Its a boring story, but somehow I've ended up with three different year versions of 9 metre Ozone Edge's. I thought it would be nice to compare them all to see how much things have changed. Here's what I have:
- 2008 9m Ozone instinct edge 2. I've owned this kite since 2009 and loved it. I still kite with it regularly as my high wind kite (22 kts+). I'm pretty sure it's always the oldest kite on the beach. I've put it through hell and its only let me down a couple times. I blew out the leading edge once and I had the depower rope wear through once necessitating adapting a contact bar chickenloop to the existing system. I'm still on the original lines. I have decided to retire this kite as I'm worried it will let me down soon. At the very least I should put some new lines on it as I' still on the originals.
- 2013 9m Ozone edge. I bought it second hand a month ago from Sydney. My parents only brought it up to Brisbane today and this is the first I've looked at it. It's in great condition but I don't think I'll bother flying it as it's so similar to the next kite.
- 2017 9m Ozone Edge V8. I've owned it for two weeks and flown it three times now. Awesome kite but very different to my 2008 kite.
So, I don't really care about kite bags in general but it's interesting to see what's changed.
2008: Complicated bag with lots of straps for compression. Its possible to completely open the bag for easy access. Zippers failed after a couple years but straps keep it all together.
2013: A sack. Nothing special. You need to make sure the kite is well packed to be able to fit it in
V8: Return to a more elaborate bag. Easier than the sack to get it in but 2009 version is a bit easier. Zippers are large and plastic so they won't seize with exposure to salt water.
Kites on the ground
www.seabreeze.com.au/Img/Photos/Kitesurfing/14790136.jpg' />2008: This kite is a 7 strut 5-line kite. The 5th line connects to a mini bridle supporting most of the leading edge. This allows the use of a smaller (120mm vs 150mm in the new kites) leading edge tube which helps improve efficiency. All bridles are short which makes it harder to wrap them around the wing tip. The kite also came with a span line that connected the two front lines and was supposed to stop it from inverting. I removed it not long after I got the kite and never looked back. The span line was fussy and served no purpose.
Compared to the other kites it is lower aspect and noticeably smaller in every dimension. AR 3.9 608cm x 155cm
The bar is old fashioned with above the bar safety, crappy swivel that never ever swivelled (now contact bar chickenloop and swivel). The bar grip has held up really well with no delamination. The above the bar trim clam cleat is great and is carried over to the new bars. It also has rear line adjustment on the fly which is a terrible idea. Its never been useful and sometimes gets inadvertently gets caught on line and loosens one of the rear lines, steering your kite off centre. The chickenloop rope was uncoated and wore through last year.
www.seabreeze.com.au/Img/Photos/Kitesurfing/14790107.jpg' />2013: 5 struts and 4 lines. As mentioned before the leading edge is thicker at 150mm. Higher aspect ratio than 2008 and slightly bigger in every dimension. AR: 4.2 672cm x 160cm. The bridles are heaps longer and get looped around the wingtip when handling the kite on the kite. Hate them.
The bar is better with below the bar safety but retaining crappy swivel. Rear line adjustment is gone, but still have above the bar trim line with a clam cleat. I found that this bar on my C4 had delaminated grip from the age of one year. This one on the edge is slightly better but has s, but that is due to the kite not being used much or demandingly before my purchase..
V8: 5 struts and 4 lines. This kite is very similar to the 2013 version. Same leading-edge diameter and same overall dimensions and aspect ratio. Strut placement is further inboard for all the struts making them much more evenly spaced. The bar now has a proper swivel along with below the bar safety line. The bar has soft ends (which I don't really like to be honest). Trim line is the same as the earlier kites. Again, the bridles suck as they are long and wrap around the wingtips all the time.
There are obviously more similarities between the newer versions of the Edge. They are more focused as a race/big air kites whereas the 2008 was more big air/freeride.
How they fly
As I mentioned before, I'm not going to bother with the 2013 kite (its on the market right now), so I'll just compare the 2008 vs. the V8.
2008 has poorer wind range than the V8. It needs 22kts to get going and at 30kts you are borderline overpowered. The range was slightly better when new. It, like all edges flies forward in the wind window, generates a lot of power from apparent wind and requires technique to jump high. This kite still jumps well with 5m jumps a doddle but it doesn't have the float of the V8. The kite is faster turning than the V8 due to its smaller size and aspect ratio.
The V8 is better is almost every way. The low end is much improved as I was kiting in 17kts on a twinnie the other day with no issues keeping upwind and small jumps. I also had it out at 30kts and it was simply awesome. I was definitely powered up but felt it had a couple more knots top end. Again, this kite loves apparent wind but flies even further forward in the wind window making upwind progress a doddle. Jumping is easier than the 2008. The float. oh man the float on each jump is amazing. It feels like you are able to float twice as long as the 2008. You have to readjust your expectations. Turning speed is slightly worse as expected. The biggest difference I've noticed however is that the V8 does not like to drift at all whereas the 2008 would let you play a little bit. It almost caught me out a couple of times catching the odd wave. Water relaunch is no drama for either kite.
So, its no surprise that the V8 is better overall. Better wind range and easier jumping are the main drawcards for me - as well as having gear that wont let me down.
There has been a definite evolution in the Edge kite design to a more race focused kite that is good at jumping. However, the edge has not changed that much in recent years. Maybe this is due to Ozone's development of the R1 and Chrono for racing, taking over the role of the edge as the go to race kite. I wonder if the performance would have been better in the V8 with a fifth line and mini bridle supporting the leading edge, to allow a thinner leading edge tube. People would hate the 5th line that's for sure...
For me the biggest change is in bar design with below the bar safety and swivels that actually work.
So I hope you enjoyed this review. I welcome any questions.
Fly that 2013 for me. I want to here a comparison to the 2017. I have a 2013 and was t to know if the v8 is much better or better at all.
ok. I'll take it out if its not sold by then