The KW test team takes out Ozone’s performance freestyle stick
THIS TEST FIRST APPEARED IN ISSUE #95 IN SEPTEMBER, 2018
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Taking their experience and know-how from kites into board making, this year Ozone are definitely making noises with their new two model board range, the Code and the Torque. The Torque is the higher performing model, billed as a performance freestyler, delivering all round capabilities for intermediate to advanced riders.
First off, it’s a great looking board. We had the black and grey one and it’s total stealth. Nice and light but not too light, the Torque feels up to the job of whatever you can throw at it.
This was our first contact with a pair of Ozone foot straps and without over-complicating things, they’ve kept the design as a simple Velcro fastener, but the whole set-up is super effective. Decent foot straps and foam pads can really change the way you feel about a board and these mix soft comfort and assured grip for high performance really well. Like the Duotone NTTs, these grip evenly across your whole foot, not just the top or the sides.
So, what about the board? Well, for us we’re sure this will already be a season winner for a performance freeriding and freestyle combination. For an intermediate onwards it’s great because the grip is not too bitey and the edging is progressive; not abrupt and all or nothing in feel, so you can also feather out your carves.
The rocker is actually quite flat but there’s also no front foot slap in the water despite that when you’re going through chop (we didn’t go into massive chop). In fact the Torque deals with lumps and bumps impressively given the flat rocker and has a surprising amount of comfort for a flatter, freestyle inspired outline.
The flatter outline helps the Torque deliver really good upwind performance. It’s comfortable, sure, but not as soft and comfy as something more pure freeride, like the Shinn Monk, but this goes beyond that and you could literally ride this board forever and be unlikely to ever reach its limits.
Going from your heel-to toe edge is easy because the board operates at a nice speed and balances looseness with an easily locked-in edge. The channelling in the base not only adds a nice bit of cushioning to the ride, but delivers easy performance for getting rail grip and popping nicely at controlled speed; that’s a fantastic trait for most riders. Control is everything and the Torque always feels in command of the conditions. Bully’s been doing a lot of old school board-offs recently and bringing back his sent handle-passes and blind judges and for any or all of these in the same session, the Torque is a no brainer.
You can also put boots on it (though it doesn’t have a grind base for rails etc.) so is ideal as a cross-over board.
Fantastic combination of lock and release makes the Torque a highly polished performer for a huge array of riders. Yes, it’s a little bit more of a firm ride than a pure freeride board, but if you’re looking to raise your game, or are stepping up to boots, or if you are already a solid rider but want something that you can ride in all conditions, the Torque is a really good option. What a first year for Ozone boards.
Control at speed for rewarding pop as well as easy edge grip and upwind charging.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
We didn’t try the Torque in super heavy ocean chop, but there are times when intermediates will probably appreciate a bit more of a pulled in outline in the tips if they’re not used to moving their weight around to negotiate difficult waters. In that case Ozone have the Code V1 with a more medium rocker and rounded outline.
TORQUE BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 8.5
Fixtures and fittings: 8.5
Slider proof: NA
Boots applicable: Yes
Ease of use: 8
SIZES: 140 x 43, 138 x 42, 136 x 41 and 134 x 40cm
The Ozone Torque product video