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Author: Subject: Ozone Explore V2 is amazing once you figure it out!
rectifier




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biggrin.gif posted on 1-11-2022 at 01:08 PM
Ozone Explore V2 is amazing once you figure it out!


Got the kite in the summer and put a couple static flights on it. At the time I was really impressed but noticed a couple bad singleskin tendencies that reminded me of the NPWs - overflying, collapse and bowtie potential from crosswinds being the worst. However nothing that I couldn't manage and the power and control were excellent.

I had some issues on my first attempt to ride. However most of them were my fault, and I quoted my original post below so you can see how mad I was! Now that I actually got riding, I'm so incredibly impressed with this kite and rode until my legs were sore and my fingers were numb. Tons of fun.

Mistakes:
- Do NOT engage the 5th line while the kite is staked. NO NO NO. It will inflate strangely and flap and roll. Don't use it to launch, land, take a break, or any of the other stuff Ozone mentions. Use it as a safety, it's very good at that job.
- If you let it bounce around too much on the brakes/safety, the Dyneema trim line is slippery enough to get loose from the cleat and set it to max power. At that point things only get worse. This will probably wear in but was definitely to blame for the full power hot launches.
- A weight for the center panel is helpful, but not 100% necessary. It definitely helps in dirty wind.

On to the actual kiting. We got fresh snow! I took it out in 15-20kts today, supposedly around the middle of its range. Glad I got the 6m as this is a pretty ordinary day here.

Solo launch: Trim in, bar out, hot launch it. No need to even steer for the edge of the window. It barely pulls as it runs to the apex. This was one of the selling features for me and I love it.

Depower range: Huge, plus the trim really makes a difference on this kite. Trimmed all the way out I could barely get my skis to slide if I worked it, around half trim and I was ripping but could still release all the power by putting the bar out. Tons of grunt for hill climbing, easy to let it go at the peak to avoid ridge lofting. It can float at the apex depowered when descending which makes for fun hill climbs followed by downhill skiing with no interference from the kite. Just perfect for my terrain.

At one point the kite was flattened by a crosswind and came back to life pointing straight down, straight downwind, downhill. I figured my first real safety pull was coming up but threw the bar out and downlooped it... and nothing happened. Very impressive and incredibly safe. After that event I decided to step up my riding because I felt confident the kite wouldn't boss me around.

Window: Better than expected. After a couple crosswind runs I had no concerns about getting back to my truck and rode all over the field. It pulls downwind well too, and I had some fun throwing out some deep carves riding downwind. The kite itself doesn't fly super close to the wind, but has a lot of pull on the edges of the window and you can edge against it. Unlike some kites it needs a decent amount of brake to fly close to the edge, and pushing the bar out to try to work the edge of the window results in the kite sliding back. Got used to this pretty fast.

Handling: Nimble but not too fast. Not a park and ride though. Definitely needed to keep glancing at the kite, but this was my first day with it. It doesn't park itself at the apex while you're taking a break either, you have to keep an eye on it. It really shines in motion compared to static, with no overflying or collapse issues. The one time it did collapse was due to a huge crosswind gust right as I was turning and unloading it, and it recovered fine. No flapping unless the bar is out, and at that point the kite is basically flagged anyways.

Lift: None if you don't ask for it. Zero. Plenty to get me back on my feet if I'm laying on my back. I haven't tried any ski jumping yet and I pretty much like to stay on the ground, I'm getting old. However I did take some little static hops in the summer and the power delivery is smooth, so I might be tempted to try a little if we get deep powder for soft landings.

Overall it's a great feeling kite, huge confidence builder and I'll be putting a lot of hours on it as long as the weather is decent. Just like the Peaks I can see it being a perfect beginner kite while still being a ton of fun for the experienced rider. I'm not sure if it's a "one kite quiver" but it looks to be damn close for Saskatchewan except for the low wind days or the absolute howlers, which we don't go out in. I'll probably be selling my Apexes after I get a feel for the wind range as it likely covers both of them, and I honestly don't see myself flying them when I have the Explore.

