At A Glance
The Catalyst from Ozone has undergone a major transformation for 2016. Almost a victim of its own success, the Catalyst of previous years had become so good its performance was a little too much to handle for the very early stage beginner. Hence, the Catalyst V1 was born. It has gone back to its roots and is now an all out easy to use confidence-inspiring beginner to intermediate freeride kite. The Catalyst of late has now been renamed as the Enduro, and some fantastic advances have been made for 2016 there.
The Catalyst V1 features a swept delta style shape, with a simple pulley-less bridle system. There are two different back line adjustment points on the wing tips to customise to your riding style, a great one pump system and a large inflate/deflate valve to get you on and off the beach fast!
The build of the kite is, of course, Ozone's usual outstanding quality. Often when buying a first kite people worry about the wear on a kite during those first few crash heavy sessions, however with fantastic reinforcements in all key areas, there is simply no need to worry.
Sizes: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 meters
The Contact Bar has stayed the same for 2016 which is certainly no bad thing. Featuring the excellent push away ‘Megatron’ chicken loop, and an incredibly comfy ergonomic grip, it looks exceedingly well thought out. All Ozone kites are four lines, and all can be used on the same bar making things that little bit cheaper if you were to get a few different style kites from the brand. The safety system on the Contact Bar is of the highest quality. A light push of the release and the bar shoots up one of the front lines to the stopper ball situated on said line.
Any twists in your lines are very easy to untangle with the well positioned ‘Spinning Handle’, and relaunch is a breeze with small stopper balls situated on each leader line showing exactly where to hold the line to get the kite to flip over. The throw of the contact bar is of ideal length. It allows kites to depower sufficiently, but you will never be in the situation where you lose contact with the bar, something very important for smaller riders. For depowering the kite, the cleat system works perfectly. Incredibly smooth and no need to be in the gym every day to use.
In The Air
The Catalyst V1 just wants to be in the sky. It is as light as a feather but will constantly offer feedback to where it is and what it's doing.
The lower aspect ratio design of the kite has made it incredibly stable. Even in the lightest of breezes it will sit patiently waiting for your next input. Riding is a pleasure, and there is almost no need to think about the kite while you sort yourself out. It is not an aggressive dive of the kite, rather incredibly gentle and forgiving; perfect for when things are still a little shaky your end!
The kite flies upwind, in fact, we were very impressed with just how efficient it was. Not only in the angles you could achieve but also the low end of the kite is very surprising. This, of course, is great when still starting out as you will always rig a slightly smaller kite.
Many beginner kites offer fantastic riding, however only up until the jumping stage, so when we took this out we were over the moon (literally) by how well the Catalyst V1 will just fly you up into the air and back down again. More akin to a Boeing 737 than a fighter jet, it is stable, safe and will handle any turbulent riding with ease. An old schoolers dream you could say; you can make mistake after mistake, and you will simply float back down.
"More akin to a Boeing 737 than a fighter jet, it is stable, safe and will handle any turbulent riding with ease"
Of course, it is not a magical kite and crashes do happen, but the insane relaunch of the Catalyst V1 has the kite sat ready to go before you have even wiped the seaweed off your face.
Of worthy mention is the depower of the Catalyst V1. 1 particular session was shared with someone of only 45kg. The kite was perfect for both of us, with plenty of power for floaty jumps for myself at 20kg heavier and ease of use and reliability for someone just perfecting their turns. Simply pulling the cleat on the bar has truly fantastic results. Not only this more permanent depower, but also the sheeting in and out of the bar offers a big difference in power. Again this is great for inspiring confidence and just making things as easy as can be.
You can unhook on the Catalyst V1, and while it provides adequate performance for those first few unhooked tricks, it would be from here you would step up to the all round performing Enduro.
Simple, easy but with performance to boot. The entire package is of the highest quality.
As a beginner/intermediate freeride kite, there is simply nothing negative to report
A total cracker, the Catalyst V1 is a true confidence inspirer for those just out of lessons to those with a season or two under their belt wanting a kite which will float them into the sky to perfect those silky smooth old school moves. With Ozone's build quality, the wonderful and easy performance and the simply outrageous depower; you would be hard pressed to get a better kite to start your kiting career.
This review was in Issue 57 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Ozone