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A new player boldly enters what’s becoming an increasingly mature kite market. Meet Odo Kiteboarding from Italy, with a boxfresh two kite range. So how will it weigh up against the establishment? The YO has a generous dash of traditional delta built into the design, and is aimed at wave, foiling and general freeride use. The build incorporates three core ripstop and a lightweight Dacron. This overall low weight translates into early flying and a decent low end. The bridling is minimal and low drag, with anodized sliders working well to minimize wear on the front, and the trailing edge has a scalloped anti-wear design. The Quick Vario bar system feels well-built and functional with relatively simple ingredients combined well. Several of the components are titanium, which shows more commitment to light weight. Depower range on the bar stroke is fine, and a sliding stopper means you can trim a little for shorter arms. The ever dependable Clamcleat does a great job of smooth trimming, as it does with many brands. The EVA grip is particularly nice, with the narrow diameter feeling refined in the hand. The safety line runs parallel to one of the front lines for approximately eight meters, which feels a little untidy but works well enough. The chicken loop is a simple push release with a pin and is very functional and safe, with a decent spinning mechanism on top to deal with line twists.
Testing in some fairly varied and unpredictable wind