The KW test team reviews Ozone’s high-octane, high-performing all-terrain machine
THIS TEST FIRST APPEARED IN ISSUE #91 IN JANUARY, 2018
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Enduro returns in its second incarnation after an explosive launch onto the market as the V1 which struck a huge chord with the test team. The V1 was so much fun because it was so engaging, but you pretty much always had to be on your game with it. It was a very spirited kite with lots of power on tap and instant speed. It was quite a handful because of that, but as a test team who enjoy looking for interesting traits in a kite, it gave us so much to experience. Of all the kites on the market, even considering legitimate C kites, it had a highly rewarding punch around a kite loop in light to average winds.
Ozone have produced a far more rounded kite in the V2 that has more consistent and tuned performance, both in terms of its top and bottom end with a noticeably tighter canopy.
We loved the low down torque of the V1 last year, but as you sheeted out more and more heavily, you became more detached from the kite. The connection with the kite is now more linear and the Enduro V2 drives very cleanly into the window. There’s a slightly more direct feel, but it’s still not too heavy. It’s more forceful but very intuitive.
Overall the better and more consistent behaviour makes the Enduro V2 feel like a quicker and more tuned kite. There’s now better slack line performance for unhooked riding and it’s better balanced with a heavier bar feel and more forward flight. Although it’s quick, the turning also now pivots more consistently around the tips. The performance will help experienced unhooked freestylers as well as those getting into throwing their first tricks because the kite doesn’t change its personality when you unhook, so it’s easier to use and find success. There was too much sheeting power with the bar sheeted in last year to be a serious freestyle contender. It was more brutish.
The natural riding position of the bar is therefore different now, sitting closer to the chicken-loop while you ride, which means it’s better balanced for unhooked riding as there’s less sheeting distance needed to actually unhook. However, the Enduro V2 offers way more than just good unhooked performance.
The low end is still good, but unlike the Pivot this issue which has more basic sheet-and-go drive, the Enduro needs a bit more steering work to get it going in lighter winds, but it responds so well to positive rider input and with just a couple of swoops you’re away and then super comfortable as the V2 gets you up to speed quickly.
The boosting is less of a ‘journey’ than the V1, which would take you high and then very far. The float was intense because the low end was so good, but it was more unpredictable than the V2, which is now geared to reward you when you get your input right, but won’t just leave you hanging up there when you don’t want to be. This year you can go really high, but you’ll come down a bit quicker. The up and down is more balanced. You’re not just going along for the ride in other words. And that feeling of logical control is stunning on this year’s kite.
In terms of loops, what really stood out for us on the V1 was how powerfully the kite drove around the bottom of the loop from 3 o’clock through to 9 o’clock. It was very unique. So many kites lose power there. So it was great in moderate winds, but in strong winds it was an animal that would put a dirty grin on gnarly dudes’ faces, but this year there’s obviously been so much more tuning as the kite really performs more in line with rider input and the conditions it’s being ridden in. You can still get a good rush around the bottom of the window, but you need to steer it like that yourself now, rather than just gritting your teeth and going for it. That translates into it being a kite that can work better across more disciplines. You can steer it hard and aggressively, you can shut off the power and then smoothly pick it up again. You can send it hard for impressive lift and a connected hang-time and you can throw it round a loop and be able to predict the power you’re going to get.
We mainly tested it on the middle ‘freeride’ factory bridle setting, but given that there are settings to take it even further down a ‘freestyle’ or ‘wave’ set-up, then you really do have a tool for all jobs here.
A quick word on the new bar, which is essentially the same chassis, but now with bigger and softer bar floats at the end. There’s also a new rubber grip wrapped around the bar which feels welcoming but still durable in your hands, and is noticeably more of a chunky bar feel in your hands. Something to note.
Also featured: Ozone use the Boston inflate valve, which is commonly used across several brands and works really well – using the mid-size pump nozzle and then it unscrews entirely for super fast deflation.
Although there is good user-friendliness for all levels, the Enduro V2 is now a very natural choice for a good intermediate rider and above. The V2 may initially feel more tame compared to the V1, so if you just like that more wild and raw feel, then you’ll notice a difference, but the V2 now has so much more potential for a pilot who knows how to steer a kite and wants a reliable, responsive and highly adept ally. The V2 is geared more towards the freestyle route of freeriding, but it has so many strings to its bow and will just keep growing and growing with a rider as they progress, but also as the wind builds and builds. It’s now such a different kite to the V1, and when a kite is this clean, it’s difficult to wax lyrical about it in certain aspects because it just does all the jobs so evenly well.
Super clean and balanced performance and good riders who legitimately cross-over from freestyle, to boosting, to serious wave riding will find something in this that’s hard to get anywhere else. Most kites are usually more wave or more freestyle focused. This one is more freestyle focused, but tackles wave performance excellently.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
The new bar width is noticeably chunkier. It’s not something to change, but get used to.
ENDURO BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 9
Full package: 9
Low end: 8
Top end: 8.5
Steering speed: 7
Turning circle: 6
Bar pressure: 6
Water relaunch: 8.5
Ease of use: 8
SIZES: 14, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4m