The Catalyst is Ozone's most all-round kite in terms of versatility and performance, taking a beginner safely through the first steps right up to ripping in all styles, satisfying seasoned riders of all levels. If you love waves, the Catalyst is easy to ride even during critical moments as it floats and drifts in the air as you cruise down-the-line or smash the lip, so you don't have to worry about perfect kite placement to keep it flying. When the wind picks up boosting big is always fun and exciting, the Catalyst gets you up there and back down again softly and can even handle unhooked riding, if that is your thing! However, if all you want to do is just go cruising with friends, then no matter how flat or choppy the water, its' smooth, forgiving nature and up- and downwind performance make it a pure pleasure.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Catalyst has Ozone's quality stamp all over it, from the one pump system and new dump valve/fast pumping system to their lovely, robust and super clean bar system.
The first thing we noticed about the Catalyst is how much it seems to tidy everything up. You get on it and have fun straight away as it has such lovely balance in the sky. This, coupled with the spot on bar feel is fantastic. The poise in the air, nice balanced flight, good forward drive and absolutely no stalling give it this feeling of having one of the most clean flying profiles out there. Just very, very comfortable - not slow and steady comfort, but really agile and easy-to-use. It's a very gratifying kite to fly and is easier for more riders than the C4, retaining that wonderful driven flight. In the sky it looks fairly high-aspect, but doesn't feel it at the bar. There's more instant power there than the kite looks to have and the turning speed is quick with the actual turn very smooth. It's fairly pivotal but, unlike many pivotal kites, retains lots of feeling throughout the loop. Similarly, if you mess up a trick on landing and go to depower the kite very instantly, the Catalyst doesn't cough or wrap itself up, it just sits there, drifting with you. The kite loops on it are good without being as full on as some of the C kite kite loop machines out there, but it's very kite loop-able and your know it's going to get round safely. Plus, like all Ozones, it's got a formidable top end.
From the build quality, fixtures, fittings and wonderful bar, to the super clean, balanced canopy to the feeling of having a refined BMW on the end of your lines, anyone could get on this kite and have a really good time, from all-round freestyle, to wave riding right back to just needing some grunt to get up and going to perfect your upwind riding.
The overall feel of the kite in all areas that creates a stunning kitesurfing experience.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
The quick-release on the side of the chicken-loop is released with a pull-down motion, which can be accidentally triggered when holding the chicken-loop to hook back in after a trick. But you soon get used to it as the bar also has a nice, self-righting chicken-loop. The plus side is that the quick-release is very easy to operate.
14, 12, 10, 8, 6 and 4m
This test is in issue #52