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Best Wing for Gusty Winds - Ozone Flux v1, North Mode Pro, Armstrong A-Wing XPS

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Created by socalwinger 3 months ago, 13 Nov 2023
socalwinger
3 posts
13 Nov 2023 7:24AM
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Hi All, new to the forum. Intermediate wing foiler living in Southern California and looking for my 2nd smaller wing for gustier days (20-30 knots).
I'm intrigued by 3 wings that all sound like they do well when powered/overpowered: Ozone Flux v1, North Mode Pro, Armstrong A-Wing XPS.

I'd love some advice and perspective on pros/cons of each wing (not factoring price).
I mainly freeride with some wave riding and I want to not feel overpowered when the wind picks up to 25-30 knots. I'm 85kg and my other wing is a Duotone Unit 5.5m so looking for a smaller wing in the 4-4.5m range. Thanks for your advice!

ganeshka
14 posts
13 Nov 2023 10:26AM
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I'm happy owner of North Mode pro 5.5 and I was able to ride from 17 knots up to gust 35+ knots. Stable 25+ knots wind session. All with North ma1200. Great and stable wing, with tight canopy. Even hands pressure, without flapping. Was able to survive big gusts. I don't remember moments when I was blowing out from the board( had this experience with Loft Pro 8m).Has amazing forward drive and enough of low end power. Strong forward pull. Interesting, where is the limit? Probably 35+. People was on 3.5 / 4.2. Just purchased ma850v2 with s208 tail. Supper stocked about upcoming session!

the wing has only minor cons:

- hard handles, especially front one should be wrapped in soft foam. Got some scratches on new board because of that
- on the water, when you swimming or preparing to new start. Wing is jumping like crazy and has behavior to flip.
You getting used to that.

overall really happy with it. Great performance wing. Enjoyable experience!

Velocicraptor
503 posts
13 Nov 2023 10:28AM
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ganeshka said..
I'm happy owner of North Mode pro 5.5 and was able to ride from 17 knots up to gust 35+ knots. Stable 25+ knots wind session. All with North ma1200. Great and stable wing, with tight canopy. Even hands pressure, without flapping. Was able to survive big gusts. I don't remember moments when I was blowing out from the board( had this experience with Loft Pro 8m). Just purchased ma850v2 with s208 tail. Probably should dramatically increase my speed, because of less drag ??the wing has only minor cons:

- hard handles, especially front one should be wrapped in soft foam. Got some scratches on new board because of that
- on the water, when you swimming or preparing to new start. Wing is jumping like crazy and has behavior to flip.
You getting used to that.

overall really happy with it. Great performance wing. Enjoyable experience!


How much do you weigh? That wind range is crazy for a 5.5.

ganeshka
14 posts
13 Nov 2023 10:33AM
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Velocicraptor said..

ganeshka said..
I'm happy owner of North Mode pro 5.5 and was able to ride from 17 knots up to gust 35+ knots. Stable 25+ knots wind session. All with North ma1200. Great and stable wing, with tight canopy. Even hands pressure, without flapping. Was able to survive big gusts. I don't remember moments when I was blowing out from the board( had this experience with Loft Pro 8m). Just purchased ma850v2 with s208 tail. Probably should dramatically increase my speed, because of less drag ??the wing has only minor cons:

- hard handles, especially front one should be wrapped in soft foam. Got some scratches on new board because of that
- on the water, when you swimming or preparing to new start. Wing is jumping like crazy and has behavior to flip.
You getting used to that.

overall really happy with it. Great performance wing. Enjoyable experience!



How much do you weigh? That wind range is crazy for a 5.5.


My weight is 82kilo without gear and 181cm height.

socalwinger
3 posts
13 Nov 2023 10:51AM
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Thanks Ganeshka for the great insights into the North Mode Pro. How does it luff in waves? Do you like the feel of the front de-power handle?
I like that they're using next-gen materials and know this wing would be super fast and great upwind. Wondering how it compares to the Ozone and the Armstrong from an ease of use and freeride/surf perspective?

ganeshka
14 posts
13 Nov 2023 11:51AM
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socalwinger said..
Thanks Ganeshka for the great insights into the North Mode Pro. How does it luff in waves? Do you like the feel of the front de-power handle?
I like that they're using next-gen materials and know this wing would be super fast and great upwind. Wondering how it compares to the Ozone and the Armstrong from an ease of use and freeride/surf perspective?


