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2013 Buyer’s Guide: Ozone

Photo Abner Kingman

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For 2013, Ozone’s Catalyst and Zephyr kites have been completely redesigned while the rest of the line received smaller modifications. Ozone has also rolled out a new race specific bar and foil kite called the Summit, which replaces the Mantra, Ozone’s highest performance foil kite. North American importer Jeff Howard gives us some insight into what we can expect from Ozone’s 2013 line.

2013 OZONE KITES
Kite Name Sizes Stock Line Length Target Date Available
Edge 7 ,9, 11, 13, 15, 17m 25, 27m Race, jump, freeride Now
Catalyst 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14m 25m All-around, freeride, entry level Now
C4 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15m 25m Freestyle/wakestyle Mid-Nov. 2012
REO 4, 6, 8, 10, 12m 25m Waves, feestyle Now
Zephyr 17m 27m Low wind, all-around Mid-Dec. 2012
Access (foil kite) 4, 6, 8, 10 ,12m 25m All-Around, freeride,entry level Now
Frenzy (foil kite) 5 ,7, 9, 11, 13m 25m Freeride, advanced-expert Now
Summit (foil Kite) 8, 10, 12m 25m Freeride, race, advanced-expert Now

For 2013, The Catalyst and Edge kites have been updated. What changed?

For 2013 the Catalyst has received a complete design change. Taking what we have learned from other designs to increase the overall turning speed of the REO along with the lift and speed from the Edge, this year’s Catalyst is that little more of an all-around design, giving it slightly more stability, but never compromising speed and power through its full riding range.

We are very excited to bring a new design to the market that fits just about every riding style in some way, shape, or form.

The Edge 2013 changes were small but very important. When you have the top racing kite in the industry you don’t want to mess up what you have already achieved. But these small changes come from things like race-specific bridles for less drag, decreased tip weight for faster turning speed, and a slightly flatter sail shaping for increase top-end speed performance.

When testing the new vs. older designs with our top racers this small amount was what decided who crossed the finish line first. With all this racing talk, don’t forget that when it comes to big airs it’s all about speed and lift and that’s where the Edge has been taking big air comps worldwide! If you want to fly on the water or in the air, the Edge is hands down the highest performance kite in the industry.

2013 Ozone Edge

The Edge also has the option of a race bar. What’s different about this bar versus your standard bar? Would it work okay for everyday riding as well?

The race bar was designed to allow riders to remain in the race posture, leaning far back with the board flat, allowing full adjustment of the sheeting system without bringing your shoulders forward which reduces edge and fin control.

We also added another pulley to the system, which reduces the pull and makes the sheeting strap adjustments smaller for fine tuning when that’s all you need. As for the everyday rider, there really wouldn’t be any advantage to having this type of sheeting, as most common non-race riders make the adjustments as needed and just use the bar throw for all depower and power up uses.

2013 Ozone REO

Where any changes made to Ozone’s regular control bar system?

The 2013 bar has had a few small makeovers, but nothing big or significant. We increased the center line split link sizing to reduce center line size, sheet wear, and drag to make sheeting smoother and easier.

The overall bar center diameter was decreased to make gripping the center for handle passes and overall comfort and finger fatigue much easier and better. And last but not least, we updated the EVA grip color and design.

The largest size available for the REO, Ozone’s surf kite, is a 12m. Any plans to offer bigger sizes and will we see a mid-year 2013 new release for this kite?

This question has been in our talks for a while now with many folks asking but we will see what Rob Whittall has up his sleeves in the coming year!

You never know but we have found that most surf riders enjoy a smaller than normal kite and usually ride one kite size lower than your common twin tip rider. That’s why the REO goes all the way down to a 4m in the lineup. We will keep you posted.

Photo Stephan Kleinlein

If a rider splits time between wave riding and freestyle tricks, what kite would you recommend?

This falls into the Catalyst category. The Catalyst has almost the stability of a REO, but the power and forward speed of the Edge, and with its new overall shaping, it can also do those really nice corkscrew unhooked tricks like you can get with the C4. It’s the all around sweet machine that fits every rider in some way.

2013 Ozone Catalyst

With Ozone having many of the top racers on its team, do you have any plans to develop a race board?

Currently we work super hard on what we know best and that is kites. We leave the board design to those who know it best.

There are many top shapers out there that dedicate themselves to the board and we promise to dedicate ourselves to the kites and keep them pushing their limits. So I guess the answer is no, we do not!

2013 Ozone C4

Now that your LEI kites have been established for a few years now, do you see more riders using them than your foil kites for snowkiting?

This is a hard one. We strongly feel there is still a huge area for foil kites on the snow. They are just much easier to use and allow the rider to explore without worry of bladders, pumps, rubber valves getting cold, etc.

Foil kites allow the rider to explore and push the boundaries of the sport, and they can take you places that you never thought were possible to kite. We have team guys and international riders that couldn’t imagine life without their foils – just imagine crossing the Antarctica and carrying a pump!

But yes, we do have a big following of snowkiters that used foil kites and are now moving over to the LEIs on the snow, but most are places where pumping up the kites is easy and you have no worries if something goes wrong or you have someone to help land you.

2013 Ozone Frenzy

Ozone’s main foil snowkites, the Access and Frenzy were updated for 2013. What are the most noticeable differences that riders will notice? Any other changes to Ozone’s foil program?

With both these kites setting the standards in the snowkiting depowerable foil industry for years, the changes that a rider will notice are very small now from year to year.

Rob continues to tweak things here and there, and having extra help from the top foil designers in the world on our paraglider side, these small changes give you just that little more speed and stability. This year we are bringing out the new Summit. The Summit is replacing the older Mantra with the highest performance in foils that is allowed.

The Summit brings top performance in speed and turning control to those that can handle it. It’s not for everyone, but when speed is your goal we have you covered.

Photo Wareck Arnaud

Will Ozone be updating the Zephyr? Why would a rider choose this kite versus the 17m Edge?

The Zephyr is getting a whole new makeover from the past two years, giving it lighter tips to help increase the turning speed of its larger size and small shaping changes to give it a little more low end grunt when needed. The Zephyr and Edge differ when it comes to speed.

The Zephyr performance is best when ridden as an all-around low wind machine, meaning when you need low end pull and overall light wind riding, the Zephyr is the way to go. The Edge is built purely for speed – its power comes when you build your apparent wind so if you try riding an Edge slow you won’t feel the power that it can truly generate. If you don’t intend to ride with speed then go with the Zephyr.

2013 Ozone Zephyr

Anything else you’d like to add?

Ozone is and has always been a rider-dedicated company. We own our own manufacturing facility allowing us to make every kite and allowing our manufacturing to meet the highest quality standards in the world.

Want 185 pages of 2013 kiteboarding gear info on 28 brands? Check out the TKB 2013 Buyer’s Guide.

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