Building on the success of the Reo V4, the Ozone Reo is back in version 5 (V5) to make its mark once again as one of the top performing wave riding specific kites.
The main structure of the kite has stayed the same with 3 struts, large inflate/deflate valve with 1 pump, a pulley-less bridle system and direct line attachments. The construction is Ozone’s usual high quality with Teijin Technoforce D2 and Teijin Dacron creating a strong yet lightweight wing.
There has been a large overhaul of the strut design for the Reo V5, and the result is a thinner and lighter strut which builds on the strength of previous models. This creates an overall lighter kite which improves flight characteristics.
The wing tips have been refined to eliminate any snagging of lines or line wraps. The tip of the leading edge has been tapered down to a minimal diameter and with the additional anti snag line deflectors it is nigh on impossible to catch a line on launch or when getting munched in the waves.
New, and perhaps most exciting, for the Reo V5 is the addition of the Variable Bridle Geometry which is already a feature on both the Enduro V2 and C4 V6. This enables the rider to change the feel of the kite by altering the bridle at its central attachment point. There are two different settings available on the Reo V5 to tune the kite to excel in either onshore or offshore conditions.
A high quality back pack with an array of spares, stickers and manual complete the Reo V5 package.
Sizes: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,12 meters
“Superb performance for both perfect and regular conditions make this a package hard to beat.”
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 simply 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.
We had the Reo V5 out in quite varied conditions. From onshore underpowered slop to cross shore powered down the line riding. At all times the Reo V5 behaved perfectly with a connected, intuitive feel though the bar, and a solid and stable canopy above our head. We were impressed not only with the versatility of the kite, but also its ability to perform well in all conditions.
The power delivery is incredibly smooth, and you are able to both work the kite well to gain power, as well as use the impressive depower through the bar to ‘dump’ substantial amounts should a gust come through or you start attacking a wave. The Reo V5 cruises upwind with ease, and even when that wind kicks in we never felt like we were being pulled over the edge. The additional depower through the cleat works well here, and maintains the same feel of the kite at all points on the trim, as opposed to the often soggy feel you can get when a cleat is at the end of its reach. Of note was how much we wind we were comfortably able to hold the kite in and still perform as normal.
One of the main changes as already mentioned for the V5 is the additional Variable Bridle Geometry. Keeping the Reo V5 on their factory setting the kite behaves not dissimilar to that of the ReoV4. This is perfect for those cross shore or cross off days when you want the kite to sit well at the edge of the window and drift with you.
Changing the bridle to the end setting however creates a kite which excels in the onshore days which we all seem to find ourselves in. The kite sits further back in the window which results in an increased level of drift from a more open kite, a heavier bar pressure and a more direct feel because of this. Both of these settings provided a kite which flew with us, was incredibly solid in the sky, and seemed always to be in the right place allowing you to concentrate on your riding.
The Reo V5 has a quick, pivotal turn which enables you to keep that kite in its sweet spot at all times, and drive you into your next carve on the face. By bringing your bar right to your hip you are able to stall the kite slightly which stops you being pulled off your board in that critical section whilst keeping the kite flowing forwards.
The drifting capabilities of the Reo have always been impressive, and the Reo V5 has only built on this. It is well worth playing around with both the bridle settings and back line settings on the kite to create your perfect set up as they really do make a difference to the kites characteristics.
Not only is the Reo V5 great in the waves, it has since proved itself as a worthy foiling kite which needs many of the same characteristics. Light weight, manoeuvrable, and impressive depower means this kite is a brilliant cross over.
With it being a dedicated wave kite the lift is not going to be great, and the Reo V5 is certainly not a booster. It does however jump with ample float which whilst not winning you a wild card to King of the Air will allow you to learn all those strapless freestyle moves with ease which are perfect for low swell days.
Relaunching is as you would hope, simple and speedy. Ozone have added small relaunch balls on each of their leader lines so even if you are slightly panicked you know exactly where to grab the line in order to turn the kite over and lift off quickly.
The drift, adjustable settings and fast turning nature along with the versatility of this kite make it a solid choice for all levels of wave rider.
As with many dedicated kites, their cross over into other disciplines is not the focus. The Reo V5 is a wave kite through and through. If you are someone who also enjoys some twintip action then the Enduro V2 may be a better choice.
The Reo V4 had a hard act to follow, but the Reo V5 has done so with style. The variable bridle geometry opens the kite up to a whole new feel which excels in the less than perfect conditions we are all used to. A huge wind range and fantastic ease of use makes this kite ideal for not only those who are looking to ride their biggest wave, but also those who are starting out on their wave riding journey and need a kite to back them up every step of the way.
Ozone’s legendary construction coupled with superb performance for both perfect and regular conditions make this a package hard to beat for wave riding and foiling alike.
This review was in Issue 71 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Ozone
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