The new C4 is here and we have been lucky enough to grab a couple of demo/preproduction photoshoot models to toy around with. There is a lot of excitement about Ozone's newest version of the ground breaking C4 design as rumour has it, one of the best "C" style kites has gotten even better. In speaking with the designer, they didn't want to just tweak the older model and so they started from the ground up and rebuilt the C4 as a new kite.
To look at the 2010 and the 2011 kites in the sky, you'd say there isn't a lot of change going on, and thats good! If it aint broke, don't fix it. What you feel when you fly and what you see when you look up close are two very different kites though.
Firstly the most obvious change even at a distance is the hot looking pattern of the panel layout and also the wicked new colours. This year, C4 comes in Lime green, Sky Blue and Fire engine red and the colours are seperated by more angular panel cuts and also wingtips are screen printed up and look the goods. The wingtips are a bit more squared off and beefy on the 2011 and they are still 5 strut. What is noticeable is how much more rock solid the new models look when flying, even in gusty wind.
The inflation point is now a large bore screw in fitting similar to Cabrinha valve but bigger. The kite is so easy to inflate and takes half a second to deflate when you pull the valve out. Also of note is the new ability to change the front bridle setting to a more depowered less sensitive freestyle mode for those that want to go really old school.
I rode it in freeride mode and the power is up a little on last years whilst speed is also up a little, turning is just a bit quicker but the kite is quite a bit smoother. In the bar department the new Contact Bar has been adopted by the C4 as well as the Catalyst. It really is the little things like the 2 inch longer depower range, the omission of the back line adjusters in preference to the clean look of the "under the float" system which is simple and effective and keeps the bar clean as. The bar will never wear a centre line depower rope and the new trim cleat is awesome and so easy to use.
The new C4 feels very similar to the older version, quick, lively and pulls nicely though the turns which makes it fun to fly and the most perfect kite for those riders wanting full "C" kite feel but whilst still hanging on to the easy relaunch of a hybrid and also the light bar pressure and direct responsiveness. A truly great kite and well worth the wait.
OZONE 2011 CATALYST
The Catalyst 2011 is back again after a very successful 2010 in it's first incarnation. The "Cat" hasn't changed remarkably in looks or performance. It looks a bit neater, and perfroms a bit better. The reason being is that the 2010 was soooo good, there was not an aweful lot really needed changing. The obvious changes noticed by riders of the Cat, was the two additional inches of depower throw on the depower line, that and the fact that it is now PU covered to prevent wear. The 2 extra inches is all that was needed to give the kite the almost full depower it was lacking as a school kite.
The Cat comes with two steering attach options denoted by Heavier Bar and Lighter bar. I've flown in both modes and it flies well in both guises. On waves, lighter bar is ideal. The new inflation "boston" valve makes inflation about half the effort inflating and half the time in deflating. Care needs to be taken to ensure no sand gets on the seals to create leaks. The new COntact Bar has a new cleat trim setup which is just great and easy. The bar trimmers are gone and the bar is completely clean of additional bits. New grip and EVA covering makes for a nice bar. A new slider type device allows the trim to operate with less friction to make precise power adjustment easier.
The boost of the 2011 Catalyst is certainly improved over the 2010 with a little extra height and also hangtime. The other noticeable difference is the lack of flutter in the canopy being resident to most three and even four strut kites. The smoothness through the air is obvious when you fly them and their speed is maybe a tad quicker.
As a rider, the comment I get most from people who demo the kite is "It's just so easy and fun". The kite is responsive and predictable with no bad habits at all, this makes it ideal as a wave kite for wave freaks, and also makes it easy for beginner and intermediates to get decent jumps without fear of crashing and launch issues.
I took the Cats away with me on my holiday over winter and loved riding them for both freestyle and waves. The new Cats were amazing at this years early October Exmouth demo week in massive waves and difficult conditions, I just focused on the wave and some ten seconds later a hundred metres further down the line, I remembered I had a kite on the end of the lines. This speaks volumes to me as it just became part of me, as was my left foot. It was doing important stuff but without me having to focus on it or even notice it was there.
A sensational kite!
Ozone 2011 Zephyr 17m Light Wind
Previous years kites
OZONE 2010 C4
The other question is; "What don't you like in "C" kites?" This is also usually pretty straight forward. They don't relaunch well without a 5th line and they don't have depower which makes them the almost exclusiveweapon of hard core experienced riders.
