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Ozone Alpha 10m

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Created by Bazza Two weeks ago, 26 Nov 2018
Bazza
TAS, 20 posts
26 Nov 2018 9:47PM
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Kite: Ozone Alpha 10m (brand spanking new) Conditions: 15 to 25 knot gusty and shifting crosshore wind Rider: 15+ years experience
Testing Conditions: At the recent Merimbula Classic (aka Mambo) I had a chance to fly the Alpha 10m for about 3 hours (thanks Steve). The waves on Sunday were over 6 foot with variable direction and strength wind on a busy beach full of attention seeking Kiters. The sort of testing track that forces you to put a kite through it's paces.
First Impressions: This is the first Ozone I've had a close look at. The bag is very lightweight which would suit travel or quick storage. It's nothing like the industry standard backpack where you have a pocket for everything. If you do need a more conventional bag, you can buy a generic Ozone kite backpack separately. Handling the crisp fabric, it felt top quality, with solid shiny printing of the graphics. Once unrolled, the panel stitching follows unusual arcs toward the wingtips, presumably for load distribution and canopy profile. Other standouts were the diameter of the leading edge bladder which was pretty chunky (for rigidity) and the bridle connection points extended far further towards the rear line pigtails than previous kites I've owned. I'm sure that designing a single strut kite in a bigger size is a real challenge for designers and there appeared to be a number of subtle features which are targeted at overcoming this. One final contrast was the attachment points offer only one setting front and back. I don't recall seeing any options for bar pressure or altering turning speed nor for different wind strengths. This is a set and forget system.
The Bar: It was a 50cm bar with the new chicken loop that you can reassemble one handed. This bar had plenty of sand around the mechanism but all the same the end inserted with an audible click. I showed this feature off to my mate who was helping me rig up and the 3 or so repetitions of deploying and the resetting the safety system were flawless and effortless. We were both left asking ourselves "why hadn't this been thought of 10 years ago"? Oh, and the lines felt great. Noticeable differences between the diameters of the steering and center lines; testament to a company that appears to take a refined approach to design and tolerances.
In flight: The kite was nimble in the air yet sat patiently while I picked a gap between sets and delivered a smooth power stroke on command. I found the bar pressure very similar to my Cab Drifters. I guess you'd call it medium pressure as I've flown heavier and lighter in this 10m size. The bar depower was a little less "on/off" than my Drifter which in practice made very little difference to me becoming quickly accustomed to this kite. Heading out the back I was able to fly alongside Reos in both 10 & 12m sizes. I was pointing just as easily upwind as them. The canopies side-by-side in the sky also cut a very similar outline. Where the Alpha stood out in my mind was in its ability to handle the massive holes and gusts in the wind. At one point I was almost becalmed, but actively sining the kite up and down generated the necessary auxiliary power. During the same session, gusts of 20 plus knots buffeted through. This had me reaching for the depower knob set above the bar through a marine V-cleat. This was the "a ha moment", when I realised that an extra knot on the pigtails would have been superfluous. A minor tweak was all it took. The bar returned to a comfortable reach and the kite motored through unperturbed. At no point did I feel anything that suggested this kite had only one strut. No noticeable flapping or distorting of shape. It felt solid and behaved like a good kite should.
On the waves: Following the unbroken sets in as I awaited my cue of a pitching lip for a bottom turn (riding my less preferred backhand) the kite at times felt a little underdone. Remembering that the wind was really up and down which magnified the closer you got to the beach, it was probably unfair to sheet the blame back to the kite, but I found myself bearing away a little earlier on the wave, just to generate speed so as to not fall of the back of the swell. Once the wave riding began in earnest the Alpha looped, pivoted and drifted like a wave kite should. It also threaded itself effortlessly through oncoming traffic and delivered ample power to get around broken sections. The kites weightlessness in the unstable air also inspired confidence to ride the wave all the way to the beach without fear of a hindenburg backstall into the impact zone. Downlooping off the last of the white water gave a steady release of power to pop over the wash and head back for more.
Verdict: I guess you've gathered by now that I was really impressed with the kite. More experienced Ozone aficionados will be able to split the hairs between the Reo and Enduro, but for me it felt strangely normal and familiar (having neither owned an Ozone nor a single strut kite). I would have loved to have had the time to grab a twin tip and pop a few jumps, just to round out the test, but that's not what Mambo is about. If I was to search for negatives, it's not an extremely fast kite across the wind window nor in speed of looping. But it is precisely this slightly docile nature that aids it's suitability to waveriding. No great need to turn the kite deeper into the power zone. Just the occasional loop when power was needed, otherwise just forget it's even there. It's a plug and play, point and shoot sort of kite with no frills or unnecessary over engineering.

