Ozone Chrono 12m 2015 Kitesurfing Review

Ozone Chrono 12m 2015

Reviews / Kites

Ozone 30,084

At A Glance

The new Ozone Chrono is the first closed-cell, depower foil kite from the brand and it’s strange that it’s taken them this long, especially when you consider their heritage with paragliders, land and snow kites. Ozone used a new CAD program to design the kite and put all their aerodynamic knowledge into the wing. They have long had a history of performance with the Ozone Edge in racing circles, but if you check any start line in light winds right now there is one kite that stands out, and that is the Chrono. Even riders not sponsored by Ozone are using them while they wait for their brand sponsors to design a competitive alternative. As kiters we have always known the advantages of foil kites in light winds, it just never seems to have caught on much before. The Chrono is exceedingly light and packs away to a tiny size. There are lots of individual cells to keep the profile shape and there are three bands on the inside running laterally along its profile to hold its shape. In the leading edge there are arced battens that hold the leading edge profile in shifty winds. The bridle is made up using ultra high spec reduced diameter lines that don’t stretch to ensure performance is kept to a high level.

Sizes: 12, 15, 18m

The Bar

The Ozone Chrono uses a special Chrono Freeride Control System, or if you are a racer you can get a racing version. The system is very similar to their standard Contact Control System with the exception of the brake line which attaches to the rear lines just above the floats. It 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. 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.

On The Water

If you are unfamiliar with foil kites the initial set up on the Chrono can seem a little daunting, we would suggest a bit of training from your local shop, or someone you know who uses them regularly. Essentially it is very simple, but the complicated bridle system is often enough to cause confusion. Ozone have done a great job of making it as easy as possible however, with kook-proof pigtails ensuring you can’t get things mixed up. It is also fairly easy to work out which parts of the bridle do what and ensure you have it all set up correctly. Obviously with no pump to inflate the kite getting on the water is rapid, the kite self inflates very quickly as you launch it. Once in the air and fully inflated there was one thing that springs to mind; wow! This kite is an absolute weapon. It looks like an aggressive knife blade as it slices effortlessly through the air. Jumping on the water and you realise just how much of a performance advantage the Chrono has over large foil kites. It absolutely rips upwind, even in the lightest of airs. In addition the wind range was impressive too, with such a high aspect ratio and good depower you can change the angle of attack drastically to ensure total control. Another area where the Chrono excels is with jumping, this kite delivers immense hangtime and impressed us every time we took flight. Gust control is good too with a relatively short depower throw giving you plenty of opportunity to dump excess power in changing conditions. Bar pressure is reasonable, it’s not too heavy and not too light and, surprisingly for a kite of this style, the Chrono is very responsive. Water relaunch is possible, it is a closed cell foil after all, but it isn’t something for the less experienced riders to undertake. There is a risk of the kite bow tying and getting in a mess. If you are quick after a crash and the way the kite falls favours a relaunch it’s very easy to get airborne again. Of course the easiest way to relaunch the kite is to not crash it, which brings us back to this kite being suited to advanced freeriders and racers who have great kite handling skills.

For

Extremely high performance foil kite, perfect for racers who want that competitive edge. Very dynamic handling, amazing hangtime and great fun to fly in light winds.

Against

Realistically for good level intermediate and advanced kiters only. The relaunch isn’t always easy, this is a kite to keep in the air not in the water.

Overall

If you want the ultimate light wind race kite, look no further, the Chrono will satisfy even the most demanding of riders. Freeriders looking for a light wind machine will also like the smaller sizes; it’s great fun for jumping and will be one of the first kites out to play.

Videos

This review was in Issue 46 of IKSURFMAG.

For more information visit Ozone

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By Rou Chater
Rou 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!

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