What if you could somehow combine all the good things about a "C" kite and remove the negetives? Ozone have done exactly that and have produced a kite which has excellent true "C" kite feel with the speed we all loved but have added proper depower and easy relaunch on a simple 4 line kite. This has been achieved by using a short pulley less mini bridle to allow the kite to change tow point when sheeted in and out.
The new Ozone C4 is set to take the kiting world by storm by offering a true "C" kite but making it safe and easy enough to use for the average rider. The C4 had very good depower and can be relaunched by simply turning the bar. This coupled with a new bar design and the same Ozone graphic, will ensure a wicked kite which should set the manufacturing world scrambling to catch up.
Keep an eye out on the waters near you as these kites start showing up. AKS will of course have demo models available to try.
Rider Review - Ozone 2010 C4 12m
After logging 5 days on the C4 it's time for a fair review, as with all our reviews, it will be honest and won't pull punches.
The bag and accessories are usual Ozone quality, basically best in the business. The same inner bag, and awesome repair kit is in place as per all Ozone kites. The new bar is awesome, I mean really awesome! It feels so nice in your hands, the perfect diameter and shape, the textured, moulded grip is perfect and the depower line which is covered by a polyeurathane cover to prevent wear doesn't jam in the hole. Colours are good, bright blue and bright red, means no mistakes and the megatron chickenloop is great. Below the bar safety is ok and will wear out with repeated unhooking, luckily Ozone provide spares in the repair kit! Bar is neat and tidy with same cleat trim as previous models which works perfectly.
The Kite itself looks just awesome, graphics are simple and very tidy and the attention to detail is totally Ozone. One pump is good, no problems and the canopy cloth is new Teijin Techno Force. The kite has a mini bridle for the front lines and three positions for the steering lines to change bar pressure/steering response. Shape is definately "C" when it's inflated and would be considered moderate aspect ratio. 4 Line config is simple and tidy with front line flagging system.
How it feels in the air? The kite has obvious "C" qualities to it in that it doesn't have full depower like an SLE/Hybrid, but it goes close. Steering is quite direct and feels good, not as crisp as a true "C" kite but still quite responsive. Bar pressure is light on light and medium settings, I haven't tried heaviest setting yet but would assume it to be about medium pressure. The kite turns pretty fast for a 12m and doesn't pivot turn at all, it turns in a radius as a "C" kite should and pulls nice power in the turns.
The C4 has moderate speed through the wind window and goes upwind with the usual Ozone efficiency (well). Relaunch is easy and is best effected from straight downwind where the procedure is to push out the bar and pull about 1m of either steering line leaders. This turns the kite over and hot launches the C4 from deep in the wind window. Just sheet out to prevent the obvious stall, and it's above your head in seconds, dead easy!
The first thing you feel is how smooth the kite is, the smoothness in turns, in the wind window and through the gusts, very nice feel to the kite and absolutely no bad habits at all. In fact the kite is so well behaved it borders on flying perfection. Boosting the kite is simple and easy, no tricks required, just send it and keep the bar in. This isn't the biggest boosting kite I've ever flown but it is perfectly respectable and on par with most other kites. The hangtime is a bit under average as it doesn't have the canopy to provide the lift like a wide span has. Due to it's shape, it also doesn't have the bottom end grunt or power of a Hybrid/SLE and no where near the power of a Delta. If you normally ride a 10m SLE, you'd need a 12m C4 for the same power.
The kite is very predictable, totally reliable, and so easy to manage that there is no need to get used to this kite, it just does everything so perfectly that there is very little challenge in mastering it which allows you to fully focus on your riding and the tricks you want to nail. My own thoughts are the kite will impress and be perfect for learners all the way through to advanced or people wanting to fly a real no brainer "C" with good performance and no bad habits, but if you are an expert rider looking for an edgy, twitchy and aggresive kite with raw performance that is ready to take a bite out of your ass if you screw up, then you need to keep looking coz you won't find it in the C4. It's totally easy, smooth, dependable, quick, reliable and high quality and will suit most riders who want to experience a good "C" kite that will allow you to improve and further your freeriding and freestyling reportoir. A demo is a must!
Updated : 30/11/09 8.28amTake me to the Shop!
