At A Glance
The Slingshot foils have been one of the most popular foils and they were also one of the big brands to bring modular foils to the masses. The orange-trimmed Infinity range gave everyone a great foil to enter their choice of foiling sports and then a logical progression in terms of upgrading for more performance. Upon their release, they were everything you need but fast forward a few years and plenty has changed. Slingshot Pro riders have been spotted using full carbon high aspect foils for over a year now and the name Phantasm kept cropping up but this Summer saw the launch of the full Phantasm range and with it, Slingshot have joined the high aspect foil market.
The Phantasm 926 is a bit late to the high aspect foil party but it comes after several years of development and research into high-end materials. Its constructed from High Modulus Carbon and uses an aircraft-grade aluminium alloy fuselage which you may have noticed many of the higher-end brands doing on their full carbon foils as they can get a stiffer fuselage at the cost of a marginal weight gain over carbon.
The Phantasm 926 comes as part of a range aimed at every foiling sport possible and as it is all modular you will be able to chop and change parts as you please. So whether you want to pumpfoil, kite foil, wing foil, wind foil, or sup/surf foil there will be a Phantasm for you. There are also aluminium masts coming so that you can enjoy the foils at a more budget-friendly price.
Out of the box and the Slingshot Phantasm already has you. The carry bag for the foil is a smart padded case with dedicated pockets for all the individual parts of the foil and neoprene wing covers. This bag is ideal for not just safe storage of the foil but also perfect for travelling, whether you are just putting it in the car or jetting off on your next adventure.
Whilst putting the foil together you will notice the attention to details such as the layup of the carbon or how they moved to a one tool system for the complete foil. Well kind of one tool, the foil comes supplied with a Torx screw to bolt everything together but when placing the fuselage onto the mast you will find it tight, really tight - so much so I thought something was wrong and it actually made me refer to the instruction booklet where I was instructed to knock the fuselage into place with a mallet. It did feel a bit weird hammering the aluminium fuselage into place on the carbon mast foot of the foil but after a few knocks it was set and firm and the bolts were just there to secure it.
With one tool needed for the wings it was a really quick setup and it comes with some anti-seize grease for those who have no plans to ever take their foil apart. Once together you will have to stand and admire it for a minute. Then pick it up and try and flex the foil and you will see why it has taken a couple of years to develop - this foil is stiff and light.
On The Water
Going from one of the Infinity foils to this you will notice the difference just walking towards the water. It will bring your gear's weight down massively. Once afloat you will also notice that it does need a little more speed to get up and foiling especially compared to its predecessor so you will need to turn downwind and work the wing a little if you are under powered.
Flying around on the water is a joy the foil feels fast and responsive and was comfortable in both the light winds and the windiest of days. When pushed to higher speeds the foil just wants to accelerate and even when it's at its top end it doesn't become hard to control it just gives a few twitches as if to warn that you are as quick as you going to go. At the slower end of the spectrum, it's amazing how it doesn't stall, I was probably at a walking pace and doing some fairly erratic turns whilst waiting for a small set to catch me up and the foil took it all in its stride and as soon as the swell lifted me a little the foil wanted to again accelerate and enjoy the ride.
Part of the joy of a high aspect foil is the glide (this is the distance you go when there is nothing powering you except your moment). Take the foil up to a comfortable speed and sheet the wing out and fly it neutrally and it feels like you could keep going for miles. This glide makes the foil relatively easy to gybe and tack, leaving you just to focus on flying the board and changing hands on the wing.
In terms of pumping this is what the wing does best. As you drive your weight down through the board you will feel it start to push back and this is true for carving around corners too, it gives positive feedback which isn't enough to throw you off balance but enough to feel like you're in control as you turn or dive into the next pump.
The Phantasm 926 is controllable enough for someone's first high-performance foil. Once they get up onto the foil its stability will help build confidence and the glide will help people to learn whatever skills they may be working on next.
On the other side of the coin, the foil is fast enough for most waves to fly down the line and manoeuvrable enough to carve back towards the more critical sections of the wave. This control will also give confidence when taking off into the air and the speed the foil can go will allow for some big jumps as the sharp eyes of some will have spotted from both Jeffrey and Finn Spencer's antics over the past year.
The 926 could be a great one foil quiver for most people who are beyond the basics. Its stability is the key to its success as this allows the rider to push the foil further without loss of control. The quality of everything on this foil will leave an impression and with a whole host of other parts you can change out already you know this foil will be around for a while.
This review was in Issue 10 of Tonic Mag.For more information visit Slingshot