Well I took delivery of the 14 Slingshot Lyman yesterday and was pumped to ride it. Thought I would give the feedback that I got from a quick set. The first thing I noticed was when taking it out of the wrapper. It's actually a lot more green colored in real life than it appears online. By the pictures online I was expecting a completely black board. While I was surprised, I don't really mind. Ultimately I still like the look of it so I'm happy. Here's a picture of it from out on the boat
The next thing I noticed (which may not be new this year because I'm on a 2012 recoil) is that they moved the hole which you would normally have to put a little rubber stopper in to the keep the track screws from falling out if you were to remove your bindings to the middle of the track. This means there isn't really a need for a rubber stopper anymore. Minimal detail but I thought it was a good idea and leads to a cleaner looking board.
For frame of reference my board history is as follows (I will be comparing to some of these):
08 Liquid Force Lyman
09 Liquid Force Shane
10 Slingshot response
11 Slingshot Reflex
11 Slingshot Kine
12 Slingshot Recoil
The biggest riding factor quality I first noticed was softer landings. While I think all boards I have listed had soft landings I think the lyman is the softest by far. With the older LF boards they landed softer due to the center spine. With slingshots, they always landed softer because the boards had some flex and so would behave like a leaf spring when landing. The SS lyman combines both the benefits of a leaf spring (flex) and the center spine.
The second thing I noticed was slightly better pop than the recoil (when I hit the wake correctly). This was my first time with a new board so my riding was pretty inconsistent. However, when I hit the wake right, I got a friendly boot, and an even friendlier pillow soft landing. That being said, I feel like *every* time I get a new board the pop is notably better than the last board. Part of me thinks that is simply because the board is brand new and still has all it's "snap" but that is simply conjecture.
The next thing worth noting is that the lyman is actually looser feeling than the recoil. I didn't think that was actually possible because all of the featureless bottom slings are pretty loose riding boards. The lyman seemed even a bit looser although I confess by looking at the bottom features I cannot figure out what that would be.
Finally the last thing I wanted to mention is the flexibility of the board is similar to the 12 recoil. The 2010 and earlier slingshots were notably more flexible which I actually really liked because I still felt I got good pop off the wake and pressing out manuals was SO fun and real feeling (much like you can hold super long manuals snowboarding). After 2010 they all stiffened up with the addition of the fast track system. Comparing side by side the lyman and the recoil have similar flex patterns which to someone like me who has ridden slingshot since earlier, to me it feels quite stiff, nearly to the point of a traditional board. To me I still miss the good ol days of pressing out manuals but I digress.
To compare directly to the 08 LF lyman, I could never get the 08 LF lyman to pop quite right, and that's with a season of riding. I don't know if it was my riding ability or what, but I remember hearing rave reviews about the lyman back in the day but when I rode it myself I was not impressed. I had some apprehension in trying this lyman due to that experience but I was not let down at all. I do feel the pop is definitely there and I simply need to adjust to the different looser feeling so I can start getting more consistent pop.
To compare directly to the recoil which I have been riding for 2 years, I feel the boards are quite similar. The recoil has really great pop, and a lot of similar ride characteristics. The only notable differences are softer landings on the lyman (but still soft to a degree), and that the recoil tracks a little harder than the lyman (lyman is looser feeling to me).
Hope this helps someone, here's a couple other pics from last night: