At A Glance
We've been hearing quite a bit about Ocean Rodeo over the past few months with new advances in materials and designs being whispered about. The Crave is one such a new design, no doubt produced for their alarmingly talented wave team to take on the GKA's best.
At its core, the Crave is a 3-strut supported leading edge kite, with a moderate aspect ratio, an open C design and Ocean Rodeos unique forward-swept wingtip design. This unique WSJ wingtip is also featured on the Razor kite and is the culprit behind those crisp, powerful loops. The bridle system on the crave is simple, featuring 2 pulleys and a new larks head knot on the front bridle which aids the forward drive through the loop.
Teijin's Technoforce D2 Ripstop makes up the canopy, with reinforcements from the Armortex abrasion guards. The Leading Edge and struts are both courtesies of the Challenge D2.9 RS Dacron and the Dimension Polyant K-PE Dacron with the precision curve struts being incorporated into the Airframe.
A comprehensive repair pack and a standard and a very versatile Sherpa Bag complete the package.
Sizes: 7,8,9,10,12 meters
The Stick Shift Bar takes away the need of a sometimes cumbersome depower system, and instead features the R3 Component bar end trim adjustment. Simply put, a twisting knob on the end of your bar. Sounds simple, and it is. Twisting one-way powers the kite up, and then nudge it with the heel of your hand it will unspin and depower. Each quarter turn equals 0.5cm of trim, so a few full twists do the entire range. The right and left leader lines have clear stripes to indicate how powered/depowered you are.
The Stick Shift has an open U-shaped design of the bar itself. This keeps everything very easy to clean and inspect, and also super light. It allows constant flushing of the entire system so there can be no build of salt and sand. There is also a clever stopper ball that can easily be engaged and disengaged.
The depower line has a PVC coating so it won't wear, and the integrated EVA bar ends, and floats are well built and should last the life of the bar. There is a front-line re-ride safety system and the bar ships with an assortment of pigtails so it can be used with any 4-line kite on the market.
The chicken loop setup up is clean and simple, everything you need from a safety system. Featuring a push away release, it requires only the lightest touch, and the reassembly is very quick.
Solid surfboard performance for waves and freestyle
In the Air
Ocean Rodeo have very clearly upped the quality of their products, and as well as a tidier finish, this can also be felt when using their products. The Crave feels tight through the canopy with minimal flutter and a clean pull through the harness.
The 12m does feel like a big kite; it is slightly slower than you would expect and seems to take up a large portion of the sky above your head, no doubt aided by the slightly shorter 22m lines as standard on the Shift Bar.
The Crave flies well in the window, in more marginal conditions it still sits calmly at the edge and maintains constant steering. There is a good turn with driving power, and also the ability to dump all power in a more pivotal turn by bringing the bar right into your hips; perfect for those tight turns on the face of a wave.
There is minimal lateral pull, meaning the kite won't be pulling you off your board downwind; instead, it sits well at the edge of the window and drives upwind well. The Forward Swept Tips really come into play here with fantastic stability and drive even in the lighter winds, or when parking that kite. When maxed, we were able to depower the kite easily through the bar without any major change in feel.
The Crave flies well upwind and has an excellent plug-and-play feel, allowing you to progress with your board skills. In the waves, this is no end of help as you can dump the power for some down the line wiggles, then kick out ready to drive back upwind to do it all again.
We dropped the kite a couple of times in some big sets to test the relaunch and were pleasantly surprised by how quickly the Crave rolled onto its side and dutifully sat waiting for the launch signal.
We had a blast on the crave playing around with our (somewhat suspect) freestyle skills. There is a predictable jump, which though needing some firm input, is reliable and with good amplitude. The loop keeps you landing with speed and forward momentum but no stresses of being thrown out of balance.
A little hidden gem, the Crave also happens to be pretty fun for some classic freeride on a twin tip. Floaty controllable jumps and no nasty surprises mean this will be a great kite to gain confidence in all styles of kitesurfing.
The Crave has been built very well, is incredibly stable, and is hugely confidence giving with its dependable nature.
The Crave is relatively slow for a wave kite, though the biggest kite in the range, it is noticeably slower than others in its class.
The newest offering from Ocean Rodeo, the Crave, has hit the ground running with solid surfboard performance for waves and freestyle. Good feedback through both the bar and harness, it is hugely confidence inspiring in a range of disciplines and allows you to concentrate on your bard skills without ever having to worry about the kite.
For more information visit Ocean Rodeo