The Slingshot R&D crew has just returned home after a week in the United Arab Emirates visiting the Al Forsan cable park, exploring Dubai & Abu Dhabi, visiting kite beaches, catching up with Slingshot fans from around the globe, and giving their stamp of approval on board designs from our NEW manufacturing facility in the UAE. It was an awesome trip with a completely new crew including wake brand manager Jeff McKee, pro kite team rider Sam Light, graphic designer Carson Wiser, and design engineer Ebb Wieczorek.
After getting on the water and putting these decks to the test over the past several months, the crew has given final stamps of approval and we are thrilled to be partnering with the SWS board factory in Dubai to produce our 2018 line of Slingshot Wakeboards. The team at SWS has been sending us samples for years and their quality is some of the best we have seen to date. As you know we have quite a bit of experience in board manufacturing ourselves, and this new partnership will benefit both parties as we have combined our knowledge and strengths to deliver the highest performing, most durable line-up of boards to date.
During our trip we managed to get out behind the boat in the YAS Marina area with Fabien from Eywoa Wakeboard School. With the F1 Racing track and Ferrari World as the back drop it was safe to say their location “didn’t suck” Haha. It was a super windy day, but we made the best of the wake session and then headed straight to the beach so Sam and Fabien could cruise on the kites.
Did we mention that Sam is good at Kiteboarding? Haha! His wake style had McKee jonesing for a session as well but he stayed safely on the shore to avoid being featured on the kook of the day website due to lack of skills and likelihood of being dragged across the nearby freeway.
Next stop the crew hit up the Al Forsan cablepark to put some of the new park boards to the test on the features. The local’s jaws were on the floor when we rocked up with a pile of 25-30 boards and started cutting laps. Everyone was hyped to see Sam and McKee show up un-announced and we were stoked to find so many locals with so much knowledge and excitement surrounding our brand / products and team. We can’t share too many details, but we have some new models that had the guys giggling in excitement as they turned the corners.
In all the trip was a huge success and our stoke level is through the roof. Surprisingly the UAE is quite the destination for the sports we love. From Wind to Wake, cable and boat, we scored all the way around and are looking forward to a bright new future with our friends abroad!