Can't believe it took over a year from the order to the first ride but you've got to take what you can get these days, and now I've got a great kite and a decent winter ahead of me to enjoy.

Quote:

So it's finally not -40 here and time to try it out. Holy cow is this kite badly behaved on the ground. I've never met a kite that wants to be inside out more than this one, and I used to build NPWs.As most people on this board have flown NPWs, this kite has the same tendency to pick the bottom of the middle panel up when sitting on the brakes. Unfortunately I found instead of the middle just flipping up a bit and the kite bouncing, it would often flip right over leaving the middle inside out and the wingtips sitting normally. Sometimes it will flip itself over when staked on the brakes and reverse launch which is outright dangerous. I've never had another kite do this.Even worse, my wind is always shifting and turbulent since I live in a hill range. So when it was flipping up the center panel, often the wingtips would blow through the bridles resulting in massive tangling. I spent so much time untangling bridles today and zero time actually skiing.Usually when I got it to try to sit nicely, tried to put my skis on and attach it to my harness, it's gone and flipped a wingtip again. So I would give it some tugs to try to open it out, which resulted in 5 partially bowtied, uncontrolled spiralling hot launches. Even with full brake application and the bar out I spent a lot of time scudding downwind on my back and had to pull the safety every time as the tangled bridles wouldn't allow any control. I will give this one to Ozone, the safety brings the kite down immediately with zero power even when it's completely out of control. Great system from a safety standpoint. Unfortunately "re-ride" isn't a great name as every time I engaged the safety, one of the bridles would manage to wrap around the back of the kite as it tumbled, meaning there was no way to relaunch it without staking it down and walking.Ultimately the last time I pulled the safety the brake bridles were tangled with the power bridles were tangled with the 5th line, pulling the kite into a C shape that wouldn't even sit still to be untangled. I gave up and brought it inside where I detached it from the bar and spent about half an hour sorting the bridles out. What an incredible mess. I quit building kites specifically so I wouldn't have to do this, but didn't expect I would end up buying Bridle Untangling Experience: The Kite.Anyways I'm hoping half of this is due to stiff bridle lines that need to break in, since often they grab each other with little loops, and that's not really the kite's fault. They are good sturdy lines after all. But I can't help but wonder if I'm missing something here on the launch. I can't put snow on the center panel or on a wingtip, because it's nothing but powder and will just blow away. But I also can't get the kite to sit still and behave long enough to get it in the air. They advertise the Explore as a backcountry/expedition kite, but I just couldn't see getting it into the air unless the wind is nice and clean - not what I would want on a mountain for sure.I'll try to get more hours on it, break it in a bit on some lighter wind days and update this post but right now I'm honestly nothing but mad at it.

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jeffnyc




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[*] posted on 1-11-2022 at 02:02 PM


I was wondering what the heck was going on until you got to the part about the powder snow. If you're launching alone, you definitely need to carry along some water bottles or sandbags to keep the TE down until you're ready to launch. Particularly when it's that gusty. I went through the same sort of thing last year except on chunky ice. We also had to contend with the ice catching the lines. But it made it much easier (for them) that I was there to launch them. Since I launched solo, water bottles and a lot of swearing did the trick. If it's any consolation, no bridled kite will sit still in those conditions. Give it another go, the explore seems like a great kite.



Foil: Speed5 18+12 | Speed3 15 | Sonic2 9m | Peak 5 4m
Arc: Phantom I 12m+18m
LEI: LF WOW 9m
FB: Flux 5m | Bullet 4.5 | Blurr 3.5 + 2.5 | Rage 2.5 | Beamer 1.8
Ride: Flexi Haize | MBS core 90 | SS Vision 140 | Mako 140 + King 165 | King Gee | SS Hover Glide | WB 5'6" | Burton Floater
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rectifier




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[*] posted on 1-11-2022 at 06:09 PM


Thanks, I've never owned a kite that *required* sand/snow on the TE to launch so that must be what caused my issues. The ground is also very slippery since it's only a thin coating of snow, most was blown into drifts by high winds when it was -40C leaving just enough for skis to slide on.

