The Reo is designed purely for waves and surfboard riders. Like an extension of your body, the Reo can also be flown so many ways but it delivers outstanding performance no matter what your style. Hooked-in it can float effortlessly down-the-line, quick and precise handling means you can put it in the right spot and just ride the wave as hard as you can. If you slack line it, it still floats rather than falls out of the sky, just drifting back giving you time to compensate and get the lines tight again. If you like to move the kite a lot then it responds just perfectly, fast and direct for looping down-the-line. Unhooked it leaves you with nothing to do, the drift is perfect so all you've got to do is concentrate on the next lip or section you are going to bosh.
TEST TEAM NOTES:If you already fly Ozone kites you'll be familiar with their polished package. Tough and well-shaped rucksack bags, inner wet bags, repair kits, slick build quality and superb bar. Little tweaks here and there as you'd expect, but the package is essentially the same this year. The bar is still super smooth and one of the easiest and cleanest four line bars with one of the smoothest trimming cleats on the market. Note that the chicken-loop safety release is a pull down, rather than push-away as you're probably more familiar with.
This is a purpose built wave kite – it's even got wave art on the canopy – and is built around a solid air frame. Rigid and very aerodynamic, although the speed potential of the kite is obvious even as you're lifting the kite, it immediately feels assured and stable in the sky. The Reo isn't a very deep shape and there's no on-off feeling in the power delivery. More like a higher aspect feel, it's very refined in its delivery and Ozone have managed to keep their trade-mark light but direct feel in the kite, but this is different – out of the bag it doesn't have as much grunt when sheeted in at the bar as some hybrid kites. The Reo is more demanding than that to fly but it's just so damn sporty in its handling. Whip-whip-whip up and down and you're off. Good riders will be right at home on this, finding the rapid flying very satisfying and quite easy to generate enough pull to get nicely powered and upwind. The steering is just lovely and light, so all that moving around doesn't fatigue your arms at all. You can tune the kite up to deliver a bit more power at the bar by pushing the rubber floats up on the outside lines and moving the pigtail setting down the knots towards the bar, which works nicely for a bit more grunt, but we mainly rode the kite on the stock setting out of the bag for
pure wave riding.
The Reo's true beauty shines when actually riding waves. The manoeuvrability of this kite is insane; you get the feeling there's nothing you can throw at it that it can't handle. Going down-the-line and making sections it didn't once surge with power and pull us off balance. You can completely and utterly shut off the power but still retain steering control on the kite. Pull in the bar and there's no jerk at all; the power delivery is just incredibly smooth and the kite just flexes and awaits its next command. In cross-onshore conditions where you find you might have to spin the kite a lot it just turns and turns, keeping up with you without breaking step. Spin it tight or arc it a little wider - a lot of kites will hold more power than you want through these sorts of loops; the Reo is just right. Enough to let you know where it is and to stop it from dropping out of the sky, but not so much that you can't crack the section you want. Turn it on demand. When you're riding fast and hard towards the kite it's quite incredible how it doesn't back stall and still has turning response. Once you complete your turn the kite drives forward with just enough power to get you over the back and looking for your next set-up.
For such a fast kite it really is very stable. We got washed up the beach a few times and it was just sat there waiting for us to finish snorting salt water out of our noses. Equally when it got washed over by a few waves it just popped right up again. Unhooked it's definitely got ability and balance. We didn't get to try it too
much, but there was no back stalling and nasty tugging in our experience. Just similar characteristics and obedient but lively behaviour. Actually, all this sounds like a great kite for a lot of people, not just wave heads, doesn't it?
For progressive wave riders, the Reo has the perfect balance between enough power to allow you to get the most out of the wave, without having so much that it could spoil that experience. Pure, rapid, lively and up-for-it wave riding joy.
Silky smooth power delivery and total throw-around performance and instant response anywhere in the window, powered, or depowered.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Anyone wanting a kite to do a bit of everything will want more boost performance, but that's exactly what pure wave riders don't want, and with the Reo there's no urge for it to pull you up and off your board. Just lots of forward drive and nimble response.
12, 10, 8, 6, and 4m