In wakeboardings history there aren't many brands who came from nothing and so rapidly rose through the ranks from infant to an underground brand, to a serious market contender much the way Slingshot has, certain brands have done it albeit with the support of big name athletes who followed innovators from a previous brand. From this aspect Slingshot is a truly unique brand with a short, yet broad history that covers multiple sports and personalities, though has kept true to certain factors in each industry that helps keep a growing company grounded and close to their sport, they have treated their business like a family and in this way they have helped develop a mentality and an allegiance behind them that is rivalled by only a few.
Starting just before the turn of the millennium in 1999 by the Logosz brothers, both keen windsurfers and kitesurfers, they developed Slingshot as a core Kitesurfing brand, for that period of time it was something completely new and unheard of, other companies in kitesurfing adapted products across from windsurfing. The beginning of slingshot started a trend that would flow through everything that they would set up in the future, starting a brand in an industry such as kitesurfing that didn't rely or really even have core brands, the Logosz brother had free reigns to do and design whatever they wanted, not bound by the need to keep to a certain style or contribute to a bigger picture. This free reign started what would lead the sport of kitesurfing for some time.
Fast forward to 2007, Slingshot is now one of the biggest names in kitesurfing and have established themselves as having some of the best quality products from a technical stand point as well as from a design perspective, and the Logosz brothers decided it was time to expand, enter Slingshot wakeboards. Slingshot wakeboards was effectively an insight into the future of wakeboards and would cause a snowball effect in how most brands would diversify their range. Slingshot brought out a revolutionary style of thin, light, flex wakeboards with simple base designs to suit the cable scene but were responsive enough that you wakeboard behind a boat without issue, the first attempts were the original Recoil and Response, and pun intended they caused a response. For the first time in wakeboard history boards weren't just designed for boat that people were taking in a cable park, they now had a board that could stand up to the rigours that obstacles produced, without compromising boat riding. Like all brand, Slingshots range expanded and altered, but so did the market, many major brands started to follow suit with the likes of Liquid Force, Hyperlite and many others coming out with 'Hybrid" ranges for boards that could work for both cable and boat wakeboarders.
Let's jump forward further and come to this past season, not only has Slingshot introduced some new boards that have blown the market away in the Oli and Blue Pill, but they continue to have a big impact in the world of wakeboarding for the way they conduct themselves. Creating boards that push the boundaries and create buzz simply from word of mouth is massive for wakeboard companies, but the product is only part of the story and Slingshot make massive inroads to make sure the story doesn't simply stop there. It's their dedication to the little guy that makes them more than just a high end wakeboard manufacturer, and develops them into a brand that care for their industry, the push for the core underground wakeboarders, the guys who broaden what is defined by our sport rather than just competing in competition, provides Slingshot with a higher recognition. Steming from their kiteboarding brand mentality, if you keep it core and look after your family or in this case your athletes and our customer, you can make a bigger difference than any amount of money spent on marketing. The push to expand the sport of wakeboarding, is a development Slingshot strive for, with the likes of the Shredtown crew and athletes like Oli Derome, they help to show that wakeboarding isn't just held to cable parks and boats but has the ability to be an urban sport, much like snowboarding became throughout countries and states throughout the world lucky enough to get snow through urban areas during winter.
It's in this way that the urban scene and it's supporters are the little guy, and at the forefront of the cavalry is Slingshot, providing support for the athletes that are in it for the enjoyment and the exploration of the sport, creating a line between the big companies and those in it to make a difference to our sport for the better. Throughout Slingshots history and into the future we can expect that their fundamental traits will remain true, as the inevitable clock of time ticks on certain people will come and go, but you can't replace family.
Drop the Gun - a film by the Shredtown crew is available in store for $24.99
Written by Bruce Banner