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There are boards for surfing, boards for kitesurfing, and boards for foiling – but what if you’re a rider with a finite board budget, limited space, or aspirations of traveling to ride with the comfort and familiarity of your own gear on board?
Now there’s a board for that, too.
The Slingshot converter is a dual sport board engineered to deliver noteworthy performance as a surfboard, a kite surfer, and as a foil board.
This versatile board offers riders countless options and ways to customize their ride. In this article, we’ll provide you with an overview of this board and its many features.
Slingshot’s history – and future
Slingshot was founded in 1999 by a pair of tinkering brothers with a longing for the next great adventure.
Jeff and Tony Logosz started innovating and designing quality water sports equipment in 1981, and built on those years of experience and hard work to create the Slingshot brand.
Combining their athletic and business expertise, the Logosz brothers lead the Slingshot crew towards ever better advances in board shapes, materials, and technologies.
In just over two decades, Slingshot has been awarded four U.S. patents for technologies and designs that make kiteboarding more accessible and safer for riders.
The company caters to kiteboarders and wakeboarders around the world and enjoyed a foray into kiteboarding gear at the height of this sport’s inception.
Slingshot manufactures gear for kite, wake, SUP, windsurf, surf, wing surf, and foil riders.
If it happens on the water, Slingshot probably has a craft, kite, or safety product to enhance the ride.
Slingshot is dedicated to reducing the impact of production on the environment and focused on finding solutions that make manufacturing and shipping more environmentally responsible.
From plastic-free surfboard packaging to sustainably sourced wood and clean solar energy, Slingshot harnesses technology at every level of production to create high quality, high performance boards with the least environmental impact possible.
Slingshot is looking towards the future of watersports with a notable recent win under their belt: the GKA Superfoil Fortaleza 2020.
This first ever of its kind wing and hydrofoil freestyle event from the Global Kitesports Association took place in November 2020 with Slingshot Team Rider Fred Hope taking the win riding the Phantasm 657 hydrofoil.
Slingshot believes foiling is the future of watersports and this belief definitely drives the company and can be seen in the 2020 and 2021 lineups.
The Slingshot Converter: Surfboard and foilboard in one!
For the rider interested in developing their foil skills yet connected to the water through more traditional surf riding, the Slingshot Converter combines high quality and convenience.
With the Converter, riders don’t need to choose between packing the surfboard or the foilboard because the Converter can be used as either – two boards in one.
The design of the Converter means riders can make use of a broader range of wind and surf conditions.
When the wind is light, the Converter ridden with a foil makes like wind days an excellent and exciting ride.
When the winds pick up, trade out the foil for surf fins to shred surf-style with or without a kite.
The Converter Design Concept
Slingshot fashioned the Converter after its Angry Swallow. For traditional surfing, the Converter feels just like any other Slingshot surfboard.
The Converter features the FCSII fin system, a convenient fin system that doesn’t require tools because fins simply click in.
This makes converting the Converter between foil and surfboard a quick and easy process that can be done in the same session with ease.
There are other dual-purpose foil boards on the market, but the Converter is a bit different. The Converter is an actual surfboard that can perform well in waves.
Unlike many other dual purpose boards, the Converter isn’t just a skim-style board you can use as a surfboard in a pinch, it actually features the volume and shape necessary to really shred waves.
Tech Specs of Slingshot’s Converter
The Converter comes in one size, 5’4” in length and almost 19” in width. At nearly 3” thick, the Converter features a 26L volume and 8.5lb weight.
Based on the Angry Swallow, the Converter is a very high volume board that delivers the performance and stability of a full-volume board with the enhanced maneuverability you get with this shorter length.
The shaping of the Converter enhances performance in marginal water conditions while giving this board snappier and tighter turns.
This board features a swallow tail shape with a parallel rail outline, adding surface area.
Advanced riders will love this design for its progressive freestyle performance while advancing beginner and intermediate riders will appreciate the stability, wind range, and upwind ability this board delivers.
The Converter incorporates carbon for lightweight strength where the board needs it most. Large carbon stringer patched on the top and bottom of the Converter give it greater strength without adding too much weight to the overall board.
Additional carbon on the tail is key to enhancing the Converter’s durability, preventing edge cracks that happen due to heel impacts over time.
Foil and fins on the Converter attach easily and quickly, allowing you to enjoy this board as a surfboard and a foil board in a single session with a quick conversion.
Foils are attached by an adjustable track mount. This mounting system allows you to fine-tune how your board feels by sliding your foil forward and aft for a custom ride.
This feature makes the Converter more versatile for riders of a wider range of sizes, ability levels, and appeals to personal preferences.
The Converter features a tri-fin setup and a keyless FCS II box for easy attachment without tools.
There are multiple footstrap insert positions available to riders on the Converter. Riders can choose to ride with 3 footstraps, 2 straps, a single strap, half straps, or no straps at all.
Slingshot’s Converter package includes the Conoverter board, foil pedestal mounting hardware, and 3 FCS II fins.
Board strengths and weaknesses
The Coverter’s shape and overall design concept definitely imbues this board with a lot of strengths but there are some trade-offs that riders should be aware of, too.
Slingshot rates their boards across six different performance categories: early planing, stability, Tough & Go, Response, Agility, and Versatility.
Rating the Converter on a ten point scale for each of these features, Slingshot provides a picture of where this board really excels.
For Versatility, Slingshot rates the Converter a 10 and for good reason: this board performs well as a foil board, surfboard, and with a kite.
For Touch and Go performance Slingshot also rates the Converter an 8. This is the ease with which riders can expect to get up on the foil and go.
Stability of the Converter lands at a 8 on a ten-point scale with Early Planing falling at a 8.
There are two areas the Converter does not excel in, though the board performs well enough according to Slingshot’s rating scale.
Response and Agility are both scored at a 7, meaning the Converter provides average performance in these areas.
The volume of his board is probably the reason behind these lackluster scores.
The Converter doesn’t afford riders as much float or width as dedicated foil decks.
For riders with more experience on traditional surfboards, the Converter is a great board for learning to foil.
Surfers will appreciate the familiar feel of this surf-style board and the domed deck dampens some reaction to the foil.
New feature of the 2020 Converter
Slingshot focused on rider comfort for the 2020 Converter. The newest Converter models feature a new corduroy deck pad.
This deck pad is softer than previous models and the new corduroy texture enhances grip.
Slingshot Converter Review: How to know if this is the board for you
The Slingshot Converter is built with a generous design, based on Slingshot’s popular Angry Swallow surfboard. This is a user-friendly board that beginners and intermediate riders will enjoy.
With it’s FCS II keyless fin box and adjustable track foil mount, switching from foil to fins can be done in about 60 seconds even by beginners.
This is a great board for riders who enjoy both surfing and foil boarding.
This board makes a lot of sense for riders who find themselves at the mercy of ever changing weather conditions, giving riders the ability to change their setup once the winds pick up.
Travelers will love this board, too, because it provides the convenience of two boards in one.
Featured image credit: Shutterstock.com Image ID: 783802831