I’ve now had my Samurai for nearly five months, so hopefully I’m capable of a pretty comprehensive review!
The kite was bought back at the end of last year, as an early Christmas present for myself to give me a bit more power and a smoother kite; I had been flying my other kit, including a 4m Firebee for over a year, and have flown other power kites on and off for about four years.
I was starting to get a little frustrated with the ‘Bee in certain situations, particularly out on the board; stability issues and the way it was prone to luff if not handled carefully, combined with a thirst for more power convinced me that something big and new was necessary!
I did a lot of research before settling on the Samurai; I felt that I wanted something of a higher quality than the ‘budget’ kites I had flown before, with smooth control, good quality construction and nicer looks!
I considered Blades and Bullets amongst others, but was put off the Blade through all the scare stories about their bite and various tales of injuries sustained! The Bullet hadn't stuck out enough when I'd flown them before, so it was back to the internet to read more reviews! ....eventually, I decided that the Samurai was the kite for me!
I was originally planning on getting a 5m, but when I spotted a red 6m with handles for less than £300 in the winter sale at Five Forty Kitesports in Sheffield, I knew I couldn’t turn it down!
The call was duly made, and it soon arrived!
First Impressions :
Getting it out off the box, I was in love already! The rucksack was great quality, sturdy, well padded and had overall good looks; nice and compact with plenty of room in the pouches for extra gear. You get a sticker and a little keyring with the package; fun little additions, but they all add to the feeling of quality the kite has.
Laying it out on my bedroom floor, I was amazed at its size; about as long as my Firebee, but twice the height!
The sail looked beautifully made; the fabric was very light, and really 'smooth'. Stitching is neat, superbly accurate and well machined. The vents have an extra reinforced layer of Dacron tape, and the trailing edge is reinforced in the same way as well. The bridles looked extremely well made too; extremely strong thin orange line is used for part of it, which will help reduce drag. The bridle is relatively uncomplicated, and there is a Velcro tab to clip all the bridles into after each flight to prevent tangles; very handy!
The manual you get with the kite is also great; in a clear and precise way it takes you through setting up; with larks heads explained, first flights and basic techniques like reverse launching and trimming the kite.
Initial flight and setup:
My first flight wasn’t ideal (are they ever?? ) – a grey and damp December day, but with a reasonable steady light breeze blowing.
I began by unpacking the kite, laying it out on a dry spot with the bag on top to stop it blowing away. Detaching the bridles from the keeper tab, I checked them for twists and laid them out flat.
The lines Ozone supply with the package are excellent quality, orange and pink ‘extremely’ pre-stretched, with stitched loops. They are rated at 180/110kg breaking strain and are 25m in length. They also have numbered tabs at each end, which have corresponding tabs on the handle leaders and the bridles. This made it a job of a few seconds to attach the correct lines to the bridles with a quick larks head, and then I walked back unwinding the set from the winder. The handles were just as easy to attach; they are a tough plastic, coated with a layer of neoprene all over, with an extra bit of padding around the top leaders to stop you chfing your fingers, and a Spectra harness strop at the top linking the two.
Once setup was complete, with kite killers on, I eased off the brakes, gave a light tug and up it went!
My first impression was how smooth in flight the kite was- the Sami zipped around the window, at a good speed for such a large kite. I found turning a touch slow at first, but added an extra knot in the main leaders and moving the lines back to this to tighten the brakes solved this problem.
The kite has bags of pull, although relatively little uplift in comparison to some kites on the market today! As well as the amazingly smooth, steady flight, I was impressed with it’s stability towards the edges of the window; it is easy to hover it a few metres off the ground off to one side for extended periods- something I didn't find so easy with my Firebee!
Doing a few little jumps, I found it did try and overfly the zenith slightly at some times, but a giving a little tweak on the brakes to slow it stopped this.
In flight, the sail looks tight and clean, with very few wrinkles.
The vents and cells themselves are pretty big, which helps to make the kite more stable, especially with the reinforcement around the vents, along the leading edge; the cells are almost impossible to collapse, even in lighter winds.
The kite looks great in the sky too- the colours and graphic layout are exciting and striking; and now fit very well with the similar cohesive image Ozone kites display across their whole range.
One thing I didn’t like so much on this first flight was the kite killers; I found them more difficult to put on with one hand than their Flexifoil equivalents, and when I tested them out, the sail retained some power. This is due to where they attach to the handles; at the root of the brake leaders, on dedicated loops, rather than at the tip. They are still effective, but I thought that Ozone could have made this better, as it would have been easily solved and would have inspired a little more confidence in the safety system.
