Ozone’s dedicated freeride kite, the Catalyst has come back for round 2 and promises to build on the successes of the first incarnation.
A 3-strut hybrid kite, the Catalyst V2 has been designed with ease of use and simplicity in mind. The kite is made with industry-leading Teijin Technoforce D2 and Teijin Dacron for canopy quality and has been developed using Ozone's in house OzCad program.
One pump and high volume valve are standard, and there are 2 different tuning options for the back lines to alter both bar pressure and turning speed.
As with all Ozone's products, they are not upgraded until there is a suitable replacement with clear cut differences, and the Catalyst V2 has achieved these. Version 2 heralds a new shape, which promises to increase stability and ease of use for kitesurfers early in their careers.
Sizes: 5, 6.5, 8, 9.5, 11, 13.5 meters
The Contact Bar has had a facelift: the results keep the same simple and stylish design we have grown to love, yet added a few key elements to make our lives even easier, the Contact V4 bar is really quite good.
Starting with the new Click-In chicken loop. Sometimes the simplest designs are best, and Ozone have produced a chicken loop which is every bit as functional as you would imagine. A moulded loop for easy hooking in and out, a releasable suicide mode, so the safety is always ready to be activated no matter your way of riding, an above loop swivel which doesn’t lock into the bar but does sit close. The safety release is industry standard push away with single line re-ride, and taking inspiration from a seat belt, to reengage the release you simply click the release back into the top of the loop with 1 hand.
The centre line is hidden inside a PU tube, keeping everything smooth as you sheet in and out on the bar. The bar itself has had an update to the grip and colours. The new grip has been shaped slightly differently, so it sits perfectly below your fingers along the top.
The new EVA coating has been wound around the bar rather than a continuous coating, this adds more ridges and bumps which again aid grip; simple and very effective. Integrated bar ends and floats remain on the new Contact Bar, but now feature the additional ability to trim the back lines at the bar ends. This is super easy to do and incredibly useful.
Moving up the bar, the trim system stays the same using a racing grade cleat, as well as the bungee trim line. The new Ozone lines came into play earlier this year and are now shipping as standard with all Ozone bars. Lighter, stronger and with less stretch than the already excellent lines.
“Incredible ease of use and a very dependable nature.”
The CatalystV2 has had a fairly major design change and its easy to feel the changes as soon as you launch the kite. Featuring a new trailing edge shape as well as profile update, the kite has a much more direct and simple feel.
The CatalystV2 has brilliant stability at all points of the window. On initial launch the kite provides ample feedback through the harness, and there is excellent feedback through the bar as to where the kite is without it being heavy; perfect for those smaller tasks such as putting your board on and walking to the water where you may not be completely confident to take your eyes off the kite at all times.
Once on the water, the CatalystV2 has a lovely smooth power surge through the window and flies around to sit well at a good angle for upwind riding. There is a big range through the bar, so you are able to simply pull in for power, and push away for less.
The turning speed is in fact relatively slow on the 8m we had on test, unless you really turn the bar aggressively in which case it will produce a more pivotal turn. Again, this trait allows beginners to make those small mistakes while learning without dire consequences you may find on a higher performing kite.
Once cruising the CatalystV2 is very much a park and ride kite allowing you to concentrate on your own technique before giving another instruction.
The rounded shape of the CatalystV2 means incredible relaunch. The curved leading edge here comes into its own as it is almost impossible for the kite to stay on the water! Brilliantly confidence inspiring to know you will never have to do the horrible swim forwards then to the side to try and encourage the kite to roll over.
Learning your first few jumps with the CatalystV2 will mean you are able to master the correct technique without worrying about going wrong in the process. The jump is not quite as aggressive as the previous version, but is much more stable and controlled. We found that even with our timing completely out the kite stayed in the sky and floated us back down to earth.
Interestingly, the kite is lighter than the previous model, and the low end has increased because of this. The high end is great, and the kite depowers well without loss of feeling through the bar.
We really enjoyed the CatalystV2 for its incredible ease of use and dependable nature. It is built to last and offers a very fun and encouraging ride.
We didn’t find much we didn’t like with this one! For beginners and intermediates, it is fantastic. The kite is perhaps a little more toned down in this regard from the previous version to appeal to this demographic.
The Catalyst has once again proven itself as a great beginner freeride kite. Incredible stability, range and usability with some of the best construction in the industry mean it is a sure bet for your first kite to learn and progress with.
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This review was in Issue 74 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Ozone
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