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Now i’ve spent the past month flying my Ozone Access2, waiting for a day with enough wind too really get a feel for the kite. One thing about reviewing kites is that too really feel the kite come into their own, you need too fly them towards the upper half of their wind range. So patience on my part has finally paid off Introduction Once again Ozone have cracked a walnut with this kite, it is an awesome kite that once flown pretty much sells itself. It is really really difficult too find anything bad too say about this kite, or too even find something “quirky.” Each and every kites has its flaws, and each and every kite seems to have its “quirks.” I am definitely surprised by the Ozone Access2 as it has no “quirks.” The kite has been out overseas for quite a while now, and all info flowing back has been great, so I decided it was time I purchased one too really find out for myself. If you fly on land, and you like depower, you will most likely love this kite. The original idea of the Ozone Access was too create a gust munching, low lift kite that was an affordable introduction into the Depower market. The Ozone Access 2 kites keep in line with that philosophy, starting at $837 for a 4m and go up too $1038 for a 10m. Add your 10% Extreme Kites Member discount onto that and you have yourself one quality depower kite without the premium price tag. Unpacking The first thing you notice about unpacking the kite is the bag it comes with. As this is an “affordable introduction too depower,” the bag too is light weight. It is very very similar to the Ozone Frenzy bag in terms of material, but opens from the front. Unfortunately the bag does not offer many areas too put anything else in apart from your kite. As it is designed first as a snowkiting kite, it would have been nice too have a few more compartments to throw keys, phones etc in. You will only fit one kite into this pack. Once you remove the kite from the back pack you can tell it is an Ozone kite without even unrolling it. The fabric Ozone uses is always top notch, and feels smooth and crispy all at the same time. Folding out the kite the four bridle points are attached to a piece of cardboard. They are all numbered, and the lines are numbered too. The bar comes with the lines already attached too it, so all you have too do is unwind them from the bar, and hook them onto the bridle. Both the lines, and the bridle attachment points are numbered so a child that can count to four should be able to attach these. Lines The lines as per usual are of excellent quality, and I say it in past reviews and i’ll say it again. Regardless of kite, or manufactuer of that kite, I will put Ozone lines on the kite. Why ? Simply because they are the best lines in the industry. It takes more then 25 sessions on a set of Ozone lines too make them look like a set of lines from 2 sessions from a number of other manufacturers. After already 8 sessions on the Ozone Access 2 i could package the bar up, and sell the lines as new. The lines that come on the Access2 are 25m RED dyneema lines, this is so they can be seen on snow. The lines too my knowledge and looking at them compared to other Ozone lines seem to be the 360kg lines all around, but Steve @ KP seems too think they are 300kg. So I will clarify this once we know, Ozone have not put the rating of the lines on their website or their packaging. One thing Ozone has started doing more and more is their “idiot proof” line setup. This should mean that your lines are never put on incorrectly by changing the attachment system at the bridle end of the lines. This prevents newbies from making simple little mistakes that can have a serious impact if the kite was setup in a strong wind incorrectly. Bar System The ozone bar system is nothing short of amazing. Both for its simplicity, and effectiveness. Now i’d like too add a third reason, ease of resetup. The bar has two safety releases, which is more then ideal. The first is the “mushroom release” as I like too call it. It’s the red knob that you pull towards you that instantly removes all power from the kite. In short it sends the middle lines 2m towards the kite, which leaves the rear lines still connected too your bar. This acts like putting the brakes on a normal foil kite and the kite lands infront of you. The beauty of this is that there is no screwing around with a mess after activating the safety. You simply walk 2m towards the kite, grab the middle line and click it back in too reset the kite. Then you are off and flying again. You can activate the quick release, watch the kite land, then resetup the kite all in under 1 minute! The 2007 Ozone Chicken Loop is a little different to past years. This year the loop opens when you pull the release. I am not sure if this is better or worse then previous years, but it makes it a piece of cake for those using the kite without a harness that has spreader bar and hook to lock into it. One pull of this release will open the whole loop and the whole thing will fly away. Overall the bar on the 6m is really pleasant as it is small, you can see that from the photos. That means it does not get in the way all the time similar to the larger bars. In a buggy this is also ideal. Bridle Alright, I am very critical of kite