At A Glance
Ozone's ever-popular Catalyst is back for its third incarnation with a new shape and less struts than before! Designed as the easy to use first kite we all need when we start out, the Catalyst is simple, lightweight and fun.
New for this third version, the Catalyst has changed from the 3 strut more delta-shaped kite of the V2 to now being a single strut lightweight kite with an open arc canopy shape. Based on the incredibly successful Alpha V1, the Catalyst V3 builds on this single strut design with new materials to create a stronger kite with a more direct feel.
The buzz in the kite industry at the moment is all around materials, and Ozone are now using Teijins Technoforce Triple Ripstop for the canopy and Triple Ripstop Dacron for the leading edge, strut and other areas requiring added strength such as wingtips on the Catalyst V3. This triple ripstop Dacron material is not only 15% stronger; it is also noticeably lighter and has a unique Ultraflex coating for added stability and smoothness.
There is a simple pulley less bridle system connected to the leading edge, and backline pigtails which are all colour coded ensure easy set up with no mistakes.
Ozone's new higher volume one pump system is in play for even faster set up times, and the whole package comes in a simple bag with a comprehensive repair kit and manual.
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Sizes: 4,6,8,10,12,14,16 meters
Ozone currently have their Contact V4 bar in use for the Catalyst V3, available in a range of lengths with different sized chicken loops and centre lines available to further personalise.
Starting with the Click-In chicken loop. Sometimes the simplest designs are best, and Ozone have produced a chicken loop that 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 that 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 one 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 simply adds more ridges and bumps, which again aid grip; simple and very effective. Integrated bar ends and floats remain on the new Contact V4 but now feature the additional ability to trim the back lines at the bar ends. This is super easy to do and incredibly useful.
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 before.
In The Air
The new shape and lightweight design of the Catalyst V3 will get you going in the lightest of breezes. In fact, our first session out was definitely in less than ideal conditions, but nevertheless, the kite flew and powered us along with good feedback, even right at the edge of the window where kites traditionally tend to falter and fall.
There is good feedback through the bar at all points to keep you in the loop with where the kite is; though this is in no way 'heavy' or even 'firm' bar pressure, it is simply feedback. The response through the bar is also direct and quick; the kite does exactly what you want and when no lagging or stalling whilst the direction is relayed up the lines.
One thing to be said of Ozone kites is the smoothness, and the Catalyst V3 has only built on that. The kite is forward flying without being too fast, and in gusty winds, the kite behaved perfectly with slight luffs being caught and no sudden surges of power.
There is a huge usable wind range with this kite. The low end can easily be countered by some enthusiastic diving of the kite before powering off once the apparent wind kicks in and heading to the top end; the kite still feels completely safe with no real difference in feel. There is good depower through the cleat on the bar, which is easy to use.
The user-friendly appeal of the Catalyst V3 will no doubt see this kite flood the beaches this summer, with both beginners reaping the benefits and also foilers taking advantage of its nimble handling and massive low-end usability too.
Once the basics are cracked, the Catalyst V3 has some surprising performance in the way of low-level floaty jumps. Not only does this allow the rider to unlock this next stage of their kiting with ease, but it also lends itself very well to learn some of the strapless freestyle tricks to mix up your riding.
The relaunch is super easy, and Ozone have made this process as stress-free as possible by adding 2 red balls on the outside lines bar end, which you simply need to grab hold of and let the kite move back to 9 or 3 o'clock, where it will await further input.
Ozone have created a kite that is not only phenomenally user friendly, it is also fun, intuitive, and with enough performance to see you well on your way into the world of freeride tricks. For those just starting out, or those who want a lightweight travel or foil companion, the Catalyst V3 is a rare kite that satisfies all of your needs in one.
This review was in Issue 86 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Ozone
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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!