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Ozone Flow

Following on from the Flux and Fusion releases, which were both race and performance focused this year, Ozone have now filled in a gap in the range previously occupied by their long running WASP series with a more wave and freeride focused model in the form of the all-new Flow, arriving in a range of six sail area sizes between 2.4 and 5.7m.

Ozone have employed their new OzCAD software again which has proven successful in the Flux and Fly wings respectively and you can almost feel the genetics. Shape-wise, the Flow is notably lower aspect than the Flux, and generally more compact in shape.

Materials employed are well considered and all sourced from Japanese manufacturer Teijin, with tough Dacron for the tubes and three core 55GSM cloth on the canopy. For a wave and freestyle wing that’s going to inevitably take a kicking, these are sensible and long proven choices for the Flow and it’s a wing that you don’t need to be too precious about and will be simple to repair if the proverbial hits the fan. Build-wise, Ozone sit at the forefront of kite and wing manufacturing with their own factory, and building to order with custom colors are also available on request for a small extra cost. It’s an honest and transparent build with materials and seaming on proud display almost proving no corners are cut. Historically, the consistency of the product has always been impressive from them and material choices, particularly for areas susceptible to wear, are intelligently placed and importantly combine to make an overall lightweight wing. It’s undoubtedly a product that’s going to have a decent lifespan.

Inflation is handled by two Boston valves which sit on the leading edge and strut on separate chambers. These are well proven from years of use in the kite range, easy to service and replace if necessary, and make it a fuss-free process to get the wing up to a sensible 8PSI in the leading edge and 9PSI in the strut, which was what our 4.3m test wing required. It’s supplied as standard with a clip-on waist leash and bungeed Dyneema cord which has a hidden stainless swivel to prevent any bunching.

In the hands, the low-end grunt on the Flow allows you to use a size down than you’d expect, and get on a smaller foil with ease. In terms of handling feel, the Flow provides a delightfully progressive power delivery; it’s a smooth operator, and a case of Flow by name and flow by nature. What’s interesting is that the canopy tension means the Flow holds very well into an overpowered scenario with almost no distortion, giving it a super extended wind range and sweet spot further enhanced by some trailing edge battens to eliminate flutter here. The shorter span results in agile handling and effortless rotation of the wing as well as a healthy dose of increased low-end power per size. That tight, pre-loaded canopy with radial panel layout channels load to the strut end. This makes for a positive and predictable feeling to the wing which behaves immaculately around transitions, particularly noticeable when heading into wind around tacks. There’s absolutely no irritating push down or flap when the wing is over your head. The super stiff connection between the leading edge and strut only further enhances the solid handling feel and instant-to-access power. The handle interface is a rigid lightweight affair which proves very comfortable and reassuring to grab around transitions, it sits quite a way off the strut. They are made from carbon fiber with a grippy EVA covering and slot neatly into two opposing pockets sewn into the super straight strut. A set of arrow-slit windows are present which water beads off well and give decent glimpses of what’s downwind.

For a wave focused wing, the flagging ability and fore/aft balance is absolutely key and in this instance Ozone have totally nailed it. There’s no side-to-side oscillation, and the Flow follows obediently behind you in an extremely passive manner. In an onshore or light wind situation this trait is all the more noticeable. An extended front handle has been implemented for one handed flying pistol grip style, supporting the wing weight horizontally which allows you to open your body and hack into a wave face, maintaining control even in the super light wind conditions where the wing may have previously tipped out. The nose handle is stiff, ergonomically perfect and extremely easy to transition to, letting you head into the wave with no fumbling. This is extremely important for a wing with strong wave intentions, also benefitting from a soft knuckle protecting pad to prevent any rub here. The compact low span design means it rarely taps the water with the wingtips and will suit people of a shorter stature.

Compact, powerful and extremely well built, the Flow’s crisp and agile power delivery and passive flagging ability combine to make a wing that’s going to be a huge asset in waves, allowing you to concentrate on your positioning rather than wing wrangling, entering sections with speed and control. As a freeride wing, it’s ultra-accessible and easy to use; the large power range available on sheeting and compact span is also going to be a hit for those with freestyle intentions too. The Flow is a highly successful design exercise and a massive asset to the Ozone range, differentiating itself well from their other offerings, and may well prove to be their most popular model.

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