Michael van der Maur
I’ve been using the 13m Edge II for 5 days now, riding in winds ranging from 14 - 25 knots. Intermediate to advanced riders looking for a versatile do-anything kite will appreciate the Edge’s boost, hangtime, quick turning and smooth feel.
When I first took the kite out of the bag I noted the quality construction of the kite; crisp material, tough stitching and Slingshot’s patented one-pump system. Ozone’s quality control and attention to detail is first-rate as their kites are produced in-house rather than being outsourced to Chinese textile manufacturers.
Design features that are immediately noticeable on this kite are the thin leading edge and struts, the anti-inversion span line and absolutely no pullies on the kite or bar. Due to the thin diameter leading edge the kite must be inflated to 8 - 10 psi. This is no problem however, as the kite inflates fast due to the reduced bladder volume. The anti-inversion line spans from wingtip to wingtip. I’m puzzled as to why the kite comes stock with this line. After 12 hours of flying, the Edge never once looked like inverting. Perhaps the line has been included because the leading edge is so thin, inversion issues have been known to be a problem. I’m considering taking the anti-inversion line off as it annoys me when pumping and packing the kite. The best feature about this kite is that no pullies are used on the kite or bar. Most hybrids currently use pullies which have the potential to jam and wear through lines. It’s great to finally see a well designed hybrid that doesn’t require any of these complications.
The bar setup is clean and simple. The back lines are adjustable by pulling straps just above the o-shit handles. I don’t really see a need for them but it’s a nice extra if you decide they are of some use. The chicken loop with the dick to the side is great for hooking and unhooking and is fast becoming the industry standard. The quick release on the chicken loop is accessible and easy to reload. The safety leash can either be attached to the flag-out line for launching, landing and hooked riding or attached to the centre line on the chicken loop for unhooked riding.
Once in the air the first thing I noticed is how smooth the kite felt. It’s hard to describe, but it felt really well behaved without any tendances to stall, over-fly or twitch around. Once on the water the turning speed of this kite is instantly noticeable. This kite is definitely the quickest turning 13m I’ve ever ridden. Most of the power is delivered just after the kite has completed a turn and has started to straighten up. That said, there is still a nice amount of power through the turns, however noticeably less than a traditional ‘C’ kite. Bar pressure is extremely light. I personally prefer a slightly heavier feel to the bar but others will love the low pressure required to sheet in. Relaunch is simple; pull on one of back lines until it rotates onto a wingtip and you’re done. The upwind ability of the kite is great once you get some speed up, don’t try edging upwind underpowered or you will lose all power very quickly. This kite loves being flown hard and fast.
When testing out the load and pop of the kite I was a little disappointed. When loading the kite flies too close to the window resulting in speed and power loss. I struggled getting any significant height when doing popped tricks on the first day, but when the wind picked up to 18 knots I was back to getting some decent pop height. But let’s be honest, this kite was never designed for wakestyle tricks. This kite was designed with two things in mind; huge air and floaty hangtime. Jumping with this kite is sheer pleasure. I was able to get massive height in anything over 18 knots with the kind of floating hangtime I usually dream of. Super soft landings are a great reward when the kite is piloted correctly. Make sure you’ve got plenty of room downwind when the wind gets past 20 knots.
Ozone will definitely cement themself as a serious kite manufacturer in 2008 with their range of kites. The Edge will please any intermediate to advanced rider looking for a freeride/boost kite with ultra-quick turning and great upwind ability.
Thanks to Michael from http://www.kiteboardingreview.com