Probably not the best for surfing. Because of this behavior to flip. Draft in neutral position is not stable for sure.

warwickl
NSW, 2160 posts
13 Nov 2023 5:23PM
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I have had the early 2023 5.5 and 4.2 North Modes both replaced under warranty due to wrong construction issues so make sue that you get the later versions of 2022.
I still have my 4.2 and like it better than the 2024. PM me if you want details of defects in the early 2022s and what to look for in the rectified versions.

robbo1111
NSW, 618 posts
13 Nov 2023 7:43PM
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I demo-ed the Armstrong 4.6 a few weeks ago. It's certainly not the "game changer" that the marketing hyperbole would have you believe but it is a very good wing.
The real plus for me were the handles, possibly the best I have used. I'm not that wrapped in hard handles but I reckon I could live we these.
The two valve system is good as are the valves themselves (same as KT wings).
Upwind ability was very good but you expect this with a brand new wing, as is the locked in feel.
The wing flags ok, no real difference to the Ensis and KT wings that I currently use, so perfectly fine for waveriding.
Its still quite a heavy wing but I'm not prepared to pay $4K for a super light wing until my lotto numbers come up.

foilstoke
8 posts
14 Nov 2023 6:36AM
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I have an xps 4m wing. I'm 73kg. Great wing overall. Really shines when the wind is around 20-25kn. Very easy to move around in waves, stays quiet in most positions. Updwind angles are definitely impressive. However, I don't believe it has such a massive top end as some people say.

ArthurAlston
NSW, 177 posts
14 Nov 2023 11:20AM
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I also use the XPS wing (5.3, 4 and 3). I'm 84 kg. Based on my experience, I'd say you are better off with something smaller than a 4 m2 XPS in 25-30 knots. I'd say you could even consider a 3 or 3.5.

MProject04
427 posts
14 Nov 2023 8:52AM
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Thanks Socialwinger for starting this topic! And honest contributors for sharing real life / real user experiences! I'm taking notes!

ArthurAlston
NSW, 177 posts
14 Nov 2023 12:34PM
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foilstoke said..
I have an xps 4m wing. I'm 73kg. Great wing overall. Really shines when the wind is around 20-25kn. Very easy to move around in waves, stays quiet in most positions. Updwind angles are definitely impressive. However, I don't believe it has such a massive top end as some people say.


I'd agree with all of this. I thought a 4 m2 XPS expecting that it would be my smallest wing and then I found that it started fluttering like mad at around 25 knots. That's with the mini-battons installed. So my experience is also that the upper end of the XPS is less than the marketing or Cool Aid-drinkers would have you believe.

However, it's by far the best wing I have ever ridden in three years. At a very good price point. Also, the materials make it easy to repair (I've already damaged both my 4 and 3).

Armie did some very clever designing using existing materials and combining the materials in ways that sail makers praise.

socalwinger
3 posts
14 Nov 2023 2:38PM
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Great insights on the XPS. Sounds like a great wing all around but maybe doesn't have the top-end range of the Ozone or North. But I'm still intrigued my the XPS and would love to hear anyone's take who's ridden the Ozone Flux!

Also, appreciate the advice on sizing and I may consider a smaller size.

FarNorthWest
NSW, 15 posts
14 Nov 2023 9:27PM
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I rode the North Mode Pro 5.5 and Ozon Flux v2 5.7 back to back in gusty conditions, 8-26 knots. The Mode was by far the one I found handled the gusts best. It was the first time on both, so no real time for dialing in. The Flux is still an awesome wing with a lot of power and perhaps it is better suited for heavier riders, me 72 kg.

WInger64
5 posts
14 Nov 2023 7:45PM
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What's with all these white wings (OK, black and white in the case of the XPS)? Technical reason for that, or are manufacturers trying to make their high end offerings look more professional? Personally I prefer a little colour.

