Ozone Ignition Kite Review

Ozone Ignition Kite Review

This summer Ozone launched a successor to their most popular foil kite, the Ozone Ignition. The Ignition is a 3 line power kite which comes on a simplified, fixed bridle version of the Ozone kitesurfing control bar. The Ignition comes in 4 sizes; 1.6m, 2m, 2.5m and 3m and is in its 5th year of design. These range of sizes provides a large enough selection for different sized flyers and wind speeds. The smaller sized Ignition’s are great for kids to learn the art of power kiting under supervision. The Ignition isn’t just great for kids though, adult flyers will appreciate the larger sizes which are more than capable of dragging you around on the sand. Even without any intention of kitesurfing or learning to kitesurf, the Ignition is a great addition the family arsenal of toys when going on holiday or spending time at the beach. The Ignition kite comes in 4 colours but only one colour per size. The 1.6m is green, 2m is orange, red is 2.5m and the 3m shown below is blue.

The Ignition bar system contains 3 lines. The 2 lines on the left and right of the bar are your steering lines and go to the top section of the kite. The center line attaches to the bottom of the kite and acts as a brake line. You can see in the image above that this line is also attached to your wrist with a velcro strap (kite killer). If you need to kill all the power to the kite or end up on your face you can simply let go of the bar with both hands and the kite will fall to the ground. This 3rd line can also be used for launching, landing and flipping over the kite by yourself if it lands the wrong way around.

Flying the Ignition is extremely easy and most flyers should be self sufficient in no time at all! This kite is great for mastering not only the basics of flying the kite itself but understanding the wind window, being aware of your surroundings and remaining in control in varying wind speeds. No matter which kite size you decide to go for all of the Ignition’s come with a 45cm long bar and 15m flying lines. The entire setup is extremely good quality and the kite itself is highly robust and designed to strong against being crashed over and over again.

Size on test: 3m.

If you are interested in the Ozone Ignition kite you can check it out at Island Board Shop or buy using the button below!


Ozone Chrono vs Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus

Ozone Chrono vs Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus

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.

Check out the Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus and Ozone Chrono on Island Board Shop.

 Check out our review of the Speed 4 Lotus.

Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus Kite Review

Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus Kite Review

After waiting patently since 2009 the successor to the Flysurfer Speed 3 is finally available. New for the 2014 season Flysurfer introduce the Speed 4 Lotus kite. We headed out to Switzerland for a chance to put this new model through a week of freezing conditions and to demo the kites.

Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus Kite

We have been flying Flysurfer kites since the Psycho 3 and Speed 2 so are always very excited when a new model comes to market. The Speed 3 has been the most successful kite Flysurfer have ever made and the 15m CE model is one of our favourite kites ever on test. Whether you are into land, water, snow or all of the above the Speed has proven its versatility across all terrains and many different riding styles. With all of this to contend with Flysurfer have had a real fight to create a successor worthy of the Speed name, fortunately the Speed 4 Lotus delivers the goods.

The Speed 4 Lotus range has had a slight change in the sizes since the Speed 3 CE. The 19m has been replaced with a new 18m size giving you the option of 12m, 15m, 18m and 21m kites. For the test we spent time on the new 18m size and the 12m and our initial thoughts are that these two sizes in the range are going to make a killer quiver with an almighty wind range.

Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus Kite

Pulling the kite out of the bag the first obvious change is the new fabric on the kites. We first saw prototypes of the new Lotus fabric several years ago in Sardinia so it is extremely reassuring to know Flysurfer have spent a lot of time and development in the testing stages before using it in production. The fabric feels slightly rubbery to the touch and is unlike any other kite on the market. There is no printing on the Lotus material on the kites because the fabric is designed to repel other substances sticking to it; for example sand, water, dirt and ink. The lack of extra colour also saves extra weight on the kites. Flying the 18m Lotus in light winds it is very apparent that this new material has boosted efficiency. Not only do the kites drift and float above your head better in light winds but they also feel lighter on the bar to turn. In terms of technical properties the new Lotus fabric is 25% lighter than the old deluxe cloth from the Speed 3 kites and is also capable of much better air pressure inside the kite. Flysurfer have used a bright orange fabric on the  trailing edge to highlight the deflate valves to make it impossible to launch the kite and not notice if you have left them open. Besides the new fabric Flysurfer have also introduced new stiffer and thinner lines which create less resistance in flight.

Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus Kite

The bar and lines have remained the same for the Speed 4 Lotus. Although the reappearance of the Infinity 2.0 bar is not unwelcome we would have loved to see some design changes to the chicken loop on these kites. In the cold the smaller chickenloop and hard donkey dick can be quite fiddly to hook in and out whilst wearing thick gloves. The benefit of the smaller loop is that it allows the bar to be closer to you whilst riding, this is especially handy for smaller/shorter riders. The highlight features of the Infinity bar 2.0 are the smooth line untwisting function on the quick release and the clean, easy trim system. The ability to un-spin the lines is very important when you can easily bust out 4 rotations in the air underneath these kites!

The Speed 4 Lotus provides a big enough improvement for previous Speed 3 flyers and riders who have models that are 3 or 4 years old now to upgrade and will provide a mind blowing experience for riders new to this style of flying.  

Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus Kite

If you are looking for a lightweight and durable travel companion to share many seasons of fun riding in the mountains or on the beach then the Speed 4 Lotus is an excellent choice. The kite has remained incredibly easy to fly and is forgiving for both novice kiters and for riders who are new to foils.  The Speed 4 Lotus manages to maintain its high performance characteristics for speed, hang time, light wind efficiency and most importantly huge smiles all around.

Check out the Flysurfer Speed 4 Lotus on Island Board Shop.

 

Ozone Zephyr 2013 Review

Ozone Zephyr 2013 Review

Introduction: We last reviewed the Ozone Zephyr back in 2011, the second year the kite had been on the market. Since the 2013 Zephyr has had a redesign we thought it best to update our records with the latest information. The Zephyr has always, and is still only available in a 17m size. Designed for lightwind riding, freeride and race.

Ozone Zephyr 2013 Kite Colours

Talk the talk: There has been a noticeable increase in light wind kites and boards in the last few years, specifically larger directional and race boards – sure a large board makes a huge difference but you also need the right kite to maximise your water hours. Since the Zephyr originally launched 3 years ago the 2013 model is the first significant redesign. Just from seeing the kite in the sky it is obvious that Ozone have learnt a huge amount from the race market and the Ozone Edge. The new Zephyr appears a lot more efficient and streamlined in the sky, the tips are very different to the previous model and with the awesome new graphics, it just looks faster.

It just looks fasterAs we all know looks are not everything. Luckily for Ozone the Zephyr packs an incredible amount of that reassuring feel that Ozone kites are renowned for into this 17m. The overall quality remains some of the best in the industry – Right down to the bag and accessories. I think an important point to touch on with regards to the Zephyr is who can fly this? what ability is it for? In my opinion, even a beginner who has recently mastered upwind is suited to this kite. Despite its size the Zephyr is very easy to fly. Turning is not what you would expect from a kite its size but it remains slow enough to aid the learning of new tricks and freestyle without sending it into a mad loop every time. The bar feels a lot more direct on the 2013 model, there is definitely an improvement to the responsiveness in sheeting the bar in and out and the kites reaction. This new instant power delivery makes kitesurfing even easier, and safer. There is no lag between start and stop on the bar any more, the only time you cannot feel such an apparent change in pressure is at the very bottom of the kites wind range. The Zephyr also has an impressive top end for such a large kite, an experienced rider will be able to continue to ride past the high teens!

2013 Ozone Zephyr

The Zephyr has never lacked in the speed department and thanks to the new, more efficient design everything just got faster. The kite builds apparent wind better than the previous generations which aids the lightwind performance when things are getting border line for a session. The upwind ability also appears to be better, riding alongside a 2010 Zephyr the newer model definitely had the edge. In your hands Ozone have made some modest changes to the Contact control bar. The bar in the complete packaged is 55cm long and rigged with 27m lines, a couple of metres longer than the standard Ozone lines. Underneath the new streamlined bar floats there are some pre-made knots for changing the backline tension of the kite, this is extremely easy and fast to do on the beach although we found ourselves flying the kite on the middle knot (factory setting). The magnetic trim handle is also a nice touch for keeping things tidy and out the way when depowering or whilst riding unhooked.

If you would like to ask about anything particular on the 2013 Ozone Zephyr, drop us a comment below!

Liked: We liked a whole lot about the new Zephyr, a solid performance increase on an already top tier product. A great way to maximise summer riding and progress your style in light winds.

Would Change: We would love to see Ozone launch a central releasing, full spinning safety system on the Megatron bar, our only real gripe from the last Zephyr we reviewed.

Overview: The Ozone Zephyr 2013 remains one of the top choices for light / moderate wind kitesurfing. The kite feels much smaller, and more responsive than you would expect and can be ridden by a variety of rider abilities and styles.

See the latest Zephyr at Island Board Shop

Photos: www.flyozone.com & our own.     

