When the day demands a quick, agile and powerful weapon, the Razor answers the call. Now in its fourth generation, the Razor is Ocean Rodeo’s most successful kite. Built around a muscular four-strut canopy augmented with FST (forward swept wing technology) for more leverage between the front and back lines for faster turning, and Venturi technology for greater efficiency, this kite is dialed for precise handling and explosive power. Providing a potent forward-flying experience across a massive wind range allows riders to commit to more critical moves more often. Unhooked, the Razor continues its forward attack giving huge pop and lots of travel for air passes. The Razor also delivers insane vertical boosts for those that like to ‘send it’. Powered up wave riders will revel in deeper cutbacks, bigger lip smacks and more radical turns. Compatible with any current Ocean Rodeo bar, the Razor features Ocean Rodeo’s Direct Depower system for near total depower in all situations with an easy on water reset and relaunch in the event of an eject.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
We’ve been testing Ocean Rodeo gear for many years and are often surprised that we don’t see more of them on the beaches. The Razor is a good case in point of a nicely flighted kite, but we must start at the bar.
We do get spoilt with the amount of gear we get to test and have watched with joy at the evolution of bar systems, now seemingly space age in their intrictate moulded plastic fixtures, fittings and deluxe comfort for the hands and safety for the body. The Ocean Rodeo bar is a little behind the times in terms of absolute top end polish and accessory development, but it is more than up to the job and extremely safe. Our criticisms are with the slightly too grippy below the bar trimming system that, like many systems positioned underneath the bar, does need some careful hand movements so as not to come unhooked as you pull down on the trim. Two hands helps, but then if you don’t have the variable tension stopper set to firm then the bar slides up a long throw that’s just out of reach of most people without a long swipe. So, it’s best to use the stopper all the time, which can be adjusted to variable tensions of stopping force. An orange plastic pin system can be plugged into five different holes on the stopper; the bottom hole providing only a very slight resistance for beginners allowing for total depower and when pinned to the top hole the bar won’t push passed the stopper, but the stopper can be slid away from you when the bar isn’t push up against it, pressurising the locking ball. So you can manually move it around to your preferred spot. The safety line also runs free outside of the system, so there’s nothing inhibiting it once you’ve triggered your safety. To give you the option, Ocean Rodeo do also produce a ‘Freestyle’ bar with a trimming webbing strap above the bar if you’d prefer that also works with the Razor.
Up at the kite and the thin leading edge and struts pump up briskly through the tidy one pump system. Using traditional valves, the one pump is neat and tidy, although there are no retainers on the valves. The Razor has good quality dacron and ample reinforcements but isn’t a super heavily reinforced kite. In terms of performance weight rarely helps in a kite’s agility and in the way it holds itself in the air and the Razor is suitably taut, ridid and good looking in the sky. It means business and there are no wrinkles in the wind. Agile around the sky, the Razor’s thin leading edge punches nicely forward in the window. Stroking the Razor once or twice through the window is all it takes to get up to speed and as it sits quite high in the window it’s very comfortable for freeriding. We mostly set the kite up on the most powerful knot on the back bridle which delivers plenty of power at the bar mixed with enough balance in the back lines, keeping the kite flying forward, to make the Razor as handy lifting you up as it is down low and unhooked. Set the Razor up on the knot furthest from the kite on the back bridle (effectively lengthening the back lines) and there is a little more delay in the steering (but definitely enough steering to be comfortably piloted) and superb balance for unhooking with no need for trimming, but you won’t be boosting so big. So yes, the Razor has very impressive range as we had it out in everything from 15 – 25 knots, freeriding upwind quickly, boosting and unhooking nicely all within one run out. The feeling and range in the kite feel very consistent and the Razor easily makes its way confidently round a kite loop, but loses just a little feeling midway.
The power band at the bar is noteworthy and why the Razor feels comfortable and easy unhooked. There is a lot of sheeting distance, but most of the power comes on in a small area close to having the bar fully sheeted. So there’s a bit of effort at the bar to steer the kite aggressively and as the wind picks up that natural riding position of the bar moves further away and the kite becomes more reactive. When you pull in on the bar the pressure is light, but you have to be forecful on the bar to get quick reactions from the kite.
A great cross-over wakestyle / freestyle kite that behaves really well out of the hook and packs a good boost as the wind picks up. Lovely forward flying characteristics make for fast riding and lovely, easy upwind drive as well as a nice delay for unhooked tricks and yet the Razor has a nimble nature when steered with more force.
Forward flying speed for fast riding and a nice, easy poise for progressing with unhooked riding.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
There are cleaner bar systems, but all the function is there.
RAZOR BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 7
Full package: 6
Low end: 7
Top end: 8.5
Steering speed : 7
Turning circle: 6
Bar pressure: 5
Water relaunch: 7
Ease of use: 7
SIZES: 12, 10, 9, 8 and 7m
More info at: www.oceanrodeo.com
Here’s the official Razor 2014 product video from Ocean Rodeo:
THIS KITE FEATURED IN ISSUE #68