bridles. Why ? Simply because of the bridle is wrong, the kite won’t fly right, it is as simple as that. A poor quality bridle leads to stretching in the bridle very quickly, which ends up in a deformation of the canopy, which results in the kite inheriting characteristics in its flight that it was never designed with. Ozone once again have paid very good attention too the bridle, and as with their high-end depower kites such as the Ozone Manta, the Ozone Access2 bridle is of excellent standard and quality. There are sewn and re-enforced tabs. The pulleys are good quality, so overall whilst this is a cheaper introduction too depower, the bridle is of excellent standard. Compare it too a number of other well known kites, and it still comes out on top. General Construction The general construction of the kite is excellent. From the feel and touch of the fabric, to the detailed stitching of the tabs, and cell re-enforcement. Looking at the kite from tip to tip, I could not find a fault with the workmanship of the kite. The overall finish is always sewn and sleeved. Flight Characteristics The kite is amazing, not only for the price but how it handles. The first few flights it was at the very bottom end of its wind range, this meant consistent working of the kite. I was surprised at how much power the kite had at the very bottom end of its range, and this had me a little worried about the Ozone Access 2 6m top end of the kite, as I bought it primarily as a high wind kite where there is too my wind for my 5m Ozone HAKA. Finally I had it out in a session with 20 knots, and the kite was nothing short of beautiful. Over the numerous sessions I have flown the kite it is yet too invert on me, something the Frenzy did quite reguarly in gusty winds. The Ozone Access2 basically sits there asking for more. I was flying the kite in some fairly strong winds, a simple pull on the bar and you went sideways and shot off, let the bar out and you regained traction around the corners. I was hitting some corners at around 50km/h in a standard buggy, pulling in the bar and just sliding down wind towards the kite. Let the bar out and I would shoot off completing the u-turn around the marker and heading to where I wanted too go. This kite really installs a level of confidence into your buggying in high winds that you just don’t have with a small 2m fixed bridle. The kite for its lower aspect points into the wind fairly well. Not as well as an ARC or high aspect race kite, but with the depower, you can play with the level of power so if you feel you are being dragged sideways you just release the bar a little and keep pointing into the wind rolling. I noticed how effective this was the first time when I was at Sandy Point flying an Ozone Access 4.0m, and dukey was on a 2.5m race kite. I was able to tack into strong 45 - 50 knot winds alot better as I didn’t get that gush of power when gybing. If you want too learn new ground based tricks, then this kite will also help you excel. It is so stable and well behaved that you can park the kite at the top of the window, push the bar out away from you and do your rotation. When you finish pull the bar in for a bit of power and zoom off in the direction you wish. The kite is so predictable that I happily completed 4 reverse upwind turns without any consideration to being ejected or pulled in the incorrect direction. Lift, well this is an interesting one. The idea of the Ozone Access was too have a reduced amount of lift, this did not mean that there was no lift. The Ozone Access2 has an extra two cells in this years model, so this has increased the amount of lift along with the design. Alan (Appo) an Ozone team rider is able to happily pull an aerial 360 buggy jump on his Ozone Access2 6m kite. So too say the kite has no lift is no longer true. The Access2 has enough lift that I would feel comfortable using it as my buggy jumping engine in high wind days. The float out of the kite is excellent too, you just come down softly. Overall the only thing I would like too see improved on the kite is its turn speed, using the same size bar. I love the size of the bar as it is small, however I feel this impedes on how quick the kite turns a little. This is not a factor in higher winds where you don’t need too work the kite. However in lower winds it does present itself as you try to work the kite up and down to develop more speed, you sometimes find yourself waiting to turn it the other way. Conclusion Overall this is an outstanding kite that is extremely hard to find a fault with. For some it will be their first introduction too depower, for others this kite will convert them. I am an avid lover of my fixed bridles in sub 25 knots. However above this and the Ozone Access2 is an excellent kite of choice. At a price that is nearly half of an Ozone Manta, it is definitely a kite worth considering for those just heading into Depower. If you are after a hassle free, reliable, well priced depower kite that you can setup as quick as a fixed bridle and fly away for the day, then the Ozone Access2 is IMHO an excellent choice. If you are going to demo one, request either a 6m or 8m, a 4m you will need a tornado to get the feeling of what this kite really has too offer. This review was originally posted in our Community Forum, August 2007.
