Angry Swallow also has the highest volume relative to length of any Slingshot directional. The design therefore packs the same performance and stability of a traditional, full length shape, but in a smaller package.

Looks-wise, the white against a sort of tie-dyed paint job on the tail looks really smart. The board is also well-featured with the keyless FCS Reactor 2 fins (which is a system I’m fully sold on) and the carbon stringers down the middle add a high-tech look and feel.

A solid EPS core with a bamboo layer is reinforced with glass while the carbon beams keep the board stiff and durable without the need for too much extra glass – which is where much of the additional weight is added in kitesurf board construction.

This seems to be one of the more popular build methods for directionals these days and the result is a reasonably light board (our 5’4” came in at just 7.3 lb / 3.3 kg) that feels responsive and lively but not overly rigid. Sitting about midway in the weight range for boards of this shape and size, Slingshot have done a good job of making it robust yet not too weighty.


Angry Swallow Surfboard Review


The Angry Swallow tracks smoothly upwind and holds a stable line without too much chatter as you ride through chop. In the waves an assertive riding style is rewarded with quick response under foot. You can fire out super-tight turns but you need to exert a little more back foot pressure to drive the tail out. It’s a different ride to the Screamer (the other Slingshot stubby – not tested this issue, but we have tested previous versions), which is a little more flowing rail-to-rail with an easier release off the tail.

The Angry Swallow grips a little harder allowing you to storm into powered, carving turns without fear of the tail skipping out or losing your edge. I was burying my rail through bottom turns while totally maxed out on a nine metre kite and the board never flinched or faltered, so I was able to carry a ton of speed into my next hit. Come off the lip, reset and refocus on the next section; the Angry Swallow will be right with you, wasting no momentum or drive – into or out of your turns.

Angry Swallow Surfboard Review

Carrying good speed on landings, the extra volume doesn’t lead to a ‘corky’ feel underfoot, but it does help the AS pop off the water nicely and prevents bogging when you land. There’s also a little more margin for error when doing tacks and changing your feet after a gybe.

The combination of stability for manoeuvres mixes well for many riders with a potent performance delivery at full power. The Angry Swallow does however take a bit more experience to keep planing through big lulls or in lighter winds. It’s not a true light wind early planing option – it’s a slayer across a range of regular wave conditions. The Celero with it’s full length shape and increased surface area was better at maintaining easy speed through the lulls and is just 0.2lbs heavier in the sizes we rode. The Angry Swallow also has inserts for foot straps.

Angry Swallow Surfboard Review

SUMMARY: A responsive, well featured board with plenty of scope for powered wave riding in a range of conditions. This board responds well to committed rider input and it’ll deliver the goods for someone with a good grasp of foot placement and how to control a board at speed.

KW LIKED: Not having to use a key to remove fins and being able to go into everything at full-speed without worrying about scrubbing out.

KW WOULD CHANGE: Riders after a cruisier set-up might feel more at home on the Celero or the Screamer, which are both solid options.

SIZES: 5’6” x 18.5” (volume: 26L ) and 5’4” x 18.5” (volume: 23.75L)


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