At A Glance
The Ozone Catalyst was the best selling kite for the brand last year, a popular do-it-all machine that inspires confidence. This year the kite has undergone some tweaks and there are two new sizes in the line-up as well. The kite is now available in the following sizes: 4,6,7,8,9,10,12 and 14m, it’s fair to say there should be the right size for you amongst that lot! We had the 9m on test and out of the bag we were impressed with the look and feel of the kite. Ozone have stepped up their graphics and printing, but the kite also features Techno Force fabric, which is stiffer and stronger than traditional Ripstop. There are reinforcements where the kite needs it, but they haven’t gone over the top in order to keep the kite light and responsive. There is a high volume inflate and deflate valve which couples with the low volume tapered struts to ensure you spend more time riding and less time pumping. The bridle is short and simple, there are no pulleys on the bridle and there is a direct connection to the trailing edge.
The Contact Control System from Ozone is a 4-line set up with a push-away quick release. The mechanism is very clever and really easy to operate even under high load, it is also very simple to reconnect when you want to get riding again. Top marks for calling it the Megatron too, which instantly makes it even better! It can be set up in a standard safety mode, or a suicide mode. There is an above-the-bar trim system which uses a cleat and also a magnet to keep the trim line neat and tidy. Overall the set up is very clean and simple with no extraneous clutter, the safety is a front ling flag system so you can completely ditch the power in the kite if needs be.
In The Air
It’s only when you launch the Catalyst that you realize just how well made the kite is. It’s perfectly balanced and there isn’t a crease in sight the whole time you fly it. The boys at Ozone have really gone to town to make this a near perfect aerofoil in the sky. It’s very responsive to input from the rider and with a choice of a few different settings you can tune it to suit your style. In gusty conditions it behaves impeccably well and the ample depower available at the bar offers total control at all times. With a twin tip on your feet you’ll have hours of fun with this kite, jumping and hangtime are excellent and it flies upwind too. Equally, jump on a surfboard and the direct and fast nature of the Catalyst will entertain you too. The low end is very impressive, but it can get topped out a little quicker than some of the 9’s we have tested, it definitely has a low end bias in terms of its range. That means you could take out a size down than you might do normally and enjoy all the benefits of a smaller canopy. You certainly notice the lightweight nature of the kite in the air, it feels very alive and nimble in your hands. Bar pressure is just about right and in terms of who this kite is best for, it is hard to say. It would suit most riders, and happily comply to whatever style of kiting they lean towards. Its stable and predictable nature will suit the less experienced, while its performance and exciting turn of pace will keep the experts smiling too.
The Catalyst is a great all-round kite, happy in the waves and freeriding it is also easy to unhook and learn new tricks with. The bar is clean and simple and the kite is responsive and feels alive in your hands.
This review was in Issue 44 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Ozone
By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!