Adam''KiteRepair
NSW, 11 posts
28 Nov 2018 8:46AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Bazza said..
Kite: Ozone Alpha 10m (brand spanking new) Conditions: 15 to 25 knot gusty and shifting crosshore wind Rider: 15+ years experience
Testing Conditions: At the recent Merimbula Classic (aka Mambo) I had a chance to fly the Alpha 10m for about 3 hours (thanks Steve). The waves on Sunday were over 6 foot with variable direction and strength wind on a busy beach full of attention seeking Kiters. The sort of testing track that forces you to put a kite through it's paces.
First Impressions: This is the first Ozone I've had a close look at. The bag is very lightweight which would suit travel or quick storage. It's nothing like the industry standard backpack where you have a pocket for everything. If you do need a more conventional bag, you can buy a generic Ozone kite backpack separately. Handling the crisp fabric, it felt top quality, with solid shiny printing of the graphics. Once unrolled, the panel stitching follows unusual arcs toward the wingtips, presumably for load distribution and canopy profile. Other standouts were the diameter of the leading edge bladder which was pretty chunky (for rigidity) and the bridle connection points extended far further towards the rear line pigtails than previous kites I've owned. I'm sure that designing a single strut kite in a bigger size is a real challenge for designers and there appeared to be a number of subtle features which are targeted at overcoming this. One final contrast was the attachment points offer only one setting front and back. I don't recall seeing any options for bar pressure or altering turning speed nor for different wind strengths. This is a set and forget system.
The Bar: It was a 50cm bar with the new chicken loop that you can reassemble one handed. This bar had plenty of sand around the mechanism but all the same the end inserted with an audible click. I showed this feature off to my mate who was helping me rig up and the 3 or so repetitions of deploying and the resetting the safety system were flawless and effortless. We were both left asking ourselves "why hadn't this been thought of 10 years ago"? Oh, and the lines felt great. Noticeable differences between the diameters of the steering and center lines; testament to a company that appears to take a refined approach to design and tolerances.
In flight: The kite was nimble in the air yet sat patiently while I picked a gap between sets and delivered a smooth power stroke on command. I found the bar pressure very similar to my Cab Drifters. I guess you'd call it medium pressure as I've flown heavier and lighter in this 10m size. The bar depower was a little less "on/off" than my Drifter which in practice made very little difference to me becoming quickly accustomed to this kite. Heading out the back I was able to fly alongside Reos in both 10 & 12m sizes. I was pointing just as easily upwind as them. The canopies side-by-side in the sky also cut a very similar outline. Where the Alpha stood out in my mind was in its ability to handle the massive holes and gusts in the wind. At one point I was almost becalmed, but actively sining the kite up and down generated the necessary auxiliary power. During the same session, gusts of 20 plus knots buffeted through. This had me reaching for the depower knob set above the bar through a marine V-cleat. This was the "a ha moment", when I realised that an extra knot on the pigtails would have been superfluous. A minor tweak was all it took. The bar returned to a comfortable reach and the kite motored through unperturbed. At no point did I feel anything that suggested this kite had only one strut. No noticeable flapping or distorting of shape. It felt solid and behaved like a good kite should.
On the waves: Following the unbroken sets in as I awaited my cue of a pitching lip for a bottom turn (riding my less preferred backhand) the kite at times felt a little underdone. Remembering that the wind was really up and down which magnified the closer you got to the beach, it was probably unfair to sheet the blame back to the kite, but I found myself bearing away a little earlier on the wave, just to generate speed so as to not fall of the back of the swell. Once the wave riding began in earnest the Alpha looped, pivoted and drifted like a wave kite should. It also threaded itself effortlessly through oncoming traffic and delivered ample power to get around broken sections. The kites weightlessness in the unstable air also inspired confidence to ride the wave all the way to the beach without fear of a hindenburg backstall into the impact zone. Downlooping off the last of the white water gave a steady release of power to pop over the wash and head back for more.
Verdict: I guess you've gathered by now that I was really impressed with the kite. More experienced Ozone aficionados will be able to split the hairs between the Reo and Enduro, but for me it felt strangely normal and familiar (having neither owned an Ozone nor a single strut kite). I would have loved to have had the time to grab a twin tip and pop a few jumps, just to round out the test, but that's not what Mambo is about. If I was to search for negatives, it's not an extremely fast kite across the wind window nor in speed of looping. But it is precisely this slightly docile nature that aids it's suitability to waveriding. No great need to turn the kite deeper into the power zone. Just the occasional loop when power was needed, otherwise just forget it's even there. It's a plug and play, point and shoot sort of kite with no frills or unnecessary over engineering.


