One of the most popular discussions for this season in the foil world is going to be which is best, the Ozone Chrono or the Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus?
This year both Ozone and Flysurfer have gone for the same sizing options, with Flysurfer also offering a 21m version of the Speed 4 Lotus. Both the Lotus and the Chrono are available in 12m, 15m and 18m sizes which makes back to back testing and quiver building easy between the two. Although both options are relatively high aspect, closed cell depower foils that really is where the comparison ends. Flysurfer and Ozone have both managed to create equally great kites for their chosen markets but for us mere mortal end users the decision on which to buy should be quite easy when flying both together.
After watching other more experienced riders and riding with the Ozone Chrono for a week there is no doubt that the Chrono is one of the fastest kites out there. It dominated the races during the OSKM and Dom has been winning practically every race event he has entered using this kite. For very light wind performance and pure straight line speed the Chrono is going to be on the watch list of many riders. The Chrono is a very solid kite, but is definitely aimed more at the speed freaks rather than general freeride. The hangtime is extremely impressive but the kite seems to pivot more during the turn then keep a more solid power delivery. It will be interesting to see if the buggy market picks up on the Chrono for this season. The Chrono is available with two bar options, a freeride and a race setup. The racing setup is pictured below and gives the ability to depower the kite much easier without having to reach further up the bar.
The Speed 4 Lotus for me remains the freeride favourite. Although still being classed as a high aspect kite it is much lower aspect then the Chrono. It feels tamer and more user friendly whilst still maintaining an incredibly good performance. Because of the profile the Speed 4 seems to behave better on the ground and during inflation. For riders wanting to hit the snow, mountains and beach without needing to be the fastest in a straight line this could be a better option.
I would not be surprised to see a new kite model from either company as the current two offerings do not directly compete with each other. A new higher aspect Speed 4 purely for raw low end power and race kiters and perhaps a closed cell Frenzy/Chrono cross for the more freeride oriented kiters who want to use the same quiver on land and water.
All we can do at this time is recommend you try both out for yourself before handing over your card details. As more demo kites become available in the UK we will be doing some extensive back to back flying to expand on the real world differences in wind range and flight styles.