Alpha kite sunset

Ozone Alpha 6m Test Review

Ozone Alpha in action

Cross-over characteristics are excellent for both twin-tipping, foiling and there’s rock steady drift too for wave riding

 

THIS TEST FIRST APPEARED IN KITEWORLD #104 IN MARCH 2020

 


Free issue of Kiteworld 104 and 2020 Travel Guide CLICK HERE TO GET THIS NEW ISSUE AND OUR 2020 TRAVEL GUIDE FOR FREE!


 

TESTED BY: CHRIS BULL AND JIM GAUNT. FIND THEIR DETAILS AND TEST SCORE BREAKDOWNS HERE.

 

TEST TEAM NOTES:

Ozone deliver the usual well-thought out experience in presentation of their products and the Alpha comes in a very neat and minimalist draw-string bag that tightens lengthways around the kite rather around the top, which really helps reduce the volume that you can pack this kite down to. Just one strut on a six metre, you could get this in your sock drawer and the compact nature is just one reason that people are starting to turn to single strut kites. The main reason is stability in light winds and the Alpha is the most accessible of these designs, in terms of steady handling and its application for riding different boards.

Blue Ozone alpha

PULLEY-LESS BRIDLE: DIRECT CONNECTION

The connection and feedback you have with the kite is also more direct and obvious due to the pulleyless bridle. The Alpha delivers the most obvious sheeting drive, has the most familiar feel for twin-tip freeriders and that’s also a benefit to less experienced foilers. It’s not as zippy, doesn’t rush to the edge of the window and steers with a very even pace. The Alpha is extremely predictable and very steady in feel, especially for a six metre, the smallest single strut we had, but was actually the slowest in steering. Ozone have obviously considered that carefully because they also produce some of the fastest kites in the business, but a great many riders will find this Alpha very comfortable.

 

SINGLE-STRUT SPECIFICS

The thing with single struts, that we’ll say in all these reviews is, they do handle differently to your three strut hybrid and they’re only really suited to lighter wind conditions because they don’t have the canopy stability in stronger gusts. You also need to appreciate that they steer and power up a bit differently, too.

To get a single strut to do anything, you have to be more sheeted in more of the time than on your regular three strut hybrid. The light wind ability comes from less structure in the air frame, so there’s more flutter in the canopy when you’re fully sheeted out. The Alpha has a really good connection, but just remember that most of the handling performance comes when the kite is sheeted in. Fast steering is very possible on the Alpha, but you need to man handle the bar and be assertive. Another reason why the Alpha is so approachable is that if you just want to get on and ride it, it’s very unintimidating because everything happens at an even pace, from powering up to steering.

Essentially the Alpha has the most important asset of a single strut; great stability overhead in light winds. If you fall off your foil, the Alpha is less likely to also fall out of the sky in very light winds. In flukey winds these kites also stay in the sky better and never ever back stall.

 

Ozone Alpha in action

 

CROSSING OVER FOR TWIN-TIP RIDING

The Alpha is however, the best kite of these three for basic twin-tipping as well as light wind foiling, too. It’s more rooted in the sky and wanders around less and, as long as you’re sheeted in you have more of an idea where the kite is in the sky. The sheeting throw is shorter, so there’s less reaching, but you still have plenty of power and depower on tap. The delivery is less spikey and there’s a more full, consistent drive of power that is much more in line with what most intermediates are used to. It’s less on and off than the other two, so for a more all-round twin-tip experience the Alpha is ideal. We’ve also tried the 10 metre Alpha and it’s a really good kite in 14 – 18 knots on a twin-tip. Fun and spritely, it also delivers plenty of floaty hangtime and powers its way round a loop very consistently, so for developing transitions and a more quick kite flying riding style, it’s excellent.

 

OZONE BAR SET-UP

Thicker, robust grip on the bar, good, strong lines, Ozone’s are always very quick and easy to assemble and leave you feeling confident about your first session. The quick-release is very much worthy of highlighting as it releases very cleanly, but then literally just pushes back in. No pulling back a collar with one hand while you catch a pin with the other. Extremely safe when flagged out. Ozone have also added a little ball part way up the leader lines which is a clever little addition for helping relaunch in light conditions. As usual, very smart throughout from Ozone with superb build quality and detailing.

Ozone kite bar

SUMMARY:

If you’re looking for your first single strut kite the Alpha is a solid option. The cross-over characteristics are excellent for both twin-tipping, foiling and there’s rock steady drift too for wave riding. Ozone have set the steering speed on this six metre to be very approachable for a broad array of riders and is the most consistent in terms of drive and power control in this single strut series of reviews.

KW LIKED:
For a small kite, this is very plug-and-play, immediately allowing you to feel the benefits of single strut light wind stability and reliability without the difficulties associated with faster turning and different phases of sheeting power.

KW WOULD CHANGE: Experienced foilers looking for something more pure, may prefer something more specifically focused on rapid turning and drifting.

ALPHA BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 9
Full package: 9
Low end: 8
Top end: 6
Steering speed: 6.5
Turning circle: 4
Bar pressure: 6
Water relaunch: 8.5
Drift: 8
Boost: 5
Hang-time: 5.5
Unhooked: DT
Crossover: 8 (Foiling, twin-tipping, waves)
Ease of use: 8

SIZES: 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6 and 4m

 

 

THE ALPHA WAS TESTED IN ISSUE #104, ALONGSIDE THE CORE XLITE AND NAISH BOXER

Find out more: www.flyozone.com

 


Free issue of Kiteworld 104 and 2020 Travel Guide CLICK HERE TO GET THIS NEW ISSUE AND OUR 2020 TRAVEL GUIDE FOR FREE!


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