At A Glance
The Ozone Edge. I can't think of another kite with both mass market appeal and a wide-ranging reputation for world-class performance. It has helped riders break Woo records, score course racing bullets, and, more recently, stand on the King of the Air podium! Nowadays, the Edge V12 tagline is simply 'Big Air, Epic Hangtime, and High Energy Freeride!'
This hybrid performance DNA has been heavily refined over its 16 years and has resulted in a kite that is capable of high riding speeds, high boosts, and delivering big hits of adrenaline. It has always been one of Ozone's best-selling kites, and the 12th iteration is intended to deliver even more refinement to make the Edge's handling more enjoyable than ever and its performance more accessible than ever.
The Edge is a bridled, high-aspect, 5-strut performance hangtime machine. It has always been a kite known to rocket upwind, jump big, and somehow deliver equally impressive low-end and high-end performance, all whilst being a stable and exciting ride.
The Edge V12 now features Ozone's new 'transverse sail shaping' inspired by their paragliding products, which we've also seen on the new Reo and Enduro. There is an extra seam line close to the leading edge that travels the full width of the kite. This creates a significant number of extra small canopy panels close to the leading Edge, which is intended to create a more 'true to design' 3D shape and improve canopy tautness. It creates a cleaner airfoil to increase available lift and reduce the drag produced. The Edge V12 also has new high-performance Technora bridle lines, which offer a significant reduction in drag thanks to their reduced diameter.
In combination with this is an increased preload in the wingtips. This increases canopy tension throughout, allows the kite's shape to be tighter to its intended design, increases overall rigidity and reduces canopy and trailing edge flutter.
Sizes: 5m, 6m, 7m, 8m, 9m, 10m, 11m, 13m, 15m, 17m, 19m
In The Air
I'd like to start out by saying that the Ozone Edge V12 is as much about feeling as it is function. Now, I don't say this to undermine its function but to compliment how the Edge feels to ride. It annoyed me when I read the new Edge product blurb because it made me realise that the introduction to my review would sound like a carbon copy. 'The Edge V12 stays true to its original remit of delivering adrenaline-fuelled sessions…'. Guess what? They're not bluffing. The Edge is engaging and explosive. It has plenty of forward drive, aggressively rips you off the water when you send it to 12 and reminds you of what doing a kiteloop should feel like as it tests the integrity of your abdominal muscles and rips you downwind.
Thanks to its medium to heavy bar pressure, the Edge is reactive to inputs with plenty of feedback through the bar and won't run away from you. I used the 45cm Ozone Contact bar on the 8m Edge, and the turning speed is best described as medium for a kite of its size (Ozone recommends a 50cm bar for this size, which would lighten/speed things up a little bit). The Edge was exposed to some incredibly gusty winds, and unsurprisingly, for a bridled 5-strut platform, it felt completely solid.
The Edge is boosty… you'll have a six pack within a few weeks kind of boosty. The vertical pull is aggressive when you pull the bar in. Thanks to its high aspect design, it continues to take you up to a good vertical height and keeps you in the air for a long time. Because of this, you'll cover plenty of ground downwind, so make sure there isn't anyone even in view in front of you when you take off. Luckily, it drives forward into the wind window well and gets you back upwind in no time.
When you loop the Edge, it pulls you forward as hard as it pulls you up when you do a regular jump. You get an aggressive forward pull downwind. Kiteloops with the Edge really is a story of two halves. The first half is the adrenaline-fuelled (soil in your wetsuit) half, thanks to the pull and the kite driving a slightly wider kite loop arc than you had anticipated. The second half is the 'don't you worry, I know what I'm doing' half. It maintains so much of its forward speed out of the loop and delivers such a reassuring catch. It manages to deliver the most exhilarating loops and the softest of landings at the same time. That being said, I think it is fair to classify the Edge as a kite that has optimised the joy of single kite loops and it wouldn't be my choice to send my first doubles. (Note: Because of the forward speed you'll have coming out of the loop, you do have to be wary of your redirect timing. The Edge will have you swinging much further under and in front of the kite than you're used to in order to kill the speed, so make sure you don't leave it too late to redirect the kite to make sure it's in the wind window when you land!)
Given that the Edge is a freeride kite, I'll comment on its versatility. It would be very well suited to upwind-downwind foiling/jumping with a foil thanks to its excellent upwind angle, ability to ride at speed, and boosty/catchy nature but less suited to surfy/freeride foiling as it doesn't like being without line tension for any significant period of time. The same goes for wave riding, so if you're after a real all-rounder to dabble in all disciplines, check out the Enduro!
As I said before, the Edge V12 is as much about feeling as it is about function. I am a firm believer that the best kite for any rider is the one that they'll enjoy using the most and that has the potential for them to also perform at their best. The Edge V12 is one of those kites for the biggest category of riders: twin tippers that like to jump and loop big. Not only will it send you up to new heights, but you'll enjoy how it does it and simply enjoy flying the kite.
This review was in Issue 103 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Ozone