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2019 Reviews All Posts Gear Reviews

Tkb Surf Test: 2019 OZONE Reo V5

On July 10, 2019   |   By thekiteboarder.com

Sizes Available: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12m
Sizes Tested: 7, 9m

Ozone Says:

Since its introduction six years ago the Reo has been the reference for pure wave riding, setting the benchmark in performance and feeling. The Reos unique flying characteristics allow you to maximize the potential of every wave, giving you the freedom to smash the lip, clear a section, carve turns or snap in the pocket. Fast direct handling and perfect drift combined with amazing de-power and the ability to absorb gusts means you can choose exactly where you want to place yourself on a wave to make that next move.

The Reo V5 features our innovative Variable Bridle Geometry (VBG). The new bridle settings extend the kites operating range, bringing another level of versatility to this already outstanding design. The stock setting is high depower, the way we know and love the Reo – a balanced and refined feeling from the kite with good forward speed perfect for most conditions, and excelling in cross to cross-off winds. The kite can sit further to the edge of the wind window when de-powered, drifting as you ride down the line. Setting 1 is the upper knot on the VBG Pigtails.

The second setting is a new feeling and characteristic – the kite sits a little further back in the wind window and tackles onshore conditions with ease. Increased bar pressure improves feeling from the kite when a wave is pushing with the wind. If you prefer a slightly heavier feel this could be the setting for you. Setting 2 is the lower knot on the VBG Pigtails.

The Reo V5 features our new stronger and lighter strut construction. The wingtip shape has also been refined with our new tapered tip and slim line deflector. We understand the importance of aerodynamics and weight saving especially on a kite where drift is imperative, so every detail has been refined to be as light as possible while maintaining the strength and integrity you expect from an Ozone product.

Visit for more info: https://ozonekites.com/products/water-kites/reo-v5

TKB Says:

The Reo is one of the understated kings of the surf test with its sparing use of high-quality materials and lightweight yet stable airframe that yields the perfect blend of performance and reliability. The Reo V5 utilizes a 3-strut medium aspect canopy with a sweptback leading edge that is noticeably smaller in diameter. Both on the beach and in the air, you can feel the lighter weight of this kite which is key to its agile performance in the surf. The Reo inflates easily with a high flow Boston valve that requires the larger inflation nozzle that comes standard with most kite pumps. It has a dual setting leading edge bridle that allows you to choose between high depower and less depower. The front bridle utilizes no pulleys while the wingtip features three settings that allow you to choose between turning speed and bar pressure. The front bridle attachment point ends in a knot while the wingtip attachments end in larksheads. The construction is solid but light with a double ripstop trailing edge, three small soft battens on each side of the trailing edge and subtle use of Dacron.

The first thing we noticed when we jumped on the Reo was its really light bar pressure on the factory setting (high depower); it had comfortable bar pressure for cruising and longer sessions. We also noticed right off the bat that you get a lot of angle of attack change within a really small portion of bar throw really close to the rider. This is a really nice feature for wave riding because you get a ton of control right at your fingertips and you get a ton of depower when you sheet out. The Reo’s steering response is really crisp and fast, part of that might be the light weight canopy, but it does seem like the wingtip shape and leading edge diameter yields really quick response to bar input.

The Reo features a tight radius turn that falls on the pivot side of things and tends to drift really well when you travel down the line, moving directly at the kite. These two qualities make the Reo very user-friendly in the waves, allowing you to put the kite where you want, maintain line tension and make quick adjustments to keep the kite powered as you attack different sections of the wave. As we noted above, the Reo serves up a really solid amount of depower when you need it and has a good progressive power delivery while being fairly unaffected when oversheeting the kite. The pivot turn doesnt build a ton of power in depower mode which makes it very predictable for surf. Because so much angle of attack happens in such a small throw length, the power delivery might be something that takes a bit of getting used to for entry level kite surfers, but for a skilled operator the kite control is super tight. Overall, the Reo V5 is a super fun, nimble surf kite that scored super high points for its top performance in the waves.

Ozone released the new Contact V4 control bar this year which is a 4-line bar that has received significant updates from Ozones previous bar along with one massive upgrade in the quick release department. The Contact V4 features Ozones new Seat Belt technology which offers a completely new quick release design that features a groundbreaking mechanism that allows you to effortlessly reconnect your trim loop after a safety release by simply pushing the loop into its recess and it automatically clicks closed. There are a number of these systems on the market, but Ozones by far is one of the easiest mechanisms to reassemble. This is a colossal improvement, as it is simple and surefire in the way in which this system works. The scenario goes like this: theres a problem, you push the quick release, the kite depowers, but then you want to reconnect the quick release in the water and resume. This can be a 10-finger/two-handed struggle to hold the release open while you stick the loop back into its mechanism and close the gate apparatus to continue. Some models try to keep the release open upon release, but the Seat Belt design doesnt require you to hold the release open to reconnect the loop into its locked position.

The quick release has the standard push away handle, a hand swivel above the release that also doubles as a travel guard and a molded locking finger to prevent accidental unhooking as well as a safety attachment point with suicide option. The Contact is a fixed length bar (available in 38, 45, 50 and 55cm sizes) that features a single center line safety depower with a low V. The center lines end in grey color-coded pigtails with loops for rigging purposes and the outside lines end in knots color coded with red and blue pigtails. The Contact features above the bar tuning with a cleat and a small carbon toggle that uses a bungee built into the tuning line to keep things clean in depowered situations. The bar has a plastic coated/PU throw line with no sliding stopper or adjustable length throw. The padded bar ends are tunable (three knots stock is on center) and feature integrated floats and retractable bar bungees. The bar ends are soft in the event of accidental face contact. This year the bar got a significant color change with much less obvious colors; there is no longer red on the left side of the bar grip although the leader lines coming out of the floats are color coded for red and blue. The grip indents have very subtle red highlights for those that are looking closely. The Contact gets solid points for its comfortable grip that is both wider with a nice raised pattern and smaller indentations for a fairly dense grip.

Visit for more info on the bar: https://ozonekites.com/products/control-systems/contact-water-v4-control-system

 

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