Agile as a Dice, snappy as a Bandit and unbelievable amounts of fun from its firm, fast and responsive feed back, that is what the Ozone Enduro is all about. A new, confusing and ugly name for the follow up from the 2015 Catalyst. The Enduro comes with a new feature which adjusts the bridle by a simple and remarkably small adjustment. It really adds value to the multi-purpose goal of this kite which for sure is going to be a hit. Most surprisingly to us was its firm, stable and steady 5 strut close to C-kite feel, in a very positive way. The Enduro is an almost faultless kite, where only the options on the line length leaves us puzzled.
Okay, it is written clearly; the Enduro is the follow up of the Catalyst and the new beginner kite of Ozone is the Catalyst. Which raises one question; why? Anyway it is not worth discussing it, but it is marketing wise a very strange move. And on top of that the name Enduro sounds like it is a ever lasting race machine instead of a impressing fun and stable, but still very responsive kite.
A change on the knot settings on two little ropes changes the kite from a wave, freeride or to a freestyle kite, in theory. In reality it changes the bar pressure mostly but it does give a different feel and indeed it could be indicated as more wavey or more freestyle. We mainly preferred and tested it on the middle (freeride) setting. Although some impressive wave riding videos can be found, we don’t see the outstanding point of this kite for the wave riding. It is just to rough (or uncomfortable) in it’s power and stalls underpowered just a bit too soon (just like a Bandit or a Dice does by the way). And why would you use the Enduro if a full on wave kite (Reo) is also available? We know the answer is there when you want to own both a twintip and a waveboard. But most people just ride twin tips and that is where we tested the Enduro on (and with pleasure).
Bar and lines
Normally we have a lot of comments and questions on the safety system, but on the Ozone it is without any fault. The single line flag out in combination with the manual twistable depowerline it is just up to the rider to untangle the front lines when they are twisted a couple of times. The only thing we might want to add is an stopper ball on the fly. On most brands those systems wear out in a few months and lose their function. Who knows why Ozone left it out, but it is an minority on a clean, strong and safe system.
Before we come up with the riding details, we need to come to a specific detail we are not to happy about. The bar which is intended for the Enduro is called the Contact water control system. It isn’t stated on the ozone website, but when you going to get this bar it usually comes with 25m lines. Some (online)shops will offer you also 20 and even 15m lines with it. And those different lines make a hell of a difference. To start out with 15 meter lines; unless your name is Steven Akkersdijk, leave this way too short option. It is ridiculous, full stop. The 20 meter may sound a bit closer to a good set up for an average rider (F-one Bandit’s are close to 20m, and they work out well). But no, even 20m is too short for an Enduro. It will get too direct, very nervous and without the correct power. The Enduro is just too firm for it to make it work. So 25 meter it is? Well, we are in doubt. It is for a 100% sure better than 20, no matter which size Enduro you will take. But if you look or ask a little bit deeper into the (strong!) Ozone lines there are 23 meter lines hidden…
The Enduro surprised us most in its direct feel. Even used with 25 meter lines you can make very snappy movements with the kite. It probably is the most reactive kite which still can loose power on and off as much as you want we know. Even on 25 meter lines it is incredible. We are still puzzled what Ozone did to get this feeling. Is it the strange plastic “battens”? Is is simply how it is cut? Is it the adjustable bridle setting? A combination? Fact is that this reactive feeling creates a feeling of challenge. In fact we would suggest to change the name from the misleading name from Enduro to The Challenger.
Is there a down side on these aspects? Maybe. Even a bit more than the Dice, the Enduro is an active, on and off kite. This means that if the wind is gusty, you will know it. But who cares? This kite is a fun kite; it begs to be thrown around, to be turned and looped in big or small circles just as you prefer, over and over again. The power build up- and thus the pop- is brilliantly snappy, predictable and controlled. Okay it may be a bit more appealing to the more experienced kiter, but wanna be’s will not be punished as hard as with a traditional C-kite. Releasing the power by just putting the bar a bit further away works perfect. And for real Ruben Lenten style kite loop lovers, everything which you need is there in the kite. You just need to find the 23 meter line option instead of the 25!
Compared to for example a Bandit the Enduro gives a way, way more firm feeling. It is a tiny bit slower in turning than the Dice, but the Dice is again a bit more gentle. We where also very enthusiastic about the Catalyst ’15, which is a little bit less pronounced than the Enduro. See it as the Enduro’s old brother, and yes it is also one of the best kites to get the most fun out of a twin tip session we have tested. You just need to be ready for it.
Ozone Enduro v1 (kite only) 7m 1170,- Euro
Ozone Enduro v1 (kite only) 7m 1245,- Euro
Ozone contact bar 495,- Euro