Velocicraptor
503 posts
14 Nov 2023 10:16PM
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FarNorthWest said..
I rode the North Mode Pro 5.5 and Ozon Flux v2 5.7 back to back in gusty conditions, 8-26 knots. The Mode was by far the one I found handled the gusts best. It was the first time on both, so no real time for dialing in. The Flux is still an awesome wing with a lot of power and perhaps it is better suited for heavier riders, me 72 kg.


Would you say the North felt "smaller" than the Flux?

How do you compare the luff handles on both?

Any notable differences in construction or materials that you noticed?

Other than high end, how did they compare on low end and general handling?

FarNorthWest
NSW, 15 posts
15 Nov 2023 5:33AM
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Velocicraptor said..

FarNorthWest said..
I rode the North Mode Pro 5.5 and Ozon Flux v2 5.7 back to back in gusty conditions, 8-26 knots. The Mode was by far the one I found handled the gusts best. It was the first time on both, so no real time for dialing in. The Flux is still an awesome wing with a lot of power and perhaps it is better suited for heavier riders, me 72 kg.



Would you say the North felt "smaller" than the Flux?

How do you compare the luff handles on both?

Any notable differences in construction or materials that you noticed?

Other than high end, how did they compare on low end and general handling?


Yes, the North felt "smaller" and had a smother feel. The Ozone felt faster, but I didn't measured the speed. Both wings had very high quality with regard to construction and materials. The Ozone was slightly easier to handle in jibes. Had no chance of testing luffing ability and not really low end, so I cannot comment on those points.

MrFish
118 posts
15 Nov 2023 3:21AM
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I've got a new dutone slick with the mod3 canopy. Granted in a 6m, so not a good size comparison. But I love how stable it is in gusty overpowered conditions. It just locks and goes !

ArthurAlston
NSW, 177 posts
15 Nov 2023 3:32PM
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socalwinger said..
Great insights on the XPS. Sounds like a great wing all around but maybe doesn't have the top-end range of the Ozone or North. But I'm still intrigued my the XPS and would love to hear anyone's take who's ridden the Ozone Flux!

Also, appreciate the advice on sizing and I may consider a smaller size.


By the way, "top end" is a vague concept. My definition of it is when the trailing edge of the wing starts fluttering uncontrollably, which in turn affects the integrity of the wing. I tend to downsize when that happens. But for others, maybe the fun begins then? No doubt that the XPS wings can handle a lot more wind beyond that point (last week, I was lit on the 4 with the trailing edge fluttering, whilst others were lit on 2.8 and 3 m2 wings).

My personal definition of top end may not be what the manufacturers claim or what others claim. It is noticeable that Armstrong no longer provides wind ranges for their wings (I think there are too many variables to provide a useful single range anyway, e.g. DW board, large DW foils etc).

Jeroensurf
864 posts
15 Nov 2023 3:57PM
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Velocicraptor said..

FarNorthWest said..
I rode the North Mode Pro 5.5 and Ozon Flux v2 5.7 back to back in gusty conditions, 8-26 knots. The Mode was by far the one I found handled the gusts best. It was the first time on both, so no real time for dialing in. The Flux is still an awesome wing with a lot of power and perhaps it is better suited for heavier riders, me 72 kg.



Would you say the North felt "smaller" than the Flux?

How do you compare the luff handles on both?

Any notable differences in construction or materials that you noticed?

Other than high end, how did they compare on low end and general handling?


I can,t compare to the Mode Pro but used the Mode5.5 quite a lot as a loaner waiting for warranty on another brand and bought straight after that the Flux 5m. For me (95kg) the Flux 5m has a better low end as the Mode 5.5..again not the Pro. That was something my buddy and I also notticed earlier this year: you need to take the mode at least half a meter bigger as most brands to get that same range.
Top end was the same where the Flux feels a bit stiffer/direct and the Mode more cushioned. Upwingangle of both is excellent and way above average. Especially the flux goes faster and higher upwind as the latest Dlab Slick (and handles gusts imo better).In handling the Mode 5.5 was usable in the surf but flags imo just average and has a tendncy to roll and flip in side on where the Flux is one of the best surfing wings I tried so far. I also tried the Mode 4.2 in the surf (again not the pro) and that one was behaving better, but still not a topcontender imo alike the Flux.

