At A Glance
Canadian kite brand Ocean Rodeo have a full range of kites, and we have been riding their freestyle specific Razor. The Razor is designed for those more experienced riders who focus almost entirely on high-end freestyle and high-velocity loops.
The Razor is interestingly a four-strut kite, which is not something we have seen for a few years. It has a narrow C-shaped arc and is mid aspect ratio for the careful balance between lift and response. There is a short bridle system with 2 pulleys and a floating v design for connectivity and smooth response.
The kite itself has high-quality construction, with Teijin providing the Technoforce D2 ripstop for low wear and low stretch qualities, Dimension Polyant K-PE Dacron used for leading edges and struts, and Armortex Kevlar abrasion guards for added protection in the key contact points.
One pump and high capacity inflation valve come as standard, as to be expected in 2019, and the entire package comes with the excellent Sherpa bag, which is more than roomy enough for your harness and a wetsuit too.
Sizes: 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14 meters
“Effortless Boosting Ability”
We used the Razor with the Stick Shift Bar, but the kite is also compatible with Ocean Rodeos Pilot Bar, for a more traditional depower cleat system.
The Stick Shift Bar takes away the need of a sometimes cumbersome depower system, and instead features the R3 Component bar end trim adjustment; in other words, 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.
In The Air
The Razor is an advanced riders kite, and as such is slightly twitchier than an all-rounder in gusty winds, however, we were impressed by the power housed within. The quiver size has been well thought out without too big of a gap between each size.
Starting in more marginal conditions, we did feel the kite was slightly lacklustre with a small point between stall and throw, however once into some powered riding the Razor came into its own, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with big boosts and unhooked tricks.
What is apparent is a more powerful pull through the harness than some kites, making you feel almost more powered than you are. However, the light bar pressure is maintained, so once you dial into the kite, it is no problem. On this note, it does have an excellent upwind angle so don’t fear the kite pulling you downwind, it is merely a heavier kite through the harness.
As the wind picks up the kite depowers well, though there is a prominent sweet spot where the kite comes alive before starting to feel a tiny bit twitchy when you have added too much trim.
In terms of jumping, the Razor proves to be an incredible booster, and effortlessly so. The kite takes you straight up and leaves you hanging for plenty of time to check out your surroundings, throw a few old school manoeuvres into the mix, and then swing a loop for landing. We would even go as far to say as this steals the show in terms of the Razors performance.
Looping out of those big boosts is excellent; a progressive loop with forward drive, and again in the right wind with the right timing will throw you considerable distances. We found the 10m quick enough to loop and imagine the smaller sizes to be a whole heap of fun in the stronger winds.
The sweet spot for unhooked freestyle on the Razor is slightly narrower than some and does require some trimming on the bar to get the best out of it in the lighter winds, however once set drops the kite back into the window well and powers forward covering quite a distance in the air. The kite flies well off the front lines here, which avoids any unwanted twitches through the bar, and on landing catches quickly to power you out of the trick.
The Razor and relaunching was something, which we were dubious about, C-shaped kites are notoriously hard, and the unique shaped leading edge and four-strut design led us to believe it would be a bit tricky. Luckily for everyone, it was easy, and half the time it was simply bobbing around at the edge of the window waiting for you to pick yourself up.
The Razor is a good option for those riders looking for a freestyle quiver. Fast through the loop, effortless boosting ability in its sweet spot, and some solid unhooked freestyle performance. The bar pressure is light and maintains this no matter how powered you become, and the construction of the kite has dramatically improved from previous models.
This review was in Issue 75 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Ocean Rodeo
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