My criteria are as follows:
1. Low bar pressure. I suffer from mild kiters elbow so I want a kite that has little bar pressure.
2. Good/great boosting. I love jumping, especially nice floaty jumps. I want a kite that is easy to boost and boosts high. I don't want a kite that boosts well when you get it "dialed in" because I'm no Dimitri and so I can't get it "dialed in" easily.
3. Crisp responsive feel. I want a kite that is responsive not sluggish. I really dislike initiating a turn and then waiting.
4. Relatively easy relaunch and good depower. Because even though I'm a good kiter, you never know what shit can happen.
5. Handles gusts well. Because I never have perfect kiting conditions.
6. Decent wave kite. I don't kite the waves often but when I do, I want a kite that can handle it decently, e.g drifts back without stalling etc.
I am considering the following:
1. North Rebel (worried about bar pressure and 5th line getting f'kd up when the kite roles over in the waves)
2. rrd Obsession mkV (worried about stalling when using it as a wave kite)
3. Ozone Catalyst (seems to have developed quite a following; ?performance in the waves?; boosting?)
4. Naish Park (looks very appealing but the online forums are always taking about the line attachment settings and that has me worried)
5. Bridled C kite? May be too expert for me ? and besides, the 2013 Ozone C4 has mediocre online reviews.
You've just ticked all the boxes for the 2013 Ozone Edge.
1. Bar pressure is very light and there are 3 settings. The light setting is feather soft. Too soft for me. Prefer the middle setting to feel the kite better.ds
2. Its a boosting machine with long, high floaty jumps. Hangtime and height is really unreal and I've never felt out of control or even afraid at 20m jumps. 5 star booster for sure!!! Landings are butter soft always. This kite gives a big set of balls for those that love boosting.
3. Response is quite good for this kite. I like to kite hooligan style with loads of transitions, turns, jumps, spins etc. and I'm never waiting for the kite. Of course its not a C kite with lightning fast turning but it responds as fast as you'll need it to.
4. Relaunch is very good. An outside line puts it on its edge and up it goes. Depower is also fantastic for this high aspect kite. Killing the power when you want to is easy by either sheeting out or carving against the kite or a combination of both. I've rode other high aspect kites that were awsome at boosting but after landing it was almost impossible to turn off the power and regain control. Not so with the edge.
5. This kite is quite unique in gust munching. It transfers the gusts into upwind speed. Most kites pull me off my edge when big gusts hit but this one will simply drive upwind at even better angles allowing you to keep full control. Furthermore the range of wind these kites handle is pure magic! I can be on a 9 boosting nicely when people are struggling with 12's and stay on the 9 when the 6's and 7's roll out still maintaining full control. 11m has a very similar range as well. Wind range is advertised 7-35 knots. Never been in 7 knots but 10-35 easily.
6. This certainly isnt a wave kite but I surf 2-3m waves without a problem. Doing nice tight cut backs arent going to be its strong suit, though it drifts down the line nicely/ impossible to over run the kite., never ever stalls. Depowering the kite seems like the best way to approach the big waves.
I rode North Rebels for 2 years and loved them (own 6 of em) but after my first demo on an Edge this season my quiver went up for sale.
What I liked about the Rebel was that sheeting out killed the power instantly and vice versa. They jump very good and hang time is also very good but not great or awesome. Turning speed is pretty good when the kite is active but a small delay if its parked. Things I've not enjoyed with the rebel are back stall (especially in light wind) and loops (powered loops and even downloops). The loop radius is just too large and delivers too much power. On the really big jumps I always feel afraid to pull the trigger on a downloop and normally resort to sine the kite instead. I love rotations but I've always got to keep an eye on the 5th line/front line twists and spend a significant ammout of time turning the rotator to untwist the lines. If I dont and I need to use the release.... it simply wont flag out properly. I've also flown Catalysts and they are very similar to the Rebel. Both Rebel and Cat's are mediocre on waves btw.
Things I do not love about the Edge.... hmmm... only one thing really stands out. Build quality! I would love to see Ozone beef up the wear spots and trailing edge. Ahhh also I really dislike the pull release of their bar so I use a Switch bar instead.
Anyhow Brent4336 says it. Demo first to be sure you get a kite you love. If you need to pull the trigger on a boosting kite though, this is first on my list. Good luck!