Ozone Catalyst 2010
The quality of construction is as good or maybe even better than the previous kites with the noticeable addition of the Teijin Technoforce label assuring the owner that they have a kite mad of the absolute finest materials available. What this means is a kite that will last long after most others have sagged, stretched and lost that "crisp" performance. Along with all Ozone kites, the leading edge and struts are made of Polyant Dimension Dacron, again, the best in the industry. All Ozone kites are manufactured in their own factory, unlike most other brands, this allows them a level of control over quality others can only aspire to.
The three strut design has been kept and improved to give less canopy flutter in turns and when depowered. It also makes the kites lighter and more responsive which improves their surf use significantly. The simplicity also reduces cost which is obvious at the checkout.
The Catalyst has a lot more punch and boost than it's predecessor and in the right hands will produce huge jumps and above average jumps even for the layperson. The Catalyst has great appeal even to high end riders looking for stability and speed for waves and is equally at home in the hands of beginners as demonstrated in our own school.
If you want to be the 1st on the water with a kite that can kite-loop with a tight turn radius within the top half of the wind window and want to be in with a chance in any course race below 10 knots then look no further.
The 17m Zephyr turns like a 13m, Robbie has worked his magic and the Zephyr is a technical masterpiece.
We have worked hard to ensure the Zephyr not only gets you riding in the lightest of winds but is also “light” on the wallet. Priced the same as most brands 13’s, you can now have a kite to keep you smiling.
The Zephyr has a huge wind range and is therefore an excellent heavy riders large size kite to own.
Our Course Racing Team continue to dominate with the Zephyr and they report having a clear performance advantage. The new Zephyr rides on the current 2009 bar so no bar upgrade is required. You can purchase this kite as canopy only for $1699
I hope to have more info for you all in the near future.
RIDER REVIEW - 17m OZONE ZEPHYR
Today was a pretty ordinary day for wind which turned out great to test the new 17m Ozone Zephyr. I bought the kite without bar and lines and just grabbed a set out of one of our other Ozone kites. The kite is big, in fact huge when it's laid out on the beach. It didn't take that long to pump up despite it's size.
Wind was around 10-12knots gusting to 13 or so. I grabbed the North Race LTD board and despite feeling very little wind, dived the kite and stepped on the board. Power came from no where and I accellerated up to planing speed immediately. I rode off upwind and speed and was improved by cranking on the back foot and pointing up wind.
Now I have heard claims of riding in 8 knots. Whilst that may be the case for some lighter riders, I think that you can forget about it on anything other than a specialist light wind twin tip or Course race boards if you weigh over 85 kilos. I have ridden the Zephyr down as low as 8 knots and have stayed upwind and had great fun but only on course board. In this case the wind was wavering around 7-10 knots and yes, the kite did keep pulling me easily through the 7 knot lulls but to start in a steady 7 knots, might be a bit of a stretch although very doable if you are already planing.
I've also heard the claim that this kite turns like a 14m. Well, when powered this is absolutely true but in the light stuff, it's a little slow, but then again in the ultra light winds we are talking about, most kites barely even fly! The Zephyr does turn quite decently and it is no slouch for a 17m but this isn't a kite you'll be doing kiteloop jumps with. Having also said that, most light wind kites aren't the sort that you have to work, you just dive, park and ride in most cases. The kite can easily be looped whilst on the water and it will comfortably make the turn. I think the kite should be flown on a bigger bar and it would probably turn more like a 13m or maybe even a 12m on a 60-65cm bar. TheZephyr ships with a 54cm bar which is tiny for the size of the kite it is flying.
The specialist light wind kite Zephyr goes upwind well in light wind as promised, but to get the most from it, it needs to be paired up with a specialist light wind board. Something like the Airush Exile boards or North Race LTD is ideal.
The Zephyr will definately get me out on the water and having a blast whilst eveyone else is standing on the beach wondering if they should even inflate their kites. This is a serious light wind kite of exceptional ability and quality. Teamed up with a Race board, it is a dull day killer. Some of my best days have been blasting along at 15 knots in only 8 knots of wind with almost no chop and no one else on the beaches and definately no one on the water. I absolutely love this kite!
Is it worth it? Definately! Especially if you are a current Ozone owner as you can do as I did and buy canopy only for only $1699, or complete for $2199, so for less than that cost of a 13m Sport, you can have the 17m Zephyr. Good light wind fun!
The Light XC is a simple kite made from the best materials in Ozones own factory under their strict control. This allows high standards to be maintained and attention to detail to be a priority in the build of every kite produced. All Ozone kites are made from expensive and high quality Teijin cloth.