Kalypso 4President — Orangatang 4President Review

Kalypso 4President — Orangatang 4President Review

Hey Everyone,

Check out the video review!
Kalypso 4President

Kalypso, my dog, and I decided we wanted to give you our opinions on Orangatang 4President wheels! The 4President line of Orangatang wheels have been around for a pretty long time and have a reputation for being a fast and reliable wheel for many different disciplines of riding. In my personal opinion they are as close to a do anything wheel as one can get. But before we get into how these wheels handle on the road, let’s talk about the specifications of the 4President.

My Co-Star Kalypso

Like all Orangatang wheels 4Presidents are offered in their 3 signature durometers/color combinations, 80a orange, 83 purple, and 86a yellow and these wheels are poured with Orangatang’s HappyThane urethane formula, which a lot of people either love or hate, but I personally love. 4presidents are a hard lipped wheel with an offset bearing seat and measure in at 70mm with a 53mm contact path.

So what does that mean for your riding? Being a 70mm hard lipped wheel gives 4presidents a very quick acceleration and the ability to carve hard and take corners at speed. However, the reason I said that the 4prez is as close to a do anything wheel as you can get is because if you break these wheels in they will slide allllllllll day for you. I really enjoy freestyle, downhill, freeride, and commuting on these wheels.

Disciplines of Riding:

Orangatang 4Presidents perform well in MANY different types of riding from slalom to sliding and everything in between. Let’s talk about how they handle in different riding scenarios.

Commuting:
4presidents make a great commuting wheel for several reasons. The first is that they accelerate quickly and hold speed for a while, which means that they glide for a long time after each push. The second is that they have fantastic grip, even when broken in, for pumping. If you pop these bad boys on a flexy board you can really just pump the day away and hardly ever put a foot on the ground. I have actually pumped UP hill on 4Presidents when I throw them on a flexy board like a Dervish. Kalypso loves to commute on these wheels because she doesn’t have to pull as hard because they roll so easily and for so long!

Freestyle:
I actually really like to freestyle on these wheels! 4Presidents may be a little bit wide and heavy for some people’s freestyle tastes, however, I thoroughly enjoy them. I like that they have a little grip but still slide like crazy if I really throw myself into the slide, even at low speeds. Plus there is always that benefit of being a wheel that doesn’t require that much pushing once it gets started rolling. Not having to push all the time is great for tricks like cross stepping and all that board dancing whatnot.

Downhill:
When it comes to downhilling 4presidents are a fantastic wheel! They get up to speed very quickly and hold speed for a long time. I have seen some serious race set-ups with 4presidents on them as opposed to the larger InHeats due the the faster acceleration of 4presidents. If you don’t break in your 4presidents they can really take a corner too, they grip really hard when going fast. However once you break them in it’s a whole new ball game!

Freeride:
Freeride on 4presidents is insane. They take a little work to break in, you gotta get that shiny release mold off and round out the edges a bit, but once you do it’s game over. I love to slide on my 4presidents. They are as much fun going sideways as they are going downhill. They have a very smooth and consistent slide with no surprises thrown in the mix. I feel very comfortable whenever I slide on these wheels. In addition they wear pretty slowly which is nice. I have a set Orange Stimulus wheels that have worn at much faster rate than the 4Presidents have. I also haven’t ever had trouble with flatspots or ovalling, which is super sick.

All in all, I would say that Kalypso and I LOVE Orangatang 4Presidents! They accelerate quickly and hold speed for a long time. You can pump and freestyle them all day. They can corner like a boss when they aren’t broken in… then when they are broken in they love to slide! Like I said earlier, I think that Orangatang has gotten about as close as you can get to a “do anything” wheel as is possible with 4presidents.
Just ask Kalypso!

 

Thanks for reading/watching!
Any questions, comments, concerns, bills, junkmail, loveletters???
Send them my way!
Wayne

Diminutive Dynamo — Bustin Boards Mini Maestro Review

Diminutive Dynamo — Bustin Boards Mini Maestro Review
My Mini Maestro

Hey Everyone!

A while back I picked up Bustin Boards’ Mini Maestro, a sick little campus destroyer that is more fun than watching Santa Claus fight the Easter Bunny. The Mini Maestro is a short 32 inches long with an even smaller wheelbase because of its two kicktails.

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Bird Fetuses — Orangatang Balut Review

Bird Fetuses — Orangatang Balut Review

Well, I don’t know about you, but I was anxiously awaiting the Orangatang Baluts from the moment I heard what they were all about. Lighter, centerset, longer sliding, freestyle wheels… that is literally what I am all about as a skater. Freestyle and freeride are my favorite styles of riding and these wheels excel both those disciplines.

