Slingshot Pearl Wakeboard Review

EDITOR'S PICK
SLINGSHOT PEARL 134 CM, 137 CM | MSRP: $449Photo: Bryan Soderlind

The Slingshot Pearl is a dream come true for ­female wakeboarders who crave versatility. From hitting rails to hitting wakes and anything in between, this board delivers. Featuring a continuous rocker and a medium flex pattern throughout, the Pearl is the perfect crossover for boat and cable. I tested it out on both, and it might just be the greatest board I’ve ever ­ridden.

As someone who has experimented with ­other hybrid/crossover boards, I can confidently say that not all hybrid boards are created equal. In the past, riding hybrids behind the boat has left me frustrated. The core typically goes soft on me when hitting the wake, and I’m left with little to no pop. Fortunately, the Pearl was different in this aspect. Its core was stiff enough to hold up through the wake and deliver an explosive pop, yet soft enough to absorb shock on hard landings. Yeah, I may have cased the wake once or twice, but give me a break — I’ve ridden boat maybe 10 times over the past few years. ­Given that the Pearl was so fun, I might have to become a regular behind the boat again.

Slingshot is known for having some of the best and most reputable park boards in the ­industry. The company's full wood core is ­durable, lightweight, and has incredible flex performance, and the Pearl is no different. When hitting rails, the board has just enough flex to lock into presses but still maintain control. And with a base created specifically for durability and performance on rails, I'm betting this board would hold up to multiple seasons of abuse. The Pearl's continuous rocker and smooth profile create minimal drag, diminishing handle tension and thus arm and leg ­fatigue — perfect for those endless laps around the cable. ­Overall, hitting obstacles with the Pearl was really fun and comfortable, and it performed exactly as I had hoped it would.

Not only does the Pearl accommodate both park and boat riders, but it also suits riders of any skill level. Whether you’re a beginner or expert — or somewhere in ­between, like yours truly — this board is outstanding. Its rounded tip and tail make for smooth and mellow edging that’s perfect for those just starting out, while the tapered sidewalls, progressive and responsive when cutting into the wake, cater to more advanced riders.

Ladies, this is the bottom line: If you want a board that you can take from boat to cable and back, the Pearl is the one for you. Don’t miss a chance to test it out for yourself. You won’t be disappointed!

SPECS
Durability: High
Core: Wood
Edge Type: Tapered fusion sidewall
Profile: Thin
Overall Weight: Light
Swing Weight: Light
Performance
Glide Speed: Fast
Edging: Mellow yet responsive
Belly Flex: Medium
Tip Flex: Medium
Rocker Type: Continuous
Amount of Rocker: Moderate