A grin maker with more than enough de-power, supereasy relaunch and sports car performance that has all the positives of a C shape without any of the negatives. The C4 is a versatile kite that rocks for freestylers, providing great unhooked performance and nice pop. In the waves it's outstanding, with the C shape giving fast handling and the depower allowing you the chance to ride the wave without too much power coming from the kite, unless you need it. The kite is so easy to use that literally anyone can get something out of it. So if you think the C4 is too hardcore for you, you might be wrong! This is a kite that anyone can use and have an awesome session on no matter where you ride or your level.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
There are a few things you can be sure of with an Ozone, among other things; good bags! They are really well thought out and practical. We don't mention bags very often, but it's the first thing we come across and the Ozone ones always put a smile on our faces. The backpack is well equipped, with zipped sections, places to carry your board and it's all of tough stuff. Inside is another drawstring bag that's easy to put your kite in if you're in a hurry, or it's wet, or if you just want to take something to put it in on holiday. And finally you get a sand bag... for if you're kite's too good for sand. Or rocks etc. Anyway, very handy.
Down to the real business and, as in recent years, the bar system that Ozone have engineered is a thing of simple beauty. The depower system is just stunning and smooth as a baby's bum from day one. (You're probably yawning if you've read a few of our Ozone reviews now, but it's the truth!) The chicken-loop is well-sized and built solidly for hooking in and out of, the donkey dick is easy to use or move out of the way, there's a good leash attachment, back-line adjusters, mini-fifth line and all the standard gubbins you'd expect on a top notch product. The bar itself is a little chunkier on the C4 (not sure about other kites for 2010 yet), and noticeably so. Another Ozone trait has been very light bar pressure and excellent high wind capabilities. The bar pressure has been given a few more reassuring beans than their previous kites and there are three bar pressure setting options on the kite. What is the same is the C4's ability to handle some poke. The top ends of these kites are fantastic and the feedback from the kite gets better the more powered they get.
A lot of the kite's positive handling must come down to the canopy, which is solid and incredibly stable. The kite flies with purpose; forward in the window with a consistent pull (the term for which Bully is trying to copyright as something he likes to call 'True Flight' – watch this space!). Sent jumps are fun with great, high hang-time, resulting in controlled glide and landings. We tried the 12 and nine metres, although were always a bit underpowered on the nine. Powered on the 12 it went way up. So chucking the nine over your head in a stiffy should result in some meaty airs.
The surprising thing about the C4 though is that it is really adaptable for many riding levels. I threw my girlfriend on it, who's just trying to master jumping and transitions, and she loved that predictable C kite pull. There's no vague power band on the bar, but at the same time, there's loads of depower should it be needed. But it's freestyle riders that will immediately feel at home on this. The C kite power delivery is lovely; smooth with good feeling and feedback. The kite worked well unhooked, very predictable with no Jekyll and Hyde moments of unsteadiness; with very little changing in the kite's temperament in and out of the hook, although a slight trimming down was necessary. For powered pops without sending the kite you get a lot to work with and there's no twitching from the kite. Response time is rapid, so it's not a wake-style rock that'll just sit there for days. It's nimble and quick, which also makes it fun on a wave board if you want something lively to follow with enough depower to crank a turn out.
C kites are back, baby, yeah! Solid, dependable, predictable, fast as you like and with good depower. What's not to like? Okay so the relaunch isn't as quick as a Delta kite, so the really inexperienced might be better off elsewhere, but it's certainly no slouch in getting back up
and handles like a Golf GTI.
KW LIKED: Speed, purpose and simple, honest power with 2010 levels of depower.
KW WOULD CHANGE: Serious weaklings might want a bit less bar pressure in the bigger sizes.
SIZES: 15, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 7 and 5m
This test is in issue #44