I was pretty surprised how stable it looked in that gusty wind mate. Personelly I would love to see it get a relaunch test but maybe 4-6 foot wasnt the best day. Lol. Of the kite that whent down that day, Not many came back up ay.

Bazza
TAS, 20 posts
28 Nov 2018 2:08PM
Thumbs Up

Me too. Kite never felt close to going down and wasn't the time nor place to be deliberately downing a kite. Relaunch would have to be close to the Reo, given their similar outline.

Bazza
TAS, 20 posts
28 Nov 2018 2:08PM
Thumbs Up

Me too. Kite never felt close to going down and wasn't the time nor place to be deliberately downing a kite. Relaunch would have to be close to the Reo, given their similar outline.

ActionSportsWA
WA, 605 posts
28 Nov 2018 4:07PM
Thumbs Up

Hi Guys,

I had a chance to spend a couple of hours with the Alpha 8m up at the Dongara Midwest Windfest.

Wind 15-20 knots.
Board Strapless foil board with Slingshot SPaceskate and Infinity 76 wings.

The Aplha is a true minimalist kite, if it wasn't needed, it was left off which is fine. I chose it for foiling as the light weight nature of the kite is perfect for foiling.

I was actually pretty lit up on the 8m with most of the trim pulled in. The kite drifts beautifully and has ample power and depower. The steering isn't as crisp as the Reo and in fact, it felt a little docile, which again, is ideal for foiling. Relaunch is easy as pie. I was actually using it to tow me onto open ocean chop and then I would foil surf the waves straight downwind causing the kite to waft backwards and once fall in the water as I over took it. I simply carved away from it, pulled on the bar and it popped up before I came off the wing.

The perfet travel kite, the perfect foil kite and ideal to learn on. If you are looking for wave performance, stick to the Reo, much more responsive and quick with a better wind range.

I really enjoyed flying the Alpha. Typical Ozone quality build and performance. The new Chickenloop is the goods too!

DM

NorthernKitesAUS
QLD, 674 posts
30 Nov 2018 10:56AM
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Not much else on the net as yet, except the usual rhetoric and frothing at the mouth, typical with any new release, but it looks good.

A good discussion of pros and cons of single-strut kites (i.e. good for relaunch and low end):
kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=2397969

Since it's a single-skin kite with an inflatable bladder and strut, I think the technology now in ram-air and single-skin bridled kites, are still leading the way though. The Flysurfer Peak 4 and Soul kites are still the favorite stand outs.



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"Ozone Alpha 10m" started by Bazza