Now i’ve spent the past month flying my Ozone Access2, waiting for a day with enough wind too really get a feel for the kite. One thing about reviewing kites is that too really feel the kite come into their own, you need too fly them towards the upper half of their wind range. So patience on my part has finally paid off
Once again Ozone have cracked a walnut with this kite, it is an awesome kite that once flown pretty much sells itself. It is really really difficult too find anything bad too say about this kite, or too even find something “quirky.” Each and every kites has its flaws, and each and every kite seems to have its “quirks.” I am definitely surprised by the Ozone Access2 as it has no “quirks.” The kite has been out overseas for quite a while now, and all info flowing back has been great, so I decided it was time I purchased one too really find out for myself. If you fly on land, and you like depower, you will most likely love this kite. The original idea of the Ozone Access was too create a gust munching, low lift kite that was an affordable introduction into the Depower market. The Ozone Access 2 kites keep in line with that philosophy, starting at $837 for a 4m and go up too $1038 for a 10m. Add your 10% Extreme Kites Member discount onto that and you have yourself one quality depower kite without the premium price tag.
The first thing you notice about unpacking the kite is the bag it comes with. As this is an “affordable introduction too depower,” the bag too is light weight. It is very very similar to the Ozone Frenzy bag in terms of material, but opens from the front. Unfortunately the bag does not offer many areas too put anything else in apart from your kite. As it is designed first as a snowkiting kite, it would have been nice too have a few more compartments to throw keys, phones etc in. You will only fit one kite into this pack.
Once you remove the kite from the back pack you can tell it is an Ozone kite without even unrolling it. The fabric Ozone uses is always top notch, and feels smooth and crispy all at the same time. Folding out the kite the four bridle points are attached to a piece of cardboard. They are all numbered, and the lines are numbered too. The bar comes with the lines already attached too it, so all you have too do is unwind them from the bar, and hook them onto the bridle. Both the lines, and the bridle attachment points are numbered so a child that can count to four should be able to attach these.
The lines as per usual are of excellent quality, and I say it in past reviews and i’ll say it again. Regardless of kite, or manufactuer of that kite, I will put Ozone lines on the kite. Why ? Simply because they are the best lines in the industry. It takes more then 25 sessions on a set of Ozone lines too make them look like a set of lines from 2 sessions from a number of other manufacturers. After already 8 sessions on the Ozone Access 2 i could package the bar up, and sell the lines as new. The lines that come on the Access2 are 25m RED dyneema lines, this is so they can be seen on snow. The lines too my knowledge and looking at them compared to other Ozone lines seem to be the 360kg lines all around, but Steve @ KP seems too think they are 300kg. So I will clarify this once we know, Ozone have not put the rating of the lines on their website or their packaging.
One thing Ozone has started doing more and more is their “idiot proof” line setup. This should mean that your lines are never put on incorrectly by changing the attachment system at the bridle end of the lines. This prevents newbies from making simple little mistakes that can have a serious impact if the kite was setup in a strong wind incorrectly.
The ozone bar system is nothing short of amazing. Both for its simplicity, and effectiveness. Now i’d like too add a third reason, ease of resetup. The bar has two safety releases, which is more then ideal. The first is the “mushroom release” as I like too call it. It’s the red knob that you pull towards you that instantly removes all power from the kite. In short it sends the middle lines 2m towards the kite, which leaves the rear lines still connected too your bar. This acts like putting the brakes on a normal foil kite and the kite lands infront of you. The beauty of this is that there is no screwing around with a mess after activating the safety. You simply walk 2m towards the kite, grab the middle line and click it back in too reset the kite. Then you are off and flying again. You can activate the quick release, watch the kite land, then resetup the kite all in under 1 minute!
The 2007 Ozone Chicken Loop is a little different to past years. This year the loop opens when you pull the release. I am not sure if this is better or worse then previous years, but it makes it a piece of cake for those using the kite without a harness that has spreader bar and hook to lock into it. One pull of this release will open the whole loop and the whole thing will fly away.
Overall the bar on the 6m is really pleasant as it is small, you can see that from the photos. That means it does not get in the way all the time similar to the larger bars. In a buggy this is also ideal.