I'm used to solo launching with nothing but a stake since turbulent winds and fine powder are basically what we have here all winter. Open cell foils would just sit parked and maybe slide back and forth a bit, and NPWs would get flappy but usually were more inflated and rigid. I'm wondering what I should be doing with the 5th line and my stake as well, I had it secured to the stake which was reefing in the kite a bit. Maybe it would inflate better and flap less if it was sitting only on the brakes with no 5th line engagement, but reading about the "re-ride" safety I felt that it was able to be launched just by releasing the 5th line and stepping back?

I've calmed down from my frustration and will bring some weights out tomorrow and give it another go! I also hate launching off chunky ice with the little teeth that catch the lines, that's just awful stuff. We get that on the fields here sometimes too when small drifts get jagged frosty edges, I've had it catch a brake line and flip my kite right into the ground just after launch... no fun.




Homebuilt: 1m NPW9b, 2.6m NPW21, 7m NPW21 UDS
HQ: 3.2m Crossfire, 5m + 7m Apex 3
6m Ozone Explore v2
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utahtami


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[*] posted on 1-12-2022 at 07:37 PM


Jeff,
what is your experience with the Ozone Explore?




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jeffnyc




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[*] posted on 1-14-2022 at 03:08 PM


Quote:

what is your experience with the Ozone Explore?


Hi Tami. No experience with Explore, but looks like a nice kite. Going by reviews I've seen, v2 is supposed to be pretty well behaved. I've always like the look of Ozone's re-ride system in their snow kites, I'm glad FS added same to Peak. Are you thinking about getting one? I finally broke down and ordered a Peak 5, should arrive any day now, and the ice will be good next week.

My suggestions to rectifier were just from experience launching friends with Peaks, and launching all my kites. There were just some days that no kite would sit still on the ice, and no way other than water bottles to keep them down. Once in the air you're on your own :D Believe it or not, my Phantom has been the toughest to launch predictably. By the time I get to my board, the wind knocks the lines behind the tip, even if I keep pressure. Once it's up its a dream though.

Speaking of which, rectifier... make super sure whatever you use as weights is fairly smooth. In a pinch I've tried my bags, but bridles catch on EVERYTHING and make it hell out there.

My friend with 5 line peaks (pretty similar system to the explore I think), need an initial launch before he can use the 5th line to relaunch. But boy am I jealous as to how easily he can set the thing down, take a rest, then put it right back up. I only have 4 line for my Peak, but I'll see if I can rig up the 5th line somehow (haven't looked too deeply into how it works).




Foil: Speed5 18+12 | Speed3 15 | Sonic2 9m | Peak 5 4m
Arc: Phantom I 12m+18m
LEI: LF WOW 9m
FB: Flux 5m | Bullet 4.5 | Blurr 3.5 + 2.5 | Rage 2.5 | Beamer 1.8
Ride: Flexi Haize | MBS core 90 | SS Vision 140 | Mako 140 + King 165 | King Gee | SS Hover Glide | WB 5'6" | Burton Floater
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rectifier




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[*] posted on 1-15-2022 at 12:15 PM


OK, edited my post since I got this figured out. 5th line issues. Great kite, great flyer and amazing depower range. Read my first post for the updated review.

Interesting you mention the Peaks need an initial launch before they are relaunchable. I wonder if the same thing happened here. I don't dare pull the 5th line to take a break in the dirty winds we have here, though, because even when I was testing it in the summer it had a tendency to wrap a bridle around the ball it folds into.

I don't really see the need to do so anyways since it has no pull when parked at the apex, and it seems easy enough to land and relaunch just using the brakes. Things may be different up towards the top of the wind range, though.




