DUOTONE SLICK 5.0 2021 TEST REVIEW
Duotone’s new flagship wing, the Slick represents another real step forward in wing form and function, providing incredible power, stability and handling.
“The slick feels light, compact and incredibly efficient! With its shorter span you can effectively use more of the wing’s power, which allows you to ride a smaller wing.” Klaas Voget.
The Slick is the latest offering in Duotone’s reputed dynasty of wings, having been early adopters and pioneers of the sport from its birth. Described as the “most versatile wing in their range”, it sits alongside the Echo and Unit and is a hybrid of both, with a full-length inflated centre-strut and half-length boom. Its medium-aspect planform is quite boxy, with a shorter wingspan than its siblings, whilst its leading edge retains the familiar dihedral geometry, with a decidedly softer vee than the Echo. The ‘one-size fits all’ Mini Boom is available in either Silver (aluminium) or Platinum (carbon) construction and is considerably easier to fit to the wing than its predecessor. Before inflation of any tube, slot the butt of the boom into the webbing cup, securing the head of the miniboom in place with the Velcro clasps. Inflation is then clean and uncomplicated, through Duotone’s own unique airlock valve (be sure it is rotated to the locked position before inflation), the centre strut self-inflating through its single adjoining tube. Reaching the prescribed 7 PSI, the Slick’s canopy is one of the tightest in the group, with mini-battens spaced at equal intervals along the trailing edge to reduce flutter and drag. One thing to bear in mind is the extra cost of the Mini Boom, which is £59.90 (the carbon ‘Platinum’ boom £169.00) and a Duotone wrist leash, which retails from £24.90 (M – 4”) to £28.90 (L – 5”, recommended for this size wing), and the Duotone pump with their unique air-lock system (from £37.95).
Taking the Slick onto the water, the first thing to note is the ease of getting going with the Duotone, its squared off wingtips helping to mitigate any water contact as you get to your feet. Once there its crisp power, combined with its excellent pumping capabilities, makes it a potent engine for making the most of marginal winds. Stiff and structurally stable, the boom is a real ally in this, providing the capacity to shuffle the hands back and really maximise the depth of the pump without getting too close to the canopy. Once going the Slick settles into a comfortable position, feeling compact and comfortable in the hands, feathering the boom effortlessly through your fingertips. Ride stability is phenomenal, the Slick feeling light and agile to touch and capable of providing the power to enter any manoeuvre or transition confidently. It can simply be used for hours without tiring the rider – a real asset when you may be more used to using a harness! In marginal to comfortably powered conditions we did find the Slick got backwinded more easily than some during mid-transition of a gybe, as the apparent wind swung round the front. Whether this is down to the additional weight of the boom or the wing’s geometry, the easy solution is to keep the power on for longer through the turn, commanding the wing and retaining its control. The new window apertures in the Slick’s canopy provide excellent visibility and the newly softened vee in the leading edge means the Slick has good parking stability, de-powering easily and endearing it to wave riding or downwind jaunts. Built light but well, with abrasion pads in all vulnerable areas, it deflates in an instant thanks to the dump valve on the boom strut, and folds / rolls easily to fit back in its compact shoulder bag.
DUOTONE SLICK 5.0 2021 TEST REVIEW
Weight (with boom): 3.00 kg
Canopy Style: Tight.
Recommended PSI: 7
Centre Strut Inflation: Single tube.
Supplied with: Bag.
Available Sizes: 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0.
OTHER WINGS IN THIS TEST