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  • jhn.holgate Ozone Turbo Bar Review


    An excellent bar system for most fixed bridle kites - but not all. 

    Positives
    Ease of use one handed.
    Easily deployed safety
    Fixed bridle load transferred to harness.
    Negatives / Considerations
    Expensive.
    A little clunky.
    Doesn't work with all fixed bridles

    I really like the Ozone Turbo Bar.  It took me a little while to come to grips with after getting used to depower bars.  The Turbo Bar works best with kites that like being steered mostly with the brakes - and that's not all kites.  Kites like the PL Reactor and PKD Century do not like being steered with that much brake input and tend to stall in turns and begin to spin.  Other kites like HQ Beamers, PL Hornets, Flexifoil Blade V, Ozone Method, Octane, Imp & Flow do really well on the Turbo Bar.

    What the bar is:

    The Turbo Bar has the power lines through the center and brakes to the outside - but, it uses pulleys to transfer some of the turning force across to the power lines.  On a suitable kite, this makes for zippy turning with less input than required with handles.  It also has Ozone's leashless re-ride safety system.  Pull the red 'top hat' and the power lines are released a short distance leaving nearly all the power on the brake lines - the kite stalls and reverses to the ground with little power.  I've had to use this to land the 6.5m Method in 20 knots and it worked extremely well.  There is also a brake strap between the two brake lines that allow you to reverse launch the kite when needed.

    What the bar is NOT;

    It does not add depower to a fixed bridle kite.  Ozone were advertising it as 'depower through brakes'.  Bollocks.  Brakes is brakes, and has nothing to do with 'depower'.  Depower generally refers to changing the angle of attack of the kite to give you less power - try sticking your hand out the window next time you're in the car and alter the angle of your hand against the wind - "the angle of attack" (although lots of other depower systems are starting to emerge which are different again) and the Turbo Bar can only work with what the fixed bridle kite already has - power lines and brake lines.

    I like the bar because I find it easier to fly one handed with a bar allowing me to wave a camera around with the other hand.  I also like the way it hooks to a harness with a normal Ozone chicken loop and I like the safety system.  When I first got the turbo bar, the safety system was the same as on my depower kites so I already had the muscle memory to deploy it in a hurry if needed.

    I've seen lots of people write that a bar 'dumbs down' the kite.  I resent this remark.  The bar is simply the control mechanism of the kite and I've never been in a situation that I needed to do something with the kite that I could not do with the Turbo Bar.  But you do need to get the right combination of bar and kite - some bars will work well with some kites while others don't.

    Is there a downside to the bar?  Sure - it's expensive.  It's a bit clunky.  You don't have separate control over the power lines as you do with handles.  You need a harness.  Depending on the kite, it can feel a little 'mechanical' when you're steering the kite.  On the plus side, you have a simple to use and easy to reach safety, all the load goes through to the harness, the kite requires less effort to turn (probably why they called it 'Turbo') and it's easier to fly one-handed - well, for me - compared to using handles and strop, but you can fly fine with one hand with handles and strop once you get used to it.  I tend to find myself sitting more relaxed and facing more forward in the buggy than when I use handles.

    Would I buy one for static flying?  No.  I think handles are simply better for static flying.

    The turbo bar does 'mimic' a little bit of a depower bar when moving fast in buggy - start pulling the brakes on (simply by pulling the bar back) which, by the way, you can do with one hand which you can't do with handles - and the kite will start to pull more and sit back a little in the window similar to a depower kite.  I've flown with the bar pulled fully in with a 3m Ozone Flow and the trailing edge was really pulled in producing quite a bit more power than with no brakes on (bar out).  Having said that, try that when flying static and you will simply stall the kite.  Something that has landed me on my bum a few times!  When you're static flying with a depower, you can fly it quickly above you and pull the bar in for a little 'boost' - the same trick with the turbo bar stalls the kite and you end up on your bum quickly.  Something you just have to get used to.  