Homebuilt: 1m NPW9b, 2.6m NPW21, 7m NPW21 UDS
HQ: 3.2m Crossfire, 5m + 7m Apex 3
6m Ozone Explore v2
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jeffnyc




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[*] posted on 1-15-2022 at 03:54 PM


Great to hear you got it working!

I forgot about the ozone brake line, that thing comes in handy. Not sure I'd trust staking it in gusty wind though. 5-6m Seems like a perfect size for most wind. Have fun!




Foil: Speed5 18+12 | Speed3 15 | Sonic2 9m | Peak 5 4m
Arc: Phantom I 12m+18m
LEI: LF WOW 9m
FB: Flux 5m | Bullet 4.5 | Blurr 3.5 + 2.5 | Rage 2.5 | Beamer 1.8
Ride: Flexi Haize | MBS core 90 | SS Vision 140 | Mako 140 + King 165 | King Gee | SS Hover Glide | WB 5'6" | Burton Floater
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tomdiving




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[*] posted on 1-16-2022 at 05:34 AM
12 m


there's a 12m with bar on ebay now for $1,450. that's down from the original 1600
listing price.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/144327369628?hash=item219a94e39c:g:...
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rectifier




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[*] posted on 1-16-2022 at 11:16 AM


Ooh, tempting. But I suspect the days in this windy country for a kite like that will be minimal. I think 6/10 were the pair we talked about here when I originally ordered the kite. Even the 10 would likely only see a couple days a year.

Today might be one of those days. Supposed to be blowing 10-20kph this afternoon and I might go out and see if I can get any go out of the 6m with the trim strap set to max power. That's around the bottom end for my Apex 7.5 for "quietly cruising around" conditions, and if it can match that then I definitely don't need either of my Apexes anymore.

Jeff I thought the exact same thing about the brake strap, so I secured the 5th line to the stake as well. That caused all the first day issues since having it only a little bit engaged makes it misbehave badly.

What I did on the second day was make a short leash from the 5th line to the stake, so that there was zero tension on the 5th line unless the brake strap got away. This worked perfectly.




Homebuilt: 1m NPW9b, 2.6m NPW21, 7m NPW21 UDS
HQ: 3.2m Crossfire, 5m + 7m Apex 3
6m Ozone Explore v2
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jeffnyc




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[*] posted on 1-17-2022 at 01:15 PM


Interesting... I probably should stress that I have no real experience with the 5th line on SS kites. I had a couple Gins, but the 5th line worked completely differently and were a huge pain in the ass with wrapping to where I disengaged them. My experience is launching all these kites (LEI, foil, SS, Arc) in ratty conditions, so take with a grain of salt. From what I remember last year, he engaged the 5th line only, and wrapped it around the bar, no brake engagement at all. The kite crumpled up into a ball that drops out of the sky. When he launched again, just unravel the 5th line, let the wind take it and release the line. I don't remember anything too drastic with lines catching, but if they did they were easy to shake out or he would land again and clear.
I can see the UPS truck parked a block away, so my 4m should be here any minute :D I will definitely see about converting a bar to a 5 line, and talk to my friend about his experiences. His quiver is an 8m and a 13m (Peak 4s) (edit.. he's heavier than me, and I guess holds down the 8m in silly conditions, and heads up there for glass off evening rides on the 13m). I would think an 8m and 5m would be a perfect quiver for most conditions.




Foil: Speed5 18+12 | Speed3 15 | Sonic2 9m | Peak 5 4m
Arc: Phantom I 12m+18m
LEI: LF WOW 9m
FB: Flux 5m | Bullet 4.5 | Blurr 3.5 + 2.5 | Rage 2.5 | Beamer 1.8
Ride: Flexi Haize | MBS core 90 | SS Vision 140 | Mako 140 + King 165 | King Gee | SS Hover Glide | WB 5'6" | Burton Floater
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