SLINGSHOT HOVER GLIDE FWIND1 & LEVITATOR 150 2018 TEST REVIEW
The Hover Glide FWind1 package includes the H11 Infinity 76 wing as well as the Tuttle & Pedestal mount. One look at the H11 Infinity 76 wing and it’s easy to see why it’s Slingshot’s choice for the 2019 wind foil package. The foil is designed to pack the most amount of range into a larger foil that has plenty of lift and stability.
The Levitator board in three words: fun, friendly and forgiving. The Levitator is a board designed to get you up, foiling and having fun as quickly and easily as possible.
We initially tried the Hover Glide set up in position ‘B’ on a foil-ready freeride board (the foil’s mast fixing to the fuselage just off the front wing piece). With its large, low-aspect ‘Infinity’ front wing, the foil generates plenty of lift at low speeds, giving the experienced rider every chance of making the most of marginal winds, or the novice foiler success in their first flights. The short mast makes a touchdown easy to recover from if you breach, whilst the flight is incredibly stable and balanced. There is little nervousness or twitch from the foil, allowing you to really trust it and even load it to push its top end. Reaching comfort is excellent, and properly powered you can also point incredibly well with the Hover Glide, both upwind and downwind. But the true quality of the Slingshot can be felt in the corners. Carving into a gybe, it holds its flight so easily, even at low speeds, providing the pilot with time and response to finish the turn off and have the best chance of foiling out. If you feel your height drop at the critical moment, a little punch through the back-foot and your height is instantly restored.
One of the real benefits of the Slingshot foil system is that you can adjust the position of the mast attachment on the fuselage, significantly altering where the lift is felt. It is an incredibly adaptable model, and combined with the other variables of mastfoot and footstrap position (not to mention the extra tuning if the adjustable track mount and pedestal base are employed), the Hover Glide can be transformed to suit any rider size, board setup, environment … even discipline or sport! It is a very well engineered product from a brand that has been in the foiling business for a long time … and it shows.
Using the Hover Glide in the Levitator board supplied takes some getting used to and required time to fine-tune. The board is very short at just over 2.00m in length, with a particularly chunky profile and boxy tail. We quickly discovered setup is critical, trying initially the foil in position ‘B’, but struggling with comfort and flight control. Instead we reverted to position ‘A’, with the mast fixing right into the front wing, and balance was restored. The Levitator also demonstrated just how useful the pedestal base could be, easily altering the position of the lift through the quick adjustment of four bolts. Once settled, the Levitator provides a lively engaging ride, giving us a glimpse of how foil-board design might become distinctly different from conventional design. What little nose there is has very little rocker and could easily bury if breached at speed, the shorter mast providing a comfortable riding height whilst getting used to the board. We don’t think it is really ideal for first flights as it will push novice foilers too far out of their comfort zone (Slingshot directing first-timers to the 160L as the platform of choice), but for riders with some foiling experience, it was an exciting platform to tinker with and master, its flat deck providing real connection and response from the foil.
• Head: Pedestal Plate / Tuttle
• Mast Length: 60.96cm
• Mast Material: Aluminium
• Fuselage Length: 71.0cm (100cm including front wing)
• Fuselage Material: Aluminium
• Front Wing Span: 76.5cm
• Front Wing Chord: 26.2cm
• Front Wing Area (Quoted): 1534cm²
• Tail Wing Span: 42.0cm
• Wing Material: Carbon composite
• Weight: 5.42kg
• Volume: 150L
• Length: 201cm
• Width: 83.8cm
• Sail Range (Quoted): 5.0 – 7.0m
Other sails in this test: