At A Glance
The Reo is Ozone’s flagship wave kite, it’s got a huge following around the world and is the kite that Paulino Pereira uses to devastating effect on the GKA Strapless Wave Tour. For 2017 the kite has been completely updated from the V3 version of last year. It still keeps the Reo DNA, but features updated tips and a new strut design. The canopy profile has been tuned to improve performance too.
However, fans will be pleased to know this is still a Reo. It’s a three-strut kite, built to Ozone’s usual exacting standards, unlike some kites that are covered in reinforcement patches the Reo instead relies on a solid build from the ground up to ensure it can survive a heavy crash. The bridle is really short and doesn’t feature any pulleys, and there are three tuning options for bar pressure too. There is a large aperture inflate and deflate valve to make getting on the water as fast as possible, and a one pump system comes as standard. It’s worth a mention that if you want, you can get this kite with custom colours too!
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 the bee's knees. 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 touch with the bar, something crucial 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 it.
In The Air
We’ve had the 9m Reo for a little while, and we’re going to be sorry to see it go. We loved the V3 version that we have tested before and we were keen to see how the new kite would handle. We can say the V4 feels every bit a Reo, but also feels livelier, with a more responsive turn and a snappy feel that the test team loved. The depower bar throw is really short, so you have total control at your fingertips and full depower can be achieved with minimal movement of the bar.
This means you can really dial in the power when you are on the wave, without having to throw your arms about too much. The incredible drift of the kite remains, the light weight build seems to float endlessly down the line. Turning response is immediate and positive, it’s really a very intuitive kite to fly. When we test wave kites, we are looking for something that feels like an extension of your arm. The Reo fits that bill perfectly; it just feels like a natural when you are on the wave!
The wind range is quite large on the 9m; there is a lot of low-end power, but as the depower is so good you can still control the 9m in strong winds. We found the upwind capability was very good and the kite flies fast and forwards in the window with ease.
One area that surprised us was how well the kite performs away from the waves. It’s fast, it has good boost and hangtime and really isn’t just a one-trick pony. If you want a wave dedicated kite, that will also excite you when you have a twin tip strapped to your feet then the Reo will deliver. Equally, it’s drifting capabilities lend it well to hydro foiling too.
Beautifully made with precision construction the Reo V4 is a phenomenal wave kite with a very direct feel. Easy to fly and a natural extension of your body you’ll feel at home in the waves but also off them too.
No real complaints here, the handling is excellent.
The Reo V4 continues the Reo line with aplomb, if you like the V3, you’ll love this. If you haven’t flown a Reo before and want a kite that can handle a variety of conditions and wave angles the new updated V4 won’t disappoint.
This review was in Issue 59 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Ozone
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!