Ozone is one of the only companies in the kiteboarding industry that produces paragliding foils in addition to a full line of kites. Technology from each sport has crossed over to the other, such as Ozone’s new high aspect foil kite, the Chrono. For 2017, the company focused on improving the construction of their designs and refining the performance of their entire line. Ozone’s Dave Tyburksi talks to Tkb about all the new changes.
When it comes to the freeride category, how do you recommend kiters choose between the Enduro, REO and Edge inflatables?
The main thing to consider is where your personal definition of freeride falls in relation to your skill level along with the styles of riding that you actually do. When considering a freeride kite, it is important to ask yourself questions like: Do I want to do unhooked tricks? Do I ride waves? Do I like a kite that flies through a loop or pivots around the wingtip? Do I want a kite that turns super fast or do I like something that has more predictable and forgiving handling? Is jumping the principle focus of my riding? Asking yourself these questions will give you a good idea of what you are after and allow you to hone in on which model would best suit your style.
Our Edge V8 is a freeride powerhouse and appeals to those who want to stay hooked in and jump big, and have great lift for aerial transitions. On a tack, the Edge V8 is very fast and powerful for its size, while being manageable during the gusts due to its clean profile. For a comfortable ride, predictable handling and unmatched controllable lift, the Edge is the freeride choice for many. Even though the Edge is a great jumping kite, it is still the go-to kite for those who just want to sheet in and ride, especially foil boarders.
The Enduro V1 is a performance kite that can do it all without compromises. Its hybric C-shape and swept wingtips offer all the essentials for freeriding, freestyle and wave riding. With great high end, reliable drift for wave riding and plenty of boost for jumping, the Enduro V1 is the choice for freeride enthusiasts that want the most out of a kite, regardless of the conditions. A unique feature is a simple adjustable bridle that can be tuned to a freeride, freestyle, or wave setting. This is achieved by moving the tow points of the bridle to offer a more pivotal turn and lighter bar pressure or a more direct feel and powerful turn and better pop for freestyle riding. It is a true freeride kite that will not hold you back and is best suited to intermediate/advanced riders that enjoy a very responsive and lively kite.
The REO V4 is an iconic kite designed specifically for surf and to offer riders the most freedom on a wave. As the industry benchmark in wave kite performance, the REO V4 is also a versatile and an attractive option for the freerider who likes unmatched control while depowered, and stable and predictable drift bearing off the wind (down the line). The REO is very nimble and responsive and can be repositioned at a moment’s notice. This lends itself to freeriders who enjoy carving and flying their kite aggressively, allowing spontaneous exploitation of any water feature nature can serve up. While a great jumper in its own right, the Enduro or Edge is likely a better option if jumping and spinning is your main game.
Ozone has always been a leader in the snowkite world and now with three models to explore the backcountry there’s a wing for everyone. How do you steer customers between the Frenzy, Access and the Summit foil kites?
It comes down to the same question that any rider should ask themselves before choosing any kite. What is my skill level? What do I want to do with it and in what conditions? With our three snowkite models, we set out to nail the main user groups based on skill and the performance level that the rider will appreciate. Our snowkite range isn’t limited to backcountry riding. While many riders snowkite on fields and snow or ice-covered lakes, many use our snowkite models on land with mountainboards and even buggies.
Our most user-friendly model, the Access V7, was improved upon this year and is designed to be very easy-touse, predictable and stable with high depower for beginning snowkiters. Although targeted at entry-level users, advanced riders appreciate its stability in turbulent mountain wind. With a flatter profile, the Access has gained an increase in depower, stability and low end power making it an ideal choice for kiters looking to enjoy the sport from their very first session.
Our flagship snowkite for many years has been the Frenzy. Now in its 10th version, it is the do-it-all powerhouse that incorporates paragliding technology into its genetics. It is best suited to experienced riders that have spent some time on lower aspect wings and are looking for more performance. With a tighter turning ratio than the
Access and more lift, climbing slopes becomes more enjoyable and the increased turning make freestyle more fun with great pop for jumps and smooth landings. Freestyle and unhooked tricks become second nature as the constant pull from the kite is predictable and direct.
For advanced snowkiters, our Summit V4 is the kite of choice. A higher aspect wing, the kite has a very tight turning radius and a big power band that makes climbing steep slopes easier and carving in powder or heavy snow more dynamic.
The design team was able to incorporate internal load distribution technology from the R1 V2 development and integrate it into the Summit V4 allowing for an increase in stability and handling for a high aspect wing.
Experienced riders will enjoy its responsive handling that allows you to exploit every natural feature and contour that the terrain provides. Both the Summit and Frenzy come with a technical mountain pack that allows you to pack down and stow your gear once you’ve reached your drop in point for your gravity fall line.