However, my first impressions were very positive; the kite is a bit of a squeeze to get back into the bag (I had to handle wrap rather than parapack for the first time!), but with Ozone’s handy compression strap I managed to fit it all in!
Further flights :
Having had the kite for a few months now, I’ve had a good chance to get used to using it, and have really enjoyed taking it out; its become the most-flown kite in my quiver!
Lightwind performance is particularly impressive; the big cells and rigid vents help the sail fill well, and the fabric is superb; the kite is very light, lighter in fact than my 4m ‘Bee, and I’ve flown it in sub 5mph winds easily!
The kite is pretty much impossible to bow-tie or seriously twist; the stable shape and simple bridle mean that even if a tip does get caught around a bridle, it is easy enough to 'shake it out' in the air.
The material is also reasonably water-resistant; I flew it out in the snow for several hours earlier in the year without it soaking up water and loosing performance, and it has also been accidentally partially dumped in the sea once!
Build quality is truely superb; I’ve had absolutely no problems with mine at all so far, and have yet to hear of another Sami owner who has!
On the board, the kite was just as easy to handle as flying static; the stability means you do not have to keep the kite moving constantly, so it is easy to get the board positioned and ready to step onto.
In decent steady winds I’ve had loads of fun boarding; a long stretch of hard flat sand with a nice stable board meant I could lock the kite in and cruise for ages; it is rock steady at speed, and you can really lean hard against the pull and zip along at a cracking pace!
I’ve managed a few little jumps with this kite on the board; however, it isn’t a freestyle machine by any stretch; go and buy a Blade or a big depowerable if massive airs and tricks are what you are after!
Buggiers I’ve talked to also really liked the Samurai; I watched some chaps doing an impressive bit of friendly racing and blasting around on the beach with a Samurai and some Little Devils a month or so ago, really impressive speed and they looked in total control…
If you are after a relaxed bit of cruising with a board on the beach, some speed, loads of fun static flying and scudding, then you couldn’t go far wrong with a Samurai in my opinion, the smaller sizes make great steady beginners kites, and the bigger kites are excellent if you want a bit more power but with steady control.
The Samurais are not a budget range, but if you are prepared to pay a little more, and want a good all rounder for 'relaxed' riding, be it buggying or boarding, then I think you will not be disappointed; build quality is amazing, the package contains all you need to get going; lines and handles are excellent, and performance in the air and as an engine for traction activities is equally impressive.
The only 'faults' I can find with mine are the aforementioned kite killer problem, although this isn’t a big issue; and the bag could also do with a bit more space and a front pouch to store even more junk in!
Overall, a superb bit of kit; I would happily buy another if I had the cash (and will want a 4m eventually to replace my Firebee!) –highly recommended.
I’ve yet to try mine with a harness or on a bar, although I shall be doing so very soon- watch this space for updates!
I recently reviewed the 6m sam.
Well I now have my hands on the 4m. I wont go over the rucksack, unpacking, quality etc because thats all written in the other review. Its Ozone OK, 'nuff said!.
Same field 16mph NW.
Bang, straight up and a 5m stumble. You know thats a good sign. This is a deceptively powerful kite. I did wonder if it was actually a 4m. It looks smaller but pulls like a Geordie on a stag night. The speed at which it moves around the window was like a 2m in a gale but the power delivery was smooth and pretty uniform. This size did lose a bit of power as it approached the edge of the window and the stagnation point, so its upwind performance was not as good as the 6 in my opinion, but then you would expect that for a smaller kite.
We did have a little bit of overshoot in gusts and again this was remedied by shortening the brakes a little. If you are a more experienced pilot you can leave as is or even lenghten a little more to get that little bit more out of it, but it will hit stagnant air and begin to fold, so you need to react quickly.
Again I would recommend this kite to all abilities of recreational flyer, boarders and buggy pilots. Here at www.chillikites.co.uk we were a bit miffed when we heard the LDs were to go. But Ozone have more than made up for it with a kite that can be tailored to your demands. Our stable is in blue, and very nice it looks too. I still dont know why they do them in yellow though.
You can go Banzai with a Samurai if you want to but you can also go swan lake.We as a result are using them in our school and mighty pleased we are with them too.
By : Jon Pither
If you heve a decent sized flying area with nice clean wind you should have at least one Frenzy in your quiver.
