Ozone’s all new Catalyst, completely re-designed from previous versions is aimed clearly at beginners and intermediates. In our Ozone Catalyst V3 review we’ll look at what makes it a great starter kite.
Who are Ozone?
Ozone has been in the kite business pretty much since the start. Owned by 3 Brits but based in New Zealand and with their own factory in Vietnam, they have been at cutting edge of kite design since the very beginning.
Ozone Catalyst V3 Review.
Unlike most manufacturers, Ozone have designed the new Catalyst V3 specifically with beginners and intermediates in mind.
The kite school I work with have just started using the Catalysts as their teaching kites, so I can speak with first-hand knowledge of how they live up to their aim.
What’s Different About the Catalyst V3?
The first thing you notice when it comes out of the bag is that the Catalyst V3 is a one-strut kite.
One-struts have been around for a while, aimed squarely at the light wind and foiling market. The problem with other one-struts though has been lack of rigidity and and difficulty re-launching. So I was a bit cynical until we tried them out for ourselves!
And I’ve been massively impressed with how Ozone have created a kite that has all the weight advantages of a one-strut, that gives it fantastic light-wind capability, without any of the issues previously experienced with other light-wind kites.
Ozone have taken a lot of the technology from their one-strut free-ride/wave kite, the Alpha 1 and built it into the new Catalyst. Teijin Dacron material in the canopy gives it a more stable and smoother shape and the super-firm leading edge keeps the arc in the right shape to turn and re-launch easily.
How Does it Fly?
The kite is open-arc in profile (what we used to call a “bow-kite”) and gives it great range both at the top and bottom of wind speeds. It also makes it friendly to jump with a floaty, predictable feel. So it makes a great kite to progress to early tricks.
With fairly square wing-tips, it sits easily on its edge in the water and is super-easy to relaunch.
I’ve flown these kites at the very bottom of the wind range which is, needless to say, where they should and do excel. But I’ve also used them in gusty, top of the wind-range, conditions and been completely pleased with the lack of fuss. They simply sit there through the gusts.
The kite naturally flies to the front of the window making upwind riding easy to master.
And the de-power is smooth and progressive to give a beginner or intermediate great confidence that they can stay in control in stronger winds.
So, I can safely say Ozone have created a kite in the Catalyst V3 that will suit any beginner in their earliest trips to the beach, right through to their intermediate stage and basic jumps and tricks.
True to their principles, Ozone have kept the bar as simple as possible, with nothing added that doesn’t serve a purpose. It’s a simple 4-line bar with the “V” right down at the trim-strap. The lines are newly strengthened on the latest offering, the Contact Water V4, and the QR is simple and easy to re-set.
It’s comfortable in the hands and the de-power line has a PU covering to reduce friction on both the line and the bar.
The bar comes in two fixed length sizes, 38cm and 45cm. The bigger bar will work with any kites size from 8m upwards.
In terms of price, the Ozone Catalyst V3 compares very well with the competition, and in my opinion this makes it a great first kite option. Re-sale value should stay healthy so that as you outgrow the Catalyst (if you do) then the move to a more advanced kite should be painless.