2013 Ozone Access 6m...
This is my second depower kite as I have also got a Ozone Manta 10m, flying the Manta is what convinced me to sell my trusty Ozone Method and Flow to fund a smaller depower.
The thing I like about the depowers in the buggy is the huge wind range and the gust handling abilities - also how much cooler does it look flying one handed with a bar...?
The Ozone Access is designed as a beginner/intermediate snow kite, with great performance, stability and safety and as a high wind/storm kite for the experienced rider - I bought it as my high wind kite, with a wind range from 15-25 knots it sits nicely below the 10m Manta.
The build quality of Ozone kites is legendary and once again I was not disappointed. The sail is immaculate with neat seams and not a thread out of place. It has top quality Ronstan Orbit Block Series 20 pulleys, four unique blow-out-valves on the under surface, these seal as the kite inflates and velcro dirt-outs at the wing tips. The sail has the typical Ozone mesh covering the vents and diagonal internal cross bracing.
The Access has a clam-cleat trimmer that sits above the bar so that you can further adjust the power even while flying and this is easy to operate one handed. This features a really nice bit of design; the clam-cleat and end of the line have magnets in them so even if you have it pulled in fully (complete depower) the length of cord attaches to the clam-cleat and doesn’t flap around (I found this out purely by accident on my third or fourth flight!).
The 2013 6m Access comes with a 45cm Ozone Contact-Snow control bar and the 5th line safety system, Ozone Megatron chicken loop and 25m lines. It all fits into the usual high quality back-pack and comes with the instruction manual, key ring, stickers and repair tape.
The set up of the Ozone Access is simple with the lines wrapped on the bar and all numbered, I set it up on the grass opposite the house and the only issue I found was when I came to my first flight I had the 5th line safety over the top of the front lines where it is supposed to sit under them (easily rectified), I should look at the manual rather than thinking I know what I am doing!
Performance – first flight the wind was gusting 11-18 knots, once the kite was unpacked and the 5th line adjusted! I started attaching the safety leash to my harness and then to the loop on the 5th line that comes through the chicken loop then attached the chicken loop to the harness, release the handbrake, step back, the kite fully inflates and launches a few light touches on the bar and it sits nicely at the zenith.
Usually I would have a go static flying just to see how the kite performs, get a feel for the power- zone and range of power and try out the safety – this time I just hopped straight into the buggy, dropped the kite into the power zone as I pulled on the bar and off I went…
Like some of the other Ozone kites I have owned, if you work the kite at the lower end of the wind range you can start to get some decent pull as the kite develops some speed. And as the wind increases the kite comes into its own with some decent pull.
In the buggy the Access performs well, some great pull, awesome stability and is developing some decent speeds (probably not as quick as my fixed bridals - yet), I have flown it in about 10-11 knots and it has got me moving and was in its element 18-20 knots and gusty. My problem is hitting that perfect line in which the kite really performs at it's best - but I am getting closer.
I have been every which way with the kite, work it a bit to get some speed and it travels well up-wind. you can sit it off to one side and quite comfortably sit with one hand on the bar and let it cruise or cycle it through a sine-wave to increase the speed.
|track with SW winds|
The feel on the bar is great, nice and light pressure, but the feedback is really positive. Even with the shorter 45cm bar on the 6m the kite response is immediate and positive. Just the lightest touch to change the direction as good as if it were a fixed bridle on handles.
I absolutely love flying on a bar, with the Access I am really letting it pull me through the down-wind power slides. Taking the kite to the top of the wind window, turning it through 180 and as it comes back down into the power zone, pulling on the bar as I turn the buggy through a 180 degree down-wind turn and let the kite pull me round through a huge, grin inducing, power-slide.
The 5th line safety system gives a total flag out when you release the safety on the megatron chicken loop. I wasn't sure how I would go flying with the leash attached to the harness, in the buggy, but it hasn't been any sort of encumbrance. A part from having to hook the leash onto the flag out loop there is no difference than flying any-other kite. Let go of the bar and pull the release on the megatron chicken loop and the kite collapses and totally depowers -the bar shoots up towards a red ball on the front leader line and there is no pull at all. There was a little bit of untangling needed though - but it's reassuring to know how effective it is.
There is also another quick release on the leash for those who like to get air and ride unhooked - not for me!
Landing the kite in normal circumstances is straight forward and easy, just grab the hand-brake webbing with one hand and pull it towards your hip and the kite lands easily even in the power zone. Put it down at the edge of the power zone on those strong wind days.
The hand-brake also works to reverse launch the kite when you stack-it, either keep hold and it will right itself and park on the ground or let it reverse launch and spin it and off you go...
There is no way I have even come anywhere close to realizing the true potential of this kite, as my confidence and competence with the depower continues to increase my speed gradually edges up. It has already proven it's flexibility and stability in gusty conditions. I was always worried that I would regret selling my Ozone Method and Ozone Flow as they were my main work horses but I think the Access 6m is going to be a worthy replacement.
|the back pack|
|close up on the bar|