    I've had two turbo bars and on both bars, when connected up as per factory recommendations, the brake lines were so slack that they were completely useless.  It's almost like Ozone got the geometry wrong on the line setup.  But easily fixed, just add a 4 - 5 inch pigtail to both power lines.  You can do this at either end of the lines.  Originally, I tied some extra knots in the Turbo Bar's brake leaders but on a hard turn, the knots can go through the pulleys and jam. - not good.  I like to setup the lines so that there is just a wee bit of slack on the brake lines with the bar fully out.  There are some strap adjusters on either end of the bar that allow you to adjust this.

    If you have the right kite and know what to expect out of the turbo bar, I think they're brilliant.  Wrong kite and it will be a complete dud.

    I've tried to show most of what I've talked about in this vid....

     



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    User Feedback


    Northern Kites Australia

    Posted (edited)

    Thanks for that review Joel, especially clarifying the so called "depower" features of the bar.

    Stupid question, but is the "Turbo Bar" the same as the old Cabrinha Powerdrive bars with the steering pulleys and the 2:1 set up through the middle, the only main difference being a brake line?

    http://www.kiteforum.com/wiki/index.php?title=Powerdrive_2N1_S_2008

    I've got one of those Powerdrive bars and aside from the crappy safety system, they do a great job pulling twice as much line on my LEI kites than a standard 1:1 set up, which means my kites loop far more quickly and easily. However the pull on the arms is massive!

    Edited by Fernando
    link added

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    Pari

    Posted

    Great review, thanks very much. Would love to try one on my Blade IV.

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    jhn.holgate

    Posted

    Never tried one on a Blade IV but have tried one on a 4m Blade V which flew perfectly on the turbo bar.

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    Trailstar1

    Posted

    would it work with a PL Twister?

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    jhn.holgate

    Posted

    would it work with a PL Twister?

    I'm not sure it will work efficiently - the Reactor II that I tried it on didn't like the Turbo Bar's excessive brake input and would stall half the wing during the turn.  I suspect the Twister may be similar but I don't know for certain.  It did work on a PL Hornet 3m but was less successful on the Hornet 5m so I suspect Peter Lynn kites like front line input more than brake input - just my impression which may not be correct.

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    Trailstar1

    Posted

    yeh ok, i checked out the shape of the reactor II and compared it with the twister, they do look a bit similar so you are probably right there...

    yep this is a 4.0m Twister so its probably not ideal...

    just out of interest, what does a wider bar do? i set up a widish cutom bar for my younger brothers PL Vibe to get him used to a bar over just straps and it goes a lot better, easier to control, more stable etc...this is just a really small power kite, but does it do the same for bigger kites??

    thanks!

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    jhn.holgate

    Posted

    Wider bar gives you more turn speed as the wider the bar, the more line you pull when turning.  I think it was @windstruck who got an adjustable length bar for use on several different size nasa stars - from all accounts, it was excellent.

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    windstruck

    Posted

    Yep - big fan of multiple width bar. Mine goes form 45 - 60 cm in 5 cm increments. Regular born bar is 50 cm. 45 for the smallest kites, 60 for the largest. Works great. 

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    Jim Weldy

    Posted (edited)

    I was playing with the PL Crossover today - haven't used it much since learning to love the strop.  Seems to do better with the larger reactors - was that your experience?  Bigger kites worked better on the bar than smaller?

    Edited by Jim Weldy
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    jhn.holgate

    Posted

    7 minutes ago, Jim Weldy said:

    Seems to do better with the larger reactors - was that your experience?  Bigger kites worked better on the bar than smaller?

    I only ever had the 4.4m RII on the bar and there was too much brake input for that kite.  It worked ok on the 3m Hornet but not much good on the 5m Hornet - again, too much brake input.  I got the impression that PL stuff in general was a bit too much front line biased for the turbo bar to perform at it's best.  The small 2m Beamer was a hoot on the bar and 4m was excellent too, so I don't think the size mattered.  The biggest I flew on the bar was a 9m Riot which worked ok but didn't feel as smooth as handles.  The 1.5 & 2.5m Imp Quattro were also fine on the bar - so small stuff can be quite good.  Haven't used the TB bar now for years as I've been flying the Nasa Stars, Access XT and Peak II's.

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    Kamikuza

    Posted

    I used mine with the PL Core 6.7 and it was good. I seem to remember trying it on the Rebble 5 and that didn't work, but the lines are ancient and well stretched in funny ways. 

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