Yeah, the 2011/2012 Rally was a really nice kite. Great feel, light, fast, wide wind range. However, it suffered from a flaw that had the wingtips momentarily buckle if you had it out overpowered or you took it at full power through the power zone. Not a common occurrence for most, but a pretty common occurrence for newbies. It still flew fine but was disconcerting to feel it happen.
So, because of that it was redesigned, the problem went away, and despite the marketing spin the 2013-2016 Rally has maintained relatively unchanged. And the kites are a little larger than the 2011/2012 designs.
matth wrote:Slingshot claims the 2016 has brought back the magic of the 2012 kite, if that means anything...
...it means that SS heard people liked the 2012 so they printed "Now flies like the 2012!" on the 2016 kite promo material.
I'm a big fan of the kite and I get a kick out of the marketing spin by ALL kite companies. This has been such a favorite kite for me that it's one of the few I have flown progressive years back to back and feel I know where the changes were. No worries, though. It's still a great kite. Rock solid.
Best is to demo. If you want a Rally, you'll do fine with any year so don't stress too much about what you get. Newer is going to be better for you, though, with less chance of material breakdown over time or a prior owner beating it up before selling it to you. So, while your buddy has a man-crush on an old kite, don't feel like you have to buy the same year.