The Edge has easily proven its pedigree over the past three seasons as the kite to own if you are searching for ultimate performance. Designer Robbie Whittall has worked his magic to design what is the undisputed champion when it comes to course racing performance. But the real magic is the fact the Edge is a joy to ride for any solid kiter that is looking for the ultimate boosting machine. If ripping upwind higher than you ever thought possible and reaching near orbit on your boosts is what you want, then look no further.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
As with all Ozones, the Edge comes kitted out to the hilt, whether it's the high volume one pump system, the sturdy rucksack, the useful inner bag, the sandbag, the inner bar bag, the maintenance kit or even the stickers, you won't be disappointed by the package. We've said all we can about Ozone's build quality and attention to detail before and hopefully now you're coming to expect nothing less from them. The seams are all really neat and the stitching is just impeccable. The Edge is, however, a little less reinforced than some of the other kites in the range; it's not super light, but it is built for performance – big air and racing performance at that, and its aerodynamics are important. The bar is again the usual Ozone quality with a beautifully smooth cleat trimming system, lovely feel on the bar, all the mod cons and, as we have to keep saying, the difference you'll notice between Ozone and most other brands is that their chicken-loop release is a pull down tab on the side rather than a more popular push away operation. But we know Ozone like to do things their own way, it's just something to be aware of.
Pumping the Edge up you realise what a large projected surface area and wing span it has. A large leading edge and its high aspect shape make it feel a bit retro; very wing like and certainly with big jumping and upwind intentions. On first launch there's a really reassuring amount of power, but completely manageable. We had the Edge out in good winds, probably averaging 20 – 25 knots, but what's immediately apparent is just how smoothly it delivers its power to you; it's really chocolatey. Heading upwind it's not a growler; you can feel it tracking far into the window but it's not aggressive or a handful by any means. The feeling of power is incredibly manageable and constant; always feeling as though it's got a lot of jumping juice ready to unleash at will, though. Sending the kite back and launching, you get a lovely long climbing stroke and you continue to climb. There's a big window to play in and this kite is designed for the job; it just loves flying and there's loads of feeling through the pulley-less bridle. Ozone's years of experience as one of the top paragliding manufacturers is very obvious. When you redirect the kite back over your head once you've reached the peak of your jump the Edge continues to develop nice amounts of lift; there's no way you're coming back down until your jump is finished. Some kites will take you up and drop you down quickly, but the Edge gives you the maximum amount back when you cash in your air miles, keeping you up there long enough to have your lunch and still has enough speed to really be able to control your landings. Remaining with you the whole time, to the point of throwing kite loops at the end, although you have to make sure you're still high enough as the loop isn't as pivotal as you might expect, it generates a healthy amount of grunt through the turn. There's also a lot of feeling through the loop rather than it being a whippy loop. You want to be powered to make sure it gets round, but it's impressive that a kite of this design can get round without coughing its way round the bottom, and this handling will really help it around the race course, too. It's so different to the quicker, more punchy kites that we're used to riding now. To jump this high on a modern C kite for example is quite a full on experience; on this it's just easy and mellow. Just insane hang-time.
At the bar the power delivery is so smooth all day long. There's nothing jerky at all and the gust control is superb. We barely had to trim the kite at all, even up to 30 knots and we even managed a few bits and pieces unhooked, which is quite remarkable. The Edge has potential in waves in the smaller sizes, but kites with this much lift aren't ideal for waves, but the smooth handling, depower and stability score it points in the swell.
The Ozone company is made up of kitesurfers of course, but the team are widely experienced at the top level in other arenas, including sky diving and paragliding and, if ever there was a kite that was totally transparent in its family history, it's the Edge. Yes, you can certainly throw a bit of everything very comfortably on this, but it's the immense boost and hang-time that sets it apart. Spot on aerodynamically, there's never any moments of stress, both on your body or seemingly on the canopy. It may sound like an acquired taste, but you'll be the highest jumper on the beach on a windy day and it's definitely a great weapon for the quiver.
Ultimate freeride machine qualities.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Bring the quick release in line with more or less the rest of the industry and make it a push away system.
17, 15, 13, 11, 9 and 7m
This test is in issue #57