Ozone C4 (2012) Hot
The latest generation of C4 brings a fresh new look along with refinements to each size. We have had amazing feedback from riders all around the world, so what we wanted to offer was a similar kite yet refined for improved freestyle & wakestyle performance. We have fine tuned each size individually offering riders similar performance and feel they have come to know of the past C4 generations. The aspect ratio has been modified throughout the sizes to give the kites a better low end and more solid power during pop and release. We have brought the feel of the entire size range closer together, slightly slowing down the smaller sizes and speeding up the larger sizes for better freestyle riding. The new C4 continues with our Variable Bridle Geometry system, offering two “feel” settings. The system is simple, takes about 20 seconds to change and doesn’t involve adding or taking away any lines. The rider shifts the middle bridle lines up or down on pigtails to change the feel of the kite.
Average user rating from: 1 user(s)
9m & 12m
I've waited a while to review these kites as the start to our season was pretty ordinary, but I've had quite a few excellent sessions on them now and am ready to say a few words.
Firstly, I came straight off 2011 9m and 12m so I have a direct comparison. For those already familiar with C4s this is a significantly refined evolution of the 2011 kites. Compared to the 2011:
More bottom end. More parked power and a major increase in the kites' ability to pull forwards even when sheeted in and sining. It's like the foil shapes have some Edge influence as they really pull, even on the upstroke (good for catching you from mega-giga-hyperloops too, I'd imagine).
Better upwind. Related to the capacity to pull forward under load mentioned above, again the 2012s feel just a bit more "Edgey," like they can create a good lift/drag ratio through a large range of sheeting angle.
Similar top end. The stability is similar to last year's - amazing. By using the freeride setting (knot closest to the leading edge on the centre bridle attachment) you can get a bit more depower too which is useful in very gusty conditions.
Wider unhooking range. I'm a hack at unhooking but even so I'm comfortable to unhook over a big windrange on the 2012s, and only pull in trim at the very top of the range. The power is so steady and reliable that my confidence, if not yet my skills, has taken off. Maybe I'll try an s-bend later this season.
New colour options. Everyone comments favourably on the red/gold/black colours - bold, and a bit less sedate than the past two years' options.
Boosting. Perhaps I'm getting more used to the C4s in general but I'm definitely boosting bigger this season.
Trim. On the 9m I've gone to the shortest knot on the rear lines whereas the 12m and last years kites I ran on the middle knot. Don't be afraid to shorten your rear lines a bit if you're not getting enough low end. The kites are very resistant to stalling and getting the trim right will reward you with maximum range.
For those who've not ridden any of the C4s: There are far better riders than me to review these from an advanced perspective, so I'll stick to what's relevant for beginners to intermediates.
Firstly, you could learn on this kite. It wouldn't be ideal, but there are enough depower and relaunch capabilities that a beginner could handle it, and probably develop better flying skills as a result.
If you're beyond beginner, and bored with your bow/delta kites, this is the go-to kite. It's sedate if you just want to cruise, but the more and the better input you provide through trim, edging, and timing, the bigger the rewards in terms of being able to position the kite exactly where you want for the type of pull you want.
Edging and popping against this kite is delightful. Even for basic hooked-in rotations it gives great feedback on takeoff and throughout the jump. It's easy to feel and correct it if the kite is turning higher or lower than you'd like.
I don't do full-on kiteloops but I do downloop air transitions and regularly loop the kite when fun/useful during regular riding, landings and transitions. The loops are as wide or as tight as you like, and the pull is predictable and consistent through the turn. Even the 12 gets around very fast if you pull the bar right in, whilst offering a slower sweeping turn if you sheet out a few inches.
Boosting does require more skill than on a lower aspect bow/delta, however once you get the timing right it will rip you up high, and if you stay sheeted in and fly the kite actively it will let you down as gently as you'd like.
I prefer the wakestyle/newschool setting as the bar pressure is more constant through the throw range and the pull is more consistent. However, if you're used to having more depower at the bar then the freeride setting (knot closest the leading edge) will be more familiar, and also probably a better setting if you're using the kite in the waves hooked-in on a surfboard.
I like the lightest bar pressure setting on the 12 and the medium on the 9.
There is a good overlap in range from the 9 to the 12, and a 4 metre gap may be possible, though not ideal.
The bar is still the Ozone Contact bar and I love its simplicity and functionality. The lines are superb quality with 500kg on the front and 300kg on the rear so they'll last forever.
Construction is the usual Ozone impeccable standard: the elegance and attention to detail that you'd expect from a paraglider company.
In summary, if you want a versatile kite that will help you become a better rider and flyer, and that specialises in unhooking and looping then get on a C4. The simplicity of the very short and pulley-free bridle gives performance, range and relaunch to suit anyone from competent beginner to pro. The only reason I give 9.5s rather than 10s is to allow room for the inevitable improvements that Ozone will undoubtedly devise for the next model!