You know with Ocean Rodeo that they spend the time to get their kites exactly how they want them before they let them loose… The Roam has been a few years in the making and fills a gap in the OR range. The Prodigy has been a popular kite for waveriding but perhaps lacks the more pivotal turning that comes in handy in this department and – on first impressions – it looks like the Roam should tick this box.
Even by ‘surf kite’ standards, the Roam is particularly low aspect, with a chunky LE and super-square tips. Bridle wise this is short (so tangle free) and there are no pulleys. Trailing edge flutter is kept in check with small battens and overall the kite feels very well put together. In the air and the Roam immediately feels connected and ready to go… It is very stable, but as soon as you turn it you can tell that this is a nimble kite that’s ready to have some fun in the surf. The low end is very solid – we rode the 9.5m in a range of conditions and were particularly impressed with its performance when conditions were marginal and other guys were out on 12s. When you couple the low end with the fast turning, it is easy to generate power and get yourself cruising around without any more kite than you need.
For onshore conditions turning is pivotal and the power shuts off smoothly when you need it to. We found that you could come off the top of a wave without having to worry about the kite holding you back and that it sat nicely in the middle of the window and would drift comfortably down the line with you. Steering when sheeted out was also very impressive and in more crossshore conditions you could make small adjustments to the kite without having to be too aggressive with the bar. We put the Roam in the water a couple of times and – with a solid tug – it popped up nicely, particularly for a bigger kite.
In a sentence: The Roam is an exceptionally well-balanced and well-built surf kite – turning is pivotal and smooth and overall it’s the kind of kite to give you plenty of confidence in the waves.