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
One of my favorite kites, the 4m Access XT was Ozone's 2010 model in it's line of beginner to intermediate depower kites. It's a zippy little beastie too. Normally, you would not even consider static flying with a depower kite, but I have to admit, the 4m XT can be a bit of fun. Its quite a bit more responsive than the 09 XC and you can really work the kite vigorously to get some good power out of it. That speed of turning does come at a cost though, this is not the most stable kite Ozone has ever made. I would describe it as 'skittish'. Sit it at the top of the window next to an older model (I did this with 05? Frenzy) and the older kite sits there like a rock while the XT bobbles and quivers and moves around nervously. It's a lot more 'excitable' than it's 2009 XC predecessor. Nor is it quite as robustly made methinks. It's a little bit lighter all round - although it's never been a problem. Quality is typical Ozone - nicely put together. Mesh coverings on the cell openings. It also has the 'blowout' 'valves' which are a couple of openings to the front of the kite made of stiffer material that won't open under normal circumstances but will open in the event of a nose down crash to expel the excess pressure - neat idea. Bar is nice - the primary safety dumps the kite to the brakes and is quickly and easily reattached. The Access parks on it's brakes reasonably well but you do have to get the balance right between pressure on the power lines and pressure on the brakes - too much pressure on the brakes and the trailing edge will get wind under it and want to hop around, so a little thought is needed when you stake the brakes. Speaking of pressure, the bar feels quite light and comfortable when under way in the buggy with no great pressure on it from the brake lines. The 4m handles very directly and fast, it's just a fun kite to hoon around with. Upwind performance is adequate and speed is quite ok. I've managed about 66kph with the 4m and know of others who've gone a bit faster with it. Wind range for me starts at around 15 knots or so. By 18-20 it's a lot of fun. I've had it out in a little over 30 knots and it kept me on my toes - particularly with this model being a bit more skittish than previous models. This was my fastest run with the XT in 30 knot winds. You can see the wind is easily at 45 degrees or more cross on shore. It goes downwind really nicely. Very slow coming back but it did make it back.. Others may well use it in over 30 knots but that's enough wind for me. Nearly forgot to mention the bag....it's huge! You could probably fit 4 of these kites in there! Now the last couple of times I have bought Ozone depower kites, I really can't help thinking this company takes two steps forwards but one step back. Yes they made it faster and more responsive, but that was at the cost of stability. (It is still a pretty stable beast). But they took the cam cleat adjuster off the power lines and replaced it with some bloody useless trim straps on either end of the bar. Do you want to be trying to adjust two separate webbing straps either side of the bar in 25 knots? I sure as hell don't. The 4m doesn't particularly need a cam cleat adjuster as it's got a fair range of depower anyway, but they also left if off the rest of the range. I think it was a big mistake. Ozone must have thought the same as they re-instated it on the 2011 model. Here's a vid I did 5 years ago when the kite was a little more crispy - actually, even though I have flown this quite a bit over the years, it is still pretty crispy. Despite not having the cam cleat and not being quite as stable as other Access models, I do get a kick out of flying the 4m Access. They are a damn good versatile kite. I much prefer this safety system over the one Ozone put on the 2014 Frenzy which I couldn't come to grips with. If you've never flown one of these, you should try to beg, borrow or steal one for a test ride. And if you have a recent model, I'd be keen to hear how it stacks up against the 2010 XT.