I thought I'd write a review on the Samurai 2 as I have been using it now for well over a year and even though it's not a recent model from Ozone - in my opinion it will always be an excellent kite, far from out dated and always in my collection.
Lets just say flawless. This was the first Ozone kite I had bought and I was immediately impressed with Ozone design and build quality, checking everything from the Rucksack to the kite and lines ( a whole lot jazzier than the grey flexifoil lines I was used to with the Sting - the pink and orange lines match perfectly with the Samurai 2 in orange and blue - kind of strange, but it works). The workmanship on the kite itself - everything from stitching alignment to the bridling was sheer precision. The quality control that Ozone have did not let me down in any way, absolute class. When I first saw the Samurai 2 online I was immediately attracted to the graphics / panels which I found so visually impressive with this kite. Again, full marks for design - simple yet bold (the fact that there is always a cyber samurai warrior emblazoned on the central diamond panel looking down at you is always a plus).
The first attempt at flight with the Samurai 2 was when after only having flown a Flexifoil Sting 2.4m for 4 weeks previously as the grand sum of my power kiting experience. It was interesting, to say the least. I can catagorically state that I was definitely a total novice when I bought the Samurai 2. In retrospect, I did a lot of things wrong when flying initially - starting with flying overpowered for my very limited ability a the time. The wind must have been approximately 18 to 20 mph and possibly gusting to 22 or 25 mph based on my experience now (I didn't own a wind meter at the time but did pick up a Hemet just a few days before from Ebay). A big mistake, and lessons have been learnt. After the setup and checking of the lines I was ready.
The kite was sitting directly in the window but I was confident I could handle it (how very, very wrong), expecting to get a scud out of the initial launch. I released the brakes and gave the handles a pull and the Samurai 2 just launched immediately, filling all the cells within a second and in the time it had lifted a few meters I was already being dragged along with no hope of stopping. Adrenaline turned to fear and instead of placing the kite in the outer window to gain control - I didn't commit either way and I must have been taken some 40 meters before deploying the killers. This reduced the panic but I was still being dragged (by now, along the floor) and unable to recover my footing - it all stopped when my friend realized that I was in trouble and grabbed the kite, closing the cell inlets. Wow! I was completely shocked at the sheer raw power the Samurai had. It was massive and after that first and incompetent attempt I seriously doubted that I would keep the 4m version and was thinking about down grading immediately. Needless to say, I called it a day and was just happy that myself and nobody else got injured in any way. This first experience with the Samurai 2 did have a positive effect in removing any arrogance I had about any form of power kiting ability I thought I had acquired. It instilled respect for the wind and flying safety that is always paramount when ever I fly now.
So, let move on by 10 to 12 months and I was glad I didn't downgrade in size. I now have confidence in flying the Samurai 2 in a way that I had with my beginner kite - the Sting. I find that the Samurai 2 flies in such a stable manner and responds immediately to control input that I can fly pretty confidently in 15 to 20 mph and really enjoy the excitement of it - pulling off pendulum jumps in high winds with 5 to 6 feet height and with smooth, fairly floaty landings - it does take work to achieve it though as the Samurai 2 is designed for traction and reduced lift. (any abrupt returns to earth and the the only injury I've had from flying the Samurai 2 are due to my inadequacy at re-directing the kite properly). The way it handles gusts is superb - as the two largest central cells are sealed it retains total shape and stability when they hit, maybe slightly over flying to accommodate the extra speed and settling back to stationary once the gust has been 'processed'. Even when taking it to the outer edges of the wind window I experience no luffing unless putting at ridiculous angles to the wind and have never experienced a bow-tie in flight. The acceleration when putting the kite in the power zone is smooth rather than popping and gives me confidence to really fly the kite dynamically. It has to be the easiest launching kite I have flown - with a smooth flight straight to zenith then obediently waiting - even in lumpy winds - for the next control input. Once again the central cell closures perform brilliantly providing stable flight and maintaining inflation ( I also think this looks fantastic - giving the Samurai 2 a rather aggressive style).
To conclude, I have found this kite to be perfect. It performs to such a high level that it has my total respect in both performance and design. Even with the release of the new Cult from Ozone, I think that the Samurai 2 design is contemporary and deserves to sit right along side it as a current model rather than be super seeded by it.
By : FireForEffect