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  • jhn.holgate Ozone Method 6.5M Review


    Well mannered mid aspect foil. Best in the upper wind range of the kite. 

    Positives
    • Well behaved and easy to fly
    • Great top end
    • Good upwind and speed
    Negatives / Considerations
    • Lightly built
    • Poor low end performance
    • Downwind needs a few extra knots

    The Method is a really well mannered, stable and likable mid aspect foil from Ozone.  It has it's good points and it has it's bad points.  It is not the wonder kite that Ozone marketing made it out to be....what a surprise! (said with heavy sarcasm).  The first thing you'll notice after pulling the Method out of it's over-the-shoulder bag is it's lack of bridles.  With only two sparse rows of bridles and a row on the trailing edge, this has to be the least bridled foil I've ever seen.  The bridles are very thin too.  Ozone claim this reduces drag and increases speed.  Probably makes it much cheaper to produce too, but they don't mention that bit.  There is also some internal re-reinforcing to compensate for the fewer bridles.  I never found any drawback to this - the kite holds it shape quite well when you get it wrong and after flying a few different Methods for many hundreds of km's, nothing broke or stood out as being not up to snuff.  

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    The other thing you'll immediately notice is that not all the cells are open and those that are, are mesh covered to prevent debris from entering the kite.  Despite it being a pretty light weight kite, it seems extremely well made and high quality.  Next to something like a PKD Century, it looks a bit under done in the building dept, but like I said, I have never had a problem with any of the Methods.

    One advantage of not having all the cells open is it takes a little while longer to completely inflate the kite - which makes for a slightly gentler first launch - it doesn't have the tendency to race off the ground and want to rip your arms off in the process.  This kite also sits on it's brakes better than any other kite I've had.  It's very well mannered both launching and landing.  It's quite well mannered in flight too, it has a nice, wide window and only overflies occasionally - easily controlled with a little brake.  It is very stable in flight and doesn't require constant attention and has no bad habits that I can think of - don't think I've ever accidentally bow tied one.  It's also pretty quick to turn.  Ozone say that it 'handles like a sports car'.  Um....maybe.  It does fly and handle very nice.  Power delivery is a bit of a different story though.

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    Supposedly, this is said to be almost as fast as a Yakuza.  So one of my first flies of this kite was at Kingston, side by side (sometimes!) with Dukey on his 6.8m Yak GT.  On paper, the lower aspect of the Method in the lighter wind should have had it matching the Yak.  Nope.  Forget it.  In 7 knots, the Yak generated wonderful power and was gone.  Meanwhile, I'm sining the 6.5 Method up and down watching Dukey disappear into the distance thinking...but, but...... It did fly ok in 7 knots but not with any commanding authority.  However, the Method was soon to have it's revenge.  As the wind picked up to 8 - 9 knots, the Method did park 'n ride with some speed and authority.  As the wind started to get to 10 - 11 knots it was coming into it's own and the Yak GT was now making way too much power to hold a straight line and the Method handily pulled away.  I've repeated this same scenario with several different sized Methods against several other kites.  In every instance, the Method needs a few more knots to level the score.  The top end on these kites is really nice, even for a hack like me.  They sit well forward in the window and generate good speed.  They are not as fast as a race kite, but they are much better behaved and easier to fly.  For me, the 6.5m can pull me along in 7 knots.  9 - 10 is right in the sweet spot.  14 knots and I'm starting to lose traction.  

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    Their upwind ability is quite good.  I've managed to hold a line heading into a 45 degree cross-on headwind without too much problem.  Although I did need to pick up a bit of speed by tacking up the beach before the kite really got going.  Downwind, you will need a few more knots again.  You really need to get these moving fast before they'll go downwind with any power - probably their least favorite direction.

    I don't think the Methods are any harder to fly than a low aspect foil like the Flows/Octanes etc, you just have watch you don't occasionally let them overfly if they're sitting above your head and you will need a few more knots for them to perform at their best.  They do have enough lift to pull you out of the buggy, so don't go throwing it over your head to slow down - do it slowly!  Neither are they overly lifty.

    A well behaved, easy to fly, quality kite.  Add a few extra knots of wind speed for them to perform at their best.  They fly well on the Ozone Turbo bar too.

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