The Light XC is a 3 strut, surf and freeride kite for beginners to advanced riders looking for performance with dependable simplicity. The new 2009 kites are all 4 line setup for simplicity and utilize a short bridle system to enable high depower. Depower is about 85%. The Light XC is fast and quite nimble as it is made light so it takes less effort to change directions or accelerate and decellerate. Being only 3 struts, it is two struts lighter than most other kites.
The Light XC is designed to be a great wave kite with fast turning and excellent drift ability. Re-launch is also simple and intuitive, just pull on one back line and up she goes! The power of these kites and agility will also send you up high in big sent jumps and kiteloops are great fun as the kite has a nice "C" kite feel to it.
The bar is again simple and uncluttered with the ability to spin the bar (although only in suicide safety mode). The Megatron chickenloop has been upgraded and improved making it even safer and easier to operate. The safety flagging line is below the bar. The trim system is one of the easiest and most effective on the market with the cleat never slipping.
Bar pressure is light to moderate and has great feedback so you always know where the kite is in the sky. Priced quite reasonably the Light XC can be the kite to suit all riding occassions.
The Sport+ is a 5 strut kite for a super stable canopy and constant power. The Sport + is a powerful kite and aerodynamically speaking develops monster power from apparent wind speed so often you can ride a kite size smaller than whet you think you need. Power is controlled by the same bar system as the Light XC ie 4 line setup with a mini bridle on the kite to fascilitate depower. The depower is not as total as the Light XC and the kite is certainly very "C" like in feel. Depowers about 70%
The Sport boosts big jumps and has massive hangtime due to the efficiency of the profile and arc of the canopy. By waiting late in the jump and looping the kite as the kite is right overhead, the kite will hold you up for an amazing hangtime.
Steering is de-sensitized in the Sport + because the last thing you want is a kite which moves to unwanted bar input, however if the bar is cranked fully to one side, the kite still turns fast, especially sizes below 11m. I wouldn't recommend hard core kiteloops on the larger sizes as they will not complete the loop before you hit the water due to larger turning diameter.
Ideally the Sports make great cruising kites for people who want beautifully smooth flying highest quality kites, or for the more hard core wake and new school riders needing solid stability and dependable power.
The Edge RX is the highest aspect ratio, most aerodynamically efficient kite in the range and the power and smooth feel immediately make you feel at home. The long thin canopy is well supported by 7 struts which create a rock solid profile under all conditions which make the kite feel the same in all wind strengths.
Due to it's superior profile and drag reduced design, the Edge is more depowerable than the other kites by simply creating resistance with the board ie, hard edging. This sends the kite even further upwind and depowers the kite. The upwind ability in all of the Instincts is legendary but even more so on the Edge RX where a dedicated run can put you so far upwind of everyone else you'll sruggle to believe it.
For sheer power and speed the Edge RX is in a class of it's own and as a racer or big air weapon you will struggle to find better whilst still being easy to manage. Relaunch is again simple although requires just a fraction more technique than the two other kites in the range as the Edge RX can and will relaunch in the middle of the wind window if you so choose.
The Edge RX is a 4 line also with short mini bridle. The feel again is "C" like with very smooth and balanced ascent rates in jumps and smooth long flight times bfore returning you to the water quite the distance from take off. Care must be taken in launching huge air in cross to cross onshore winds as you may very well land on the beach if you don't allow for enough glide time.
Ideally suited to freeriders and seekers of cloud base.
Ozone 54cm Bar (All Instinct Kites)
The Trim system is easy to operate, never slips and is in easy reach of even those with the shortest arms. The bar ends have retractable line keeper bungees to keep things tidy and the centre rope of Amsteel is coatd with a PU cover to prevent wear so you never need to replace the centre line.
The Megatron chicken loop is easy to operate, safe and simple to reset. Only draw back is it's uni directional or favours one hand over the other when compared to some other bars. The safety system is above the bar but is transferred through to below the bar via a short bungeed line running through the centre hole to a loop at the head of the chicken loop.
The Megatron C/loop spins to untangle spun front lines but onlyif you connect to the suicide setting below the bar. If you use the flagging safety system you will need to add the Airush Spinning Loop attachment to your harness to keep your safety leash from spinning and tangling.
All in all a very nice, simple, effective and clean bar.
Ozone Repair Kits
|Last Updated on Thursday, 07 July 2011 11:58|