Ozone started out as an innovative paragliding company staffed and owned by snowkiting enthusiasts. The natural transition into kites earned Ozone a highly respected reputation in snowkiting and eventually followed into kitesurfing. With unique practices such as product cycles based on innovation not model years and made to order distribution, Ozone is committed to redefining and simplifying every aspect of the kiteboarding experience with high-quality performance products.
OZONE HAS ONE OF THE BROADEST OFFERINGS OF KITE LINES IN THE INDUSTRY. HOW DO YOU STEER RIDERS BASED ON SKILL LEVEL AND RIDING STYLE AMONGST THE CATALYST, ENDURO, REO, ALPHA AND EDGE LINES OF KITES?
Fortunately, we don’t have a lot of overlap in our range, so it is fairly straightforward. Our design team has done a great job of positioning each model with performance characteristics that line up with a specific application. Regardless, there are always riders that appreciate a certain model’s attributes and use it outside of its marketed use which is great as well. The challenge comes when a new rider is progressing and doesn’t really know what they like or best suits their preference in a kite. Skill level and riding style is a great starting point and most of the time we can get it right by steering a person towards the model for the rider’s intended use. In our range the Catalyst is the easy answer for entry-level/progression and predictability. The Enduro is the kite that won’t hold you back regardless of style. The REO is for waves and the Alpha is best for freeride foiling/packable all-terrain. The Edge is for going Mach speeds and launching into the stratosphere.
The Enduro is probably the most versatile kite in our range and is a great starting point when looking for a new kite. All of our Ozone dealers are avid riders and can provide you the opportunity to demo kites and steer you in the right direction when deciding which model to choose.
THERE’S A NEW EDGE V10 THIS YEAR—WHAT ARE THE BIG CHANGES THIS YEAR AND HOW WILL THESE CHANGES FEEL TO THE LONG-TIME EDGE FANS OUT THERE?
Anyone familiar with the Ozone brand knows that we don’t make changes just for the sake of change. Each new version of a model is a refinement on a platform that has earned a following and it is important for us to preserve the well-loved features of the model. The Edge V10 is no exception. We have kept all of the attributes that people can expect from the Edge; smooth power delivery, effortless lofty jumps, amazing upwind performance and lightning-fast speeds. The main change over the V9 is in the profile sections that provide the canopy increased support helping to maintain form even in gusty conditions and when depowered. Alongside this change is a meticulously revised wingtip shape. The end result is a kite that is true to the Edge pedigree but with improved handling reaction time and a faster drive through the turns creating a smoother feeling on the bar in turning and throughout the sheeting range.
WHAT ARE THE KEY COMPONENTS OF THE REO V5 THAT MAKES THIS MODEL SUCH A VERSATILE SURF KITE FOR EVERY TYPE OF SURF CONDITION?
There are a lot of variables in play that work together in symphony to create the characteristics of the Reo V5. Three key traits that make the Reo such a benchmark kite in the industry are its range, drift-ability and turning characteristics. The Reo has an extraordinary ability to not bully the rider on a wave regardless of the wind angle to the break, even at the high-end of the kite’s wind range. In side-offshore winds, it can be challenging to stay on the wave as the kite will want to pull you out the back. The clean profile and short pully-less bridle provides immediate depower so you can spend less time focusing on the kite and more time reading the wave to set up and execute your next maneuver. The drift of the Reo V5 is uncanny. Its ability to stay predictable and in control ready for input as you come towards the kite adds enjoyment and helps erase mistakes from the rider. Even in onshore conditions, the variable bridle geometry adds another level of versatility by increasing the bar feel and allowing the kite to sit a little further back to bring a new level of enjoyment to onshore wave sessions. Finally, the Reo’s turning characteristics allow you to pivot and redirect the kite where you want it, when you need it without overpowering you or pulling you off edge or out of the section.
THE ALPHA FEELS LIKE ONE OF THE LIGHTEST SINGLE STRUT KITES ON THE MARKET. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT THE TARGET RIDER AND STYLES OF RIDING IN THIS KITE’S FIRST YEAR OF PRODUCTION?
When we set out to design the Alpha we knew that we wanted to make it stable, lively, with a great low/highend range yet well-rounded enough that it wouldn’t be confined to a specific use. After a year, feedback from Alpha owners and those who have tried it back-to-back with some of the other single strut kites on the market, we learned that its attributes have been well-received by the general freeride market as well. While the Alpha customer is largely a freeride foiler, they have other boards in their quiver and find the simplicity and freeride attributes of it enjoyable for a twin tip or wave session as well making the Alpha a versatile and lightweight addition to any quiver. For freeride foiling, it gets you out early and makes relaunch easy in even the slightest breeze. With its high lift characteristics, it helps with staying on your foil during transitions, yet it is snappy and lively through the turns and drifts like a much lower aspect kite.
OZONE HAS A SOLID HISTORY OF ENTERING PRODUCT CATEGORIES ONLY WHEN COMPLETELY READY TO OFFER THE BEST PERFORMANCE, FEEL AND CONSTRUCTION. THIS YEAR OZONE HAS EXPANDED ITS TWIN TIP LINE TO FOUR BOARDS. HOW DO YOU STEER CUSTOMERS THROUGH YOUR TWIN TIP OPTIONS?
With four boards in our twin tip line, we have an option for entry-level through advanced riders, and every board is coupled with our comfortable new V2 footstraps and pads. Steering customers to the right board involves talking to them about what experience they have, the type of riding they want to do and the conditions that they usually ride in. The Base V1 is perfect for progressing through first rides all the way to intermediate freeride. It has a forgiving single concave and medium flex and rocker line to facilitate early planing and upwind riding. As the newest version in the line, the Code V2 offers a loose and playful feel underfoot; new channeling on the bottom at the tips and tail provides plenty of grip for loading and a forgiving medium flex helps dampen out choppy conditions and contributes to its smooth landings. The Torque V1 has a more parallel outline than the Code and lends itself to riders preferring a more locked-in feeling. It provides massive pop and predictable edging; thanks to its quad-concave bottom shape, powered landings are soft. The Torque is also the board of choice for riders using boots or doing aggressive freestyle tricks. Lastly, the Infinity V1 is a lively light wind dedicated board that makes light wind sessions seem like powered up ones. Ideal for both freeride and freestyle, it measures 147 x 44cm and features off-centered inserts to make edging and riding upwind in light wind easy. As a high-end performance light wind board, it is the go-to choice to use with big kites in minimal breeze yet remains smooth and controllable once the wind picks up.