Alright, I am very critical of kite bridles. Why ? Simply because of the bridle is wrong, the kite won’t fly right, it is as simple as that. A poor quality bridle leads to stretching in the bridle very quickly, which ends up in a deformation of the canopy, which results in the kite inheriting characteristics in its flight that it was never designed with. Ozone once again have paid very good attention too the bridle, and as with their high-end depower kites such as the Ozone Manta, the Ozone Access2 bridle is of excellent standard and quality. There are sewn and re-enforced tabs. The pulleys are good quality, so overall whilst this is a cheaper introduction too depower, the bridle is of excellent standard. Compare it too a number of other well known kites, and it still comes out on top.
The general construction of the kite is excellent. From the feel and touch of the fabric, to the detailed stitching of the tabs, and cell re-enforcement. Looking at the kite from tip to tip, I could not find a fault with the workmanship of the kite. The overall finish is always sewn and sleeved.
The kite is amazing, not only for the price but how it handles. The first few flights it was at the very bottom end of its wind range, this meant consistent working of the kite. I was surprised at how much power the kite had at the very bottom end of its range, and this had me a little worried about the Ozone Access 2 6m top end of the kite, as I bought it primarily as a high wind kite where there is too my wind for my 5m Ozone HAKA. Finally I had it out in a session with 20 knots, and the kite was nothing short of beautiful. Over the numerous sessions I have flown the kite it is yet too invert on me, something the Frenzy did quite reguarly in gusty winds. The Ozone Access2 basically sits there asking for more. I was flying the kite in some fairly strong winds, a simple pull on the bar and you went sideways and shot off, let the bar out and you regained traction around the corners. I was hitting some corners at around 50km/h in a standard buggy, pulling in the bar and just sliding down wind towards the kite. Let the bar out and I would shoot off completing the u-turn around the marker and heading to where I wanted too go. This kite really installs a level of confidence into your buggying in high winds that you just don’t have with a small 2m fixed bridle.
The kite for its lower aspect points into the wind fairly well. Not as well as an ARC or high aspect race kite, but with the depower, you can play with the level of power so if you feel you are being dragged sideways you just release the bar a little and keep pointing into the wind rolling. I noticed how effective this was the first time when I was at Sandy Point flying an Ozone Access 4.0m, and dukey was on a 2.5m race kite. I was able to tack into strong 45 - 50 knot winds alot better as I didn’t get that gush of power when gybing.
If you want too learn new ground based tricks, then this kite will also help you excel. It is so stable and well behaved that you can park the kite at the top of the window, push the bar out away from you and do your rotation. When you finish pull the bar in for a bit of power and zoom off in the direction you wish.
The kite is so predictable that I happily completed 4 reverse upwind turns without any consideration to being ejected or pulled in the incorrect direction.
Lift, well this is an interesting one. The idea of the Ozone Access was too have a reduced amount of lift, this did not mean that there was no lift. The Ozone Access2 has an extra two cells in this years model, so this has increased the amount of lift along with the design. Alan (Appo) an Ozone team rider is able to happily pull an aerial 360 buggy jump on his Ozone Access2 6m kite. So too say the kite has no lift is no longer true. The Access2 has enough lift that I would feel comfortable using it as my buggy jumping engine in high wind days. The float out of the kite is excellent too, you just come down softly. Overall the only thing I would like too see improved on the kite is its turn speed, using the same size bar. I love the size of the bar as it is small, however I feel this impedes on how quick the kite turns a little. This is not a factor in higher winds where you don’t need too work the kite. However in lower winds it does present itself as you try to work the kite up and down to develop more speed, you sometimes find yourself waiting to turn it the other way.
Overall this is an outstanding kite that is extremely hard to find a fault with. For some it will be their first introduction too depower, for others this kite will convert them. I am an avid lover of my fixed bridles in sub 25 knots. However above this and the Ozone Access2 is an excellent kite of choice. At a price that is nearly half of an Ozone Manta, it is definitely a kite worth considering for those just heading into Depower.
If you are after a hassle free, reliable, well priced depower kite that you can setup as quick as a fixed bridle and fly away for the day, then the Ozone Access2 is IMHO an excellent choice.
If you are going to demo one, request either a 6m or 8m, a 4m you will need a tornado to get the feeling of what this kite really has too offer.
This review was originally posted in our Community Forum, August 2007.