Simple, easy to use, almost 100% depower (but not quite) and responsive enough to keep everyone happy. It doesn't have the raw power of some of the bar pulley style bows, but it more than makes up for it on control alone, making it fun, and unusually, a kite that everyone can get the best out of. Couldn't find many faults here. It will be whatever you want it to be.
The Instinct is a completely new design and direction for the kitesurf industry. Ozone's philosophy was to design a full depower kite that maintained the direct and dynamic feeling of C kites, without the pulleys or the complex rainbow style bridles that give bow kites some unsavory characteristics, like inverting while riding, heavy bar pressure and an unresponsive feel. The Instinct design is even easy to use unhooked, and allows you to concentrate on your riding style instead of the kite. Whatever level you're at, you'll progress rapdily, and your sessions on the water will simply be, fun.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
NEAL: In a way, The Instinct is in a category of its own. It's definitely a flat style kite, but the lines attach as for a C kite, with two front, and two back. A span line prevents the kite inverting. The fifth line is used as a trimming line, and holds the shape of the kite as well as being part of the depower trim. The depower is above the bar, but well thought out with a simple toggle system to pull for depower, or release from the cleat for power.
JAMES: This is a great all-round kite for riders at the early stages right up to someone that wants to ride waves or pull the odd unhooked trick.
NEAL: Yeah, really easy to use, everything is just simple and functional. The build quality is excellent, and there's even a mesh flap covering the valve area on the central strut, helping airflow! As soon as you put the kite up it feels poised and steady. This is the most stable kite we've tested in any category, and turns beautifully with minimal bar pressure. The power is impressive while the control and depower are really easy and smooth. Unhooked it's great too, and is one of the few flat kites we've felt comfortable kitelooping, hooked and unhooked. A really impressive kite and we all wanted to get back on this one at the end.
JAMES: I think the bar could have been more comfortable. But yeah all good really; flew upwind, nice big floaty jumps even in the lighter winds, and I'm surprised how well the kite turns and responds even when it's depowered.
7, 9, 11, 13 and 15m
This test is in issue #21
Ozone Instinct 11m (2006)
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Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland