Editor's Pick: 2014 Slingshot Oli

In case you missed it in the mag, take a look at our Editor's Pick from the April 2014 Issue! In it, I tested out the Slingshot Oli and gave it a review. Take a minute to sift through the review and see if it's time for a board upgrade! This one was fun to test. Check it out!

slingshot wakeboards
Editor's Pick: 2014 Slingshot OliWKB

Gear | Editor's Pick | Words: Brandon Judd | Photo: Thomas Gustafson

2014 Oli Derome Pro Series by Slingshot 

At first glance, the shape looked surprisingly simple, but after I rode it, I realized that this simplicity was no accident. Making a board to complement Oli Derome’s riding is easier said than done. Tony Logosz and the crew over at Slingshot took this one seriously when they produced the 2014 Oli. Everything that went into this board was a calculated decision — from the all-wood core to the durable base and sidewall material. This board was built to suit both boat and cable riders while remaining bomb proof to whatever it comes into contact with.

In order to really understand how this board preforms, I took a couple of sets on it behind the boat followed by an afternoon of testing it on the cable at Orlando Watersports Complex. Behind the boat, I noticed right away how refreshingly lively it felt because of the board’s flex, speed and lightweight profile. It was really fast and agile, almost surprisingly so. It was on the looser end of the spectrum, but you can always fin it up a little bit if you find that uncomfortable. The flex in the board allowed for pillow-soft landings — a great advantage for boards with softer flex patterns.

This brings me into the “pop” aspect of the review, something I feel is very misunderstood among the many marketing terms out there in regard to flex. Some people say that allowing a board to flex kills its pop, while others say that flex sets it free. Why is this? Well, to put it simply, there are different ways to ride a wakeboard. These different riding styles can be separated generally into two different flex board categories: stiff rocker boards and soft rocker boards. I’m speaking specifically of the flex in the belly of the board in between your boots, regardless of tip and tail flex. Oli’s board is a softer rocker board, which means that the board flexes more in between your boots than it does in the tip and tail. In the past, I’ve spent more time riding boards that hold their rocker through the belly, so it took awhile for me to get comfortable with the adjustment. It does, however, cause the pop to really come alive when you step on the tail of the board at the wake, which I loved. The continuous shape combined with a softer rocker flex pattern made this shape not only fast but also one of the poppiest “soft rocker” boards that I have ever ridden behind the boat.

As for my experience at the cable, I was pretty impressed. I rode the board finless, and it tracked very well. The board was fun, light, and lively under my feet. It also pressed well, popped hard, landed soft, edged well through air tricks, carried speed effortlessly and performed well on ramp transitions. I felt right at home with it at the cable.

Overall, I’d say that Oli and the Slingshot crew did a great job creating a board that performs well in every aspect of the sport. This is a “have your cake and eat it too” quiver killer. Why buy two boards when you can get one that rides really well on both cable and boat without sacrificing anything?

MSRP $499

slingshot wakeboards
Editor's Pick: 2014 Slingshot OliWKB
slingshot wakeboards
Editor's Pick: 2014 Slingshot OliWKB
slingshot wakeboards
Editor's Pick: 2014 Slingshot OliWKB

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