The rapid development of the depowerable foil is all to easy to understand with one of these, a couple of sessions into ownership you WILL wonder how much those fixed bridle kites are worth secondhand.
So, I walked into Airbossworld and mumbled something about a Frenzy, handed over the cash and next day collected a ready set up and prepared Frenzy, Damn was I excited.... Straight off to the field for a quick fly.
Gary came with me to ensure I didn't maim myself and that all was peachy with the kite.
Setting it out for launch is laughably easy dumpsack, walkback unwinding the lines (this is an important bit, take notes!) hook the ORANGE line over your stake NOT the safety leash! and set the deower strap to maximum power. Unpack the kite, allowing it to sit up in the wind and do a quick check on the pulley system and amazing multicoloured bridles then walk back and hook in.
When it's launch time simply take the depower strap and set it to maximum depower, the kite will start to lift with all the pull of a 0.7 Buster!
As it reaches the zenith it will have inflated and it's time to give it a bit more power!!
YUM! Jumping time!
This kite is shared between my son and me, he gets much more use than I do, he can fly it sub 10mph upto 20mph as the wind rises so does the hieght of his jumps and the float time... he does start to have problems staying down on the ground 16+mph and much over 20mph he just bounces about!
With the bar out and the kite set on maximum depower it MAY be possible to fly in upto30mph plus... I however get decidedly nervous at 25mph plus so it comes down and smaller kites go up.
So, what is it good for?
Recreational is fun, jumps are but a dip of the wing away. Longer dips down the edge equal higher air when it goes back up. Great!
Buggying, on lighter wind days the 7.3 is very good in a buggy, the shorter bar means thighs are NOT constantl jabbed as with the 9.5 or 12.
The kite is nicely controlable and will "park and ride" all day. The depower can be used to heat things up or cool them down. WARNING please remember it will hoik you out if you don't treat it with respect! (this is quite nice for getting out of a low buggy though)
Landboarding, Home territory for the Frenzy this! AWESOME silky smooth power available as required, jumps are yours for the taking and soft landings when you come down (please note.. My son does the jumping and relays the results to me, I am a big scaredy cat!)
Snowkiting, yup, if you like getting cold this is for you. I don't so can't comment really.
Watery stuff? Hmm, can't quite face the thought of dunking an open foil, can be done though I have seen it!!
All this is fine, but what about landing? Some large kites just don't want to come down!
The Frenzy is lovely to land, Either take it to the edge of the window and let it slip to earth or grab the Orange line and pull it waaaay down past your bum. This may seem impossible at first due to the power in the kite, leave the kite at the zenith and pull hard, when you can pull no more wait..... when the tension drops (about half a second but can seem ages if the kite is well powered up) pull it all the way back. the kite will then fall down and sit on the floor.
That is pretty much a quick rundown of its capabilities BUT it tells you nothing of the kites quality!
It is a superb package. The technical rucksack is wonderful! I have started hanging all of my stuff from it for the trudge to the flying field, loads of straps and hooks for everything. it can even hold 2 well packed frenzies!
The kite itself is very well constructed and copes with bad landings well. all the seams have held up well and the kite still feels crispy and good after many flights and a couple of wet packdowns (always dried at first chance though!)
The bar is comfy, well padded and is fitted with many safety devices. The first time you need them you WILL be glad they are there. If it's red then pulling it will operate some kind of safety device. The 03 Frenzy suffers here, the primary safety is out of eyeline so when you are being dragged down a beach it ISN'T visible. The 04 has it's primary safety just under the depower strap right where you can see it and reach it from any position.
You pull that and all the power goes as the main lines are disconnected, need more? Pull the chiken loop safety and let go, the kite flops about like a wet rag! Need more?!? like the kite is stuck on a speeding car or still dragging you towards that cliff, deploy the wrist leash safety cutting all ties with the kite.
BIG up to Ozone for this, top idea which means I am happy for my son to use the kite happy he is going to be safe if he gets into a panic.
Surely with all this superduperness about the kite there must be SOME faults?
Well, yes, there are a few.
The whole depower thing takes a while to "click" along with not having the precise control of a pair of handles. The rucksack though GREAT does take an awful lot of room up and perhaps most damingly it has broken the side plate on both of its depower pulleys! This is despite great care being taken of them and sand removal after each beach visit!
Sum it up then adamski!
TOP kite for lighter to middle sized kiters, flexible easy power and easy launch and land.
NOT a first kite but great to progress to.
By : Adamski