Pics: James Jagger, Nick Kingston
At one end of the windfoiling spectrum you have the race crew. At the other end you have the more everyday, freerider. If you follow any of Slingshot’s windfoil team on social media you’ll have spotted some seriously wacky concepts of late. It should come as no surprise then that for 2020 Slingshot have released their brand new Freestyle 115L.
Having seen early forays from Wyatt Miller (Slingshot brand manager) we were intrigued. Whilst SS’s Wizard range will be seen as futuristic the FS 115 is a whole other level. A super compact length 188cm (6’2), a modest width of 71cm it’s a windfoil board like no other. For a start, it actually looks, at least in plan shape from above, like a windsurf board. But then you factor in its extended mast track, rail chines and hull cut-outs and both Tuttle and track foil fitting system and you suddenly realise there’s more to it.
Due to the FS 115 having both a Tuttle and track box you’ll need to either offset the supplied Slingshot back strap or use the SS surf strap with a wider base plate. We used both but prefer the surf strap. In terms of where you locate your front straps may require tweaking. There’re a bunch of screw holes worth investigating to make sure you discover the optimum. Don’t forget you can use double back straps for those on the tail also. The single back, inboard straps do, however, give riders control over both rails.
In terms of foils we kept things on-brand with Slingshot’s Hover Glide system, utilising both the Infinity 76 and 84 wings. For anyone reticent about the board’s width (which does feel narrow when off foil in light winds) the bigger the wing you use the more stability you get.
The FS 115 is certainly uphaulable when you find the sweet spot. For such a compact shape it packs in the thickness. And for any competent foiler 12 knots should be more than doable. The sharper nose aids tracking which makes it more efficient at getting on foil. Pumping from the straps, however, is ‘best fit’ technique.
Once flying the FS 115 feels alive and extremely reactive. You’ll be much more upright on the FS 115 which actually puts riders in the correct position for moves as it were. And don’t be fooled into thinking super technical tricks; foil gybes alone are made super fun aboard this sled. You don’t need to be Balz Mueller to ride it!
Slingshot are really trying to push forward the performance freeride element of windfoiling. While the name Freestyle 115 suggests the more extreme end of the sport the FS is totally applicable to any competent rider. If you’re looking to ignite you freeride foiling then look no further. Bombproof construction and plenty of tuning options make the FS 115 a bona fide new school windfoil sled.