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Ibach, Uback, Webach

Ibach, Uback, Webach

 

Bustin Boards - Ibach


   I received a wonderful package from bustin boards with three sets of wheels and an Ibach deck all ripe to be shredded on and then reviewed. Look forward to the wheel reviews in the near future, but I haven’t sufficiently ridden all of them yet to give you a grade A report. Until then, however, I can treat you to my first impressions on the deck and the wheels I have been riding on it.
My current setup on the Ibach is the 8ply limited edition deck, with paris 180mm trucks, purple orangatang nipple bushings, and 70mm 78a bustin swift freeride wheels. But before I get into the nitty gritty of a down and dirty Ibach review let’s go over the basic board specs and a quick pros/cons list.

Board Specifications

Pro’s

Con’s

Length:

40”

Stable

Small Kicks

Width:

10”

Kicks

Hard to re-grip

Wheelbase:

32” (inner hole)

Drop Platform

Shape:

Concave

Waist

Dropped Platform

Slide Rails

 

Special Features:

Dual Kick Tails

Slide Rail system

Foot Pockets

Pockets for Feet

 

   One of the first things I liked about this board from square one is that it stood out in my quiver. First of all it is black and doesn’t have any wood color showing, unlike my other boards, but more importantly it has what I consider a pretty sweeeeeet graphic. Being a fan of America, Liberty, Graffiti, and Longboards I was naturally taken with the graphic. The board just look sleek and sexy; like a stealth bomber or a jaguar ready to tear the pavement apart.
When stepping on this deck for the first time a couple things are immediately apparent:  1) it has crazy ass grip tape 2) it has sweet foot pockets and 3) it is a low rider. You will also obviously notice pretty quickly that there is no flex to the board, that it is waisted (meaning it narrows towards the middle of the deck and flares back out on either side), and that there are crazy little rails on the platform of the deck.
The deck has a really nice concave to it, dropping down 5/8 of an inch, which is a nice not too deep level in my opinion. It helps lock your feet on the board when going fast without keeping them there permanently when trying to do a little freeride. However, when looking to lock your feet into place you’re going to be sticking them into the amazing foot pockets this board has. These guys drop 3/4 of an inch and when you put your feet there you feel like you can hit 100mph and not even sweat it.    Bringing us to the small detail of the downhill capabilities of the Ibach. Living up to what it was designed for, the Ibach is a downhill monster that can make even the most intimidatingly huge hills seem like a parking deck. With your feet locked in super tight and the super low ride of the deck you never worry about your speed getting out of hand. The board is crazy stable and handles extremely well at very high speeds. The best part is that if you ever feel like you need to shed some speed off with a nasty slide (or you just want some steeze points) the rails on the board really do contribute to your ability to really tear into a slide.

The Drop and the Foot Pocket

   I had never seen a stepped slide rail system on a board before the Ibach and I was curious how it would handle and how much it would contribute to hitting and holding slides. I am super happy to report that not only do they make initiating slides easier they really help you dig your feet into long standing slides. Being able to dig your feet in on the rails like that made holding standing slide much easier since I could be more confident in putting more of my weight behind me when sliding. All in all I would consider these rails a smashing success and a great addition to this board.

slide rails on the Ibach

Something else I consider a great addition to this board, and to just about any board for that matter, was the addition of kicks on both sides. Kicks, no matter how small, add a whole different dimension to  longboarding. The kicks on the Ibach are super tiny but they are amazingly useful. I had never ridden such small kicktails before and didn’t think there would be much functionality to them. However, I was proven wrong in the best way ever. Not only could I use the kicks, I could use the hell out of them! I have been shove-it-ing the day away on the Ibach. I can hit all the shoves on this board that I can hit on any of my other decks.

Kicks on either end

So far it has literally been hard for me to find something negative to say about this board. The only things I can think of are that I would like the kicktails to be slightly bigger cause that would make the board all the more nasty and that regripping this board would probably be awfully difficult. The reason I think it would be hard to regrip is because getting the grip down into that stepped rail system seems like it would be a challenge. At least the grip it came with is crazy coarse and probably won’t wear out for a super long time.
This board not only met, but exceeded the high expectations I held it to. The Ibach is a freeride board with the soul of a downhill board and the heart of an all around shredder. This board can handle it all, from dancing to hitting 40mph and not even skip a beat. Bustin really took their boards to a new level with this deck and I look forward to the next creations that come rolling out of the Bustin labs.

Thanks for reading!
As always, any questions, comments, concerns, feel free to hit me up!

Wayne

 

My current setup:
-Bustin Ibach Deck
-180mm Paris Trucks
-Bones Reds Bearings
-Medium Orangatang Nipple Bushings
-70mm 78a Bustin Swift Freeride Wheels