Btw i,m not a teamrider or whatsoever and have a very mixxed quiver of Dlab5.5 Unit, Flux5+4.3, Mantis V34m Mantis V2 3m and demo a lot from my shop when I get the opportunity.

AlexF
482 posts
15 Nov 2023 4:38PM
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I have a Flux 5.7 and 4.3 quiver and for my 93 kgs the top end of the 4.3 is just amazing. Due to its flexy character the Flux kind of "eats gusts" where other wings start to bounce around in your hands.
I think Ozone nailed it with their design of firm leading edge and a responsive trailing edge, that acts like a loose leach in a windsurf sail.

Wingthing
SA, 11 posts
15 Nov 2023 9:22PM
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ArthurAlston said..

socalwinger said..
Great insights on the XPS. Sounds like a great wing all around but maybe doesn't have the top-end range of the Ozone or North. But I'm still intrigued my the XPS and would love to hear anyone's take who's ridden the Ozone Flux!

Also, appreciate the advice on sizing and I may consider a smaller size.



By the way, "top end" is a vague concept. My definition of it is when the trailing edge of the wing starts fluttering uncontrollably, which in turn affects the integrity of the wing. I tend to downsize when that happens. But for others, maybe the fun begins then? No doubt that the XPS wings can handle a lot more wind beyond that point (last week, I was lit on the 4 with the trailing edge fluttering, whilst others were lit on 2.8 and 3 m2 wings).

My personal definition of top end may not be what the manufacturers claim or what others claim. It is noticeable that Armstrong no longer provides wind ranges for their wings (I think there are too many variables to provide a useful single range anyway, e.g. DW board, large DW foils etc).


Armstrong now has wind ranges for the XPS on the web site.

Wingdinger
3 posts
15 Nov 2023 7:13PM
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93kgs on 5m and 3.6m Ozone Flux. Great wind range for gusty conditions. Often hear others complaining about gusty conditions when to me didn't seem too bad. Really good upwind. Very well made - love the sls type leading edge. Flutters abit at top of wind range but still seems fine to hang onto. Ozone say they are accurately sized and comparing to duotone and f-one I would say they are slightly larger. Great for gybing as seem to float and also quick to pick up wind out of gybe. Accelerates well and fast wing Valves are a bit of a faff but get used to that. Comes with really good waist leash which seems to have alot of stretch and also has a swivel. Handles are comfortable as narrow and angled. Rubber bumper on front handle can move about abit and handles can squeak abit as held in dacron pockets. Balanced feel in arms and less need to constantly pull in back hand as on earlier gen wings. Window material nice and supple but seem to be getting yellow tinge from uv presumably. Pumping is ok but not the easiest as quite a flat wing in profile. Overall love the Flux, very happy and would recommend.

Velocicraptor
503 posts
15 Nov 2023 11:38PM
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Great feedback on the Flux. Can anyone compare sizing vs OR Glide (which measures and rides small for its size)?

AGK7
13 posts
16 Nov 2023 1:25AM
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Velocicraptor said..
Great feedback on the Flux. Can anyone compare sizing vs OR Glide (which measures and rides small for its size)?


My flux 5m is at least a half meter larger in actual area than the 5m OR Glide it replaced (due to worn-out canopy). Both great wings, but the Ozone is better upwind. Bottom end is better, not sure about top end but both very good.

MidAtlanticFoil
670 posts
16 Nov 2023 2:45AM
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I've got the XPS 4.5, 3.5, and 2.6M, weighing 65kgs. I haven't had any trailing edge flutter, despite being out well overpowered a few times when wind picked up. Before I got my wings, I remember following Matt Nuzzo one time in really gusty conditions, he was on a 4M, while I was on a 3M OR Glide Hybrid. I was having to work very hard at keeping the the wing in control, while he was just blasting along with no movement in the wing. Now that I've used mine quite a bit, I would say first hand that they are extremely well balanced in high winds. They may not be the highest performer in any one category (except maybe the handles), but they are amazing as an all-arounder, and do great downwind/flagging.

