Sizes Available: 17m
Sizes Tested: 17m

Ozone Says:

The Zephyr V5 brings a completely new design to the market. It maintains key elements of the performance dominating edge and ease of use from previous Zephyr models, with an all-new plan form and profile for increased performance and a smoother ride.

The Zephyr has always been a ground breaking kite – without doubt it was the first light wind specific kite on the market that delivered both performance and handling, the new V5 continues that legacy. Renowned for incredibly nimble handling, ease of use and the ability to have fun in low winds – all while giving you the possibility to continue riding when the wind increases, this sets the Zephyr apart from its competitors.

The V5 is more stable than previous versions offering a smoother feeling on the bar. Add to that fast handling with a tight radius turn you have a 17m kite that handles like a 13m which translates to more fun in light winds. The new plan form has a straighter Leading Edge, which increases the kites drive and acceleration through the turn – this helps generate power, fast handling and engaged kite loops.

The Zephyr V5 is perfect for cruising, jumping, air style, honing strapless airs or learning handle passes. The boost is impressive and floaty, with instant power delivery and superior up-wind performance. Re-launch is quick and easy by turning the bar or using the Re-launch Balls on the leader lines.

Ultra-strong lightweight bladders reduce weight and improve light wind performance for lighter steering and faster handling. The 4-line pulley-less bridle system keeps things simple, while our proven front-line flag out ensures a complete stop of power from the kite when the quick-release is activated.

There is no question that the Zephyr V5 will get you out there enjoying whatever aspect of kiting you prefer on the day. It’s the perfect light wind addition to your quiver, or if you often ride in light winds and are looking for an all-around one-kite quiver the Zephyr V5 is the kite for you.

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TKB Says:

The Zephyr has long been one of the leaders, if not the ringleader, in the war against light wind conditions. With a race inspired canopy, the Zephyr features a medium to high aspect canopy with five struts. This kite loves apparent wind and flies far forward in the window. The Zephyr utilizes a high flow Boston valve that requires the larger pump nozzle attachment that comes standard with most pumps for a quick and easy inflation. There’s three wingtip settings for adjusting turning speed and bar pressure (stock is the center setting) and the leading edge is supported with a single set it and forget it fixed bridle with no pulleys. The center lines end in a larkshead and the outside lines end in a knot. The canopy is fairly simple; no batons and  not a lot of dacron for a reasonably lightweight build.

The Zephyr is an excellent light wind option with a very comfortable low to medium bar pressure that makes the large canopy very user-friendly to control. The bar sheeting is fairly progressive with a little more incremental power delivery as you sheet the bar all the way in. The Zephyr tends to build a ton of its power from apparent wind, which means you really begin to feel the power when the kite is moving across the window as opposed to a lower aspect kite that pulls from the center of the window. The Zephyr feels like a performance freeride kite with its higher aspect making it feel really fast through the window. The five-strut airframe gives a nice bar feel that comes with a solid structure, yet the kite feels fairly light in the air. The steering arc is pretty broad and the steering input is relatively good for a kite of 17m proportions while the turning speed is just about what you would expect. When it came to jumping this kite was fairly easy to load and pop with intuitive turning that yielded solid vertical lift, making this a great option for those who want airs to be part of their light wind  sessions. Overall the Zephyr is a performance freeride kite with a racey forward flying feel that delivers a solid amount of grunt that will keep you in the game in the weakest winds.

The Zephyr came with the Contact Water V4 bar which just recently got a massive upgrade in the quick release department. The completely new quick release design features a groundbreaking feature that allows you to reconnect after a release by simply pushing the loop into its recess and the bar automatically clicks closed. The scenario goes like this: there’s a problem, you push the quick release, the kite depowers, but then you want to reconnect the quick release in the water and resume. Normally this is a 10-finger/two handed struggle to hold the release open while you stick the loop back into its mechanism and close the gate apparatus to continue. It’s typically never as easy as it should be; some models try to keep the release open upon release, but this design doesn’t require you to hold the release open to reconnect the loop into its locked position. The biggest question is whether the mechanism will behave under normal operating conditions, abuse with the usual sandy saltwater wear and tear, but as of our test, we were sufficiently happy with its reliable functionality — it’s simple and seems surefire in the way in which it works. The quick release has the standard push away handle, a hand swivel above the release that also doubles as a travel guard and a molded locking finger to prevent accidental unhooking. Beyond the new quick release, the Contact Water V4 is a 4-line fixed length bar (available in 38, 45, 50 and 55cm sizes) that features a single center line safety depower with a low V. The center lines end in loops for rigging purposes and the outside lines end in a knot. The Contact features above the bar tuning with a cleat and a magnet that keeps the depower strap in place while riding. The bar has a plastic coated/PU throw line with no sliding stopper or adjustable length throw. The padded bar ends are tunable and feature integrated floats and retractable bar bungees and are soft in the event of accidental face contact. This year the bar got a significant color change; there is no longer red on the left side of the bar grip although the leader lines coming out of the floats are color coded for red and blue. Testers gave the new bar solid praise for its comfortable grip that is both wider and ergonomically shaped to fit your hand.

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