After several hours on the new 2014 reo I can give a good review. Note I am a team rider in the US for Ozone and have only wanted ozone kites for the past 5 years. However I teach in Maui and have taught on all brands, flown most models, and see the latest changes before most kiters. I weigh about 180 pounds. I was riding a 5'10 surfboard.
2014 Changes I noticed More Bar Pressure on Stock Setting (Middle) More Power in the Turn or stroke Smaller leading edge New plastic piece linking struts to leading edge unhooked riding was must easier More consistent power at all times better unhooking flying charcteristics bridle mods
Bar Changes New Quick Release - Push Away, full spin remains Longer floats on the leader lines More Wiggle Room between center line and bar Short Leash
I decided to fly the 2013 8m Reo vs the 2014 7m Reo for my test. I flew both kites on the bottom end of their wind range. Wind was around 18mph and i was just able to stay upwind. They provided the same upwind ability but the 2014 7m made me feel like I had more speed and I was able to plane a little better when the wind would back off.. Also I like the stock settings with this one.
I also have flown my 2014 10m on the low end and top end. This thing is a beast. First off it felt a bit sluggish and to much bar pressure on the top end so I changes the outside setting to less bar pressure/faster turning and it helped a bunch imo. However on the top end with surfboard(25mph+) it was a bit much to handle....tons of float/glide and lift and more of a freestyle kite at this point. Lightwind test, I was catching waves in maybe 13 mph of wind and was really impressed on its low end characteristics. It felt so good and I was really happy with the changes on this side.
Overall I would say it is a different feel and I need more time to be 100% sold on it because I loved the 2013 reo, to me it was more of a complete depower no matter where the bar was and where the kite was flown and a little softer feel. The new 2014 has a more gruntier feel and it is way better on the low end and for making closeout sections, it isn't as good when your overpowered but thats why they make the small sizes or you could just switch to a twintip.
As ozone would say, take a test ride and decide for yourself.
*Also my 8m reo is now for sale if anyone is interested in the blue kite in the picture. Still an amazing kite and well taken care of. pm me
I agree with everything Soar has said in his excellent write up. I got a test on the 12m Reo and bought one - despite economic stress - 3 sessions later. I can get going in 12 knots but 14k is better (79 kilos on a surfboard) had it out in a 12k moisture-laden wind today and was mowing the lawn and throwing a few ollies. The wind picked up to a force 5-6 with gusts of 25k. I had no problems at all, even when I screwed up, the kite didn't throw itself wide like most do when things get a bit wild. It jumps (punts) well and my lower back is still intact after countless ollies and bad receptions - the 2014 Reo gives you cushioned landings and decent lift (this is relative I guess it gives as much as I'm comfortable with) unlike the 2012 model, which I could never boost much at all. The 12m turns very well, just a little more lethargic than my old 10m 2012 Reo. I bought this kite after testing the Ben Wilson Noise Pro and a North Dice and a couple of other kites - and being offered a massive 'semi-sponsored rider's' discount on BW gear. That's how much I like this kite - and not how much I didn't like the BW Noise Pro - which is a good kite but it's not for me. I have to say I felt in no way overpowered, or out of control in the strong gusts maybe the anenometer wasn't working properly but there were windsurfers planing with 4.5m sails.
I'd question the 'wave only' marketing of the kite. It's total reluctance to backstall, dead easy relaunch and the new 2014 + protein/grunt makes this machine a very good all-rounder, much more so than earlier models.
A big thanks to Iain at Kite Frenzy - the mega-proactive Ozone dealer in Spain who went the extra mile and gave me 3 kites to play with no hassles or funny stuff.
Westozzy, plse post Reo review/thoughts when you have a chance. very curious to hear your differences between Dice and Reo. So, you say, definitely de Neo in North line up if you want to go pure wave kite? So why did Airton switch to Dice then? Marketing? North has too many kites in its line up I think
Look we ride waves in serious waves in winter and do hooked in freestyle/freeride in summer mostly. Both in the ocean and on flat estuary water. So the dice is a perfect fit for us.
But there is no denying the exceptional wave kite the REO is and from all accounts it is indeed a more all round idea this year. Thing is I do know a few crew who still prefer the 2013, but they are still dialling the new one in so we will see.
If I was a SB wave focussed guy only I'd be looking at the REO, Neo, REligion, BWS pro, Cabo,
I suspect that the REO is more powerful, flies to edge more, gives you more consistent power and will jump better, well the REO always jumped fine, it was coming down that was the issue! The new one gives you a softer approach apparently. But it won't compete with the dice for unhooked freestyle, it just can't. The dice has enough Vegas in it to be useable for C hybrid style stuff.
Have you tried the Airush wave? I would if you want to really do your homework.
But I cannot see how much more stability and drift you would need than I get with the dice in the waves. And its such a forgiving platform for hooked and unhooked work.
Depends in the end what you are after, but I'm a little perplexed on the comparison between the two, then again I might change my tune after Sunday, lol. Rob is indeed an unbelievable designer of excellent wings.