Wingthing
SA, 11 posts
16 Nov 2023 9:58AM
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warwickl
NSW, 2160 posts
16 Nov 2023 5:17PM
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Jeroensurf said..

Velocicraptor said..


FarNorthWest said..
I rode the North Mode Pro 5.5 and Ozon Flux v2 5.7 back to back in gusty conditions, 8-26 knots. The Mode was by far the one I found handled the gusts best. It was the first time on both, so no real time for dialing in. The Flux is still an awesome wing with a lot of power and perhaps it is better suited for heavier riders, me 72 kg.




Would you say the North felt "smaller" than the Flux?

How do you compare the luff handles on both?

Any notable differences in construction or materials that you noticed?

Other than high end, how did they compare on low end and general handling?



I can,t compare to the Mode Pro but used the Mode5.5 quite a lot as a loaner waiting for warranty on another brand and bought straight after that the Flux 5m. For me (95kg) the Flux 5m has a better low end as the Mode 5.5..again not the Pro. That was something my buddy and I also notticed earlier this year: you need to take the mode at least half a meter bigger as most brands to get that same range.
Top end was the same where the Flux feels a bit stiffer/direct and the Mode more cushioned. Upwingangle of both is excellent and way above average. Especially the flux goes faster and higher upwind as the latest Dlab Slick (and handles gusts imo better).In handling the Mode 5.5 was usable in the surf but flags imo just average and has a tendncy to roll and flip in side on where the Flux is one of the best surfing wings I tried so far. I also tried the Mode 4.2 in the surf (again not the pro) and that one was behaving better, but still not a topcontender imo alike the Flux.

Btw i,m not a teamrider or whatsoever and have a very mixxed quiver of Dlab5.5 Unit, Flux5+4.3, Mantis V34m Mantis V2 3m and demo a lot from my shop when I get the opportunity.



Just as a matter of interest was the 5.5 Mode a very first version before all the warranty replacements? Many of the early ones performed well for 2 or 3 sessions then deformed, some had the handles on crooked.
The final warranty replacements are terrific and I can vouch for that as I have a 4.2m and it's amazing in everyway.

Faff
VIC, 1138 posts
16 Nov 2023 11:19PM
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Wingthing said..




These recommendations look too big.

Shlogger
387 posts
17 Nov 2023 2:33AM
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socalwinger said..
Thanks Ganeshka for the great insights into the North Mode Pro. How does it luff in waves? Do you like the feel of the front de-power handle?
I like that they're using next-gen materials and know this wing would be super fast and great upwind. Wondering how it compares to the Ozone and the Armstrong from an ease of use and freeride/surf perspective?

I just had a 25-35G40 sesh on the 4.2 Mode Pro. to date.it's one of my favorite wings. It was so solid and never got overpowered. It luffed nicely on my DW runs. It'll jibe faster than you're probably ready for. I liked how this years seems to have more grunt for lulls and def for jumps. It will flop in the water but I solved that by running leash through the handle. Personally, I'd get rid of the windows. I don't find them practical for the Average Joe. My only real knit pick is the knuckle pad for the luff handle is a little abrasive. The handle itself if comfy. The materials are a def step up from Dacron and standard rip stop.

NikOnFoil
47 posts
17 Nov 2023 3:01AM
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My home spot is an inland lake, and there is often a difference of 15-20 kts between the basic wind and the gusts. Ozone Flux is the best wing I ever had for these conditions. After testing the 5m I went all-in, riding only Ozone Flux now.

The wind range is huge, upwind angle very good and lightning fast in all manouvers. Very fast on all courses with a small weakness downwind, where it is good but not top.

Couldn't be happier.

Rider weight 73 kgs, 3rd year wingding.



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"Best Wing for Gusty Winds - Ozone Flux v1, North Mode Pro, Armstrong A-Wing XPS" started by socalwinger