Our entire snowkite range comes with what we think is the safest release system on the market, the Ozone Internal Re-Ride Release System. With more than two years in development, this unique system stalls the kite with an internal line allowing the kite to depower instantly without tangling and enables it to sit on the ground, ready to be packed down or to relaunch when ready. This safety system makes the snow-specific foils much safer over inflatable water kites in alpine or winter conditions. The ability to land and pack your kite safely and easily in high winds is one of the most important features of our snowkite line.
When it comes to foil kites and racing, the Chrono and the R1 have been industry leaders in changing the speed and angles and lowering the light wind threshold of the game. Can you compare the two kites and explain why one would choose one over the other?
Our design goal with the Chrono V2 was to take the original performance characteristics of the Chrono V1 and make it easier to use for riders looking for all-around ability in any conditions on any surface. From race to light wind freeride, the Chrono V2 is a great jumping kite and performs and relaunches well even in the lightest breeze. We made it more stable and easier to inflate and increased the bridle line specs for reduced tangles making it easier to rig and launch. In light wind, the Chrono V2 will have you riding sooner than any inflatable due to its dual skin canopy, which generates more power than even the largest tube kite. While the Chrono V2 is very user friendly and an ideal first foil kite for freeride and light wind, there are specific techniques required to launch, relaunch and land high aspect ratio foil kites safely.
We recently released an ultralight version of the Chrono V2 that offers true performance benefits, packs down to about half the size and is 25% lighter than the standard V2. With this high tech material, the kite inflates quicker, launches in lighter winds, flies faster, stays in the air longer in gusty conditions, and is more reactive. For those looking for the performance gains over the standard V2 but not needing the pure race pedigree of the R1, the ultralight version V2 is an excellent choice.
Originating as a paragliding company, Ozone is the only kite brand that owns their own factory. The sharing of information across the design of speed wings, paragliders, along with water and snowkites, allows for a diverse pool of knowledge and expertise to be applied to every product that we build. With such a long heritage of building wings, we are able to apply much of the design, technology, and manufacturing techniques. This unique situation is fundamental in our design and build processes and was most relevant over the past months in the development of the R1 V2.
When setting out to design the R1 V2, the design team cleared the slate and spared no expense in creating the ultimate tool for winning races. Incorporating the ultralight material, the internal structure and load distribution frame of the kite was completely reworked, saving over 30% in weight from V1, thus making it more stable at the edge of the window and allowing for much better drive downwind with a lighter feeling on the bar. Already proven at every major race event around the world since its release, the R1 V2 is the ultimate kite for those intent on reaching the podium.What’s the main design philosophy behind your control bar and what are the key design features for the Ozone customer?
Ozone is of the ethos that simple is often better and this holds true when it comes to our control system. Although it is packed with useful features like relaunch balls on the outside lines, low friction, low wear components and effective and intuitive safety and trimming options, our bar boasts a clean and intuitive interface between rider and kite. We listen closely to our customers and dealers when setting our design objectives for everything we build. Most importantly, we ourselves are passionate users of the gear that we make and believe that a control system should be safe, simple, and easy to use. Every control system for each style of kite is efficiently engineered for its specific purpose whether it’s race, foil, snow or water.
One of the key features of the Contact Control System is the Megatron Quick Release with industry standard push away activation and simple reassembly. It offers riders two release modes; standard for freeride and expert for unhooked tricks. The QR is auto-positioning and makes hooking in simple and allows for easy unwinding of any twists in the center lines. A polyurethane covered spectra sheeting line allows the user to sheet in and out with ease, reducing arm fatigue and allowing for longer sessions. Power adjustments can be made via the adjustable Camcleat that is easy to reach and adjusts for most every arm length.
The flag out safety system is built around our simple stainless steel trimmer bracket and allows for full front line flag out when the safety is deployed. When the rider is connected to the safety line that is seated at the bottom of the QR, the line will flag out the kite by the front right line rendering the kite powerless. A stopper ball fixed to the safety line allows for easy collection of the bar and a quick relaunch.
With soft bar ends and floats for positive buoyancy, the bar is light but strong. 500kg front lines and 300kg rear lines come as standard. We understand that line length is a personal preference — we know this as racers, surfers, aerialist, wakestylers, lawn mowers, freeriders, kiteloopers, foilers, gliders and more. Standard freeride bars come with 25m lines but we offer bar builds with any line length that suits your needs and preferences.
Whether in need of 15 or 50m, speak with your Ozone dealer to get the specific line length you like. For us, standardized color coding is not worth the compromise which is why for our EVA grip and lines we choose red and blue throughout our control system and kite-to-line connections. Because when it comes to our passions and pursuing them to the fullest, safety just makes sense. We enjoy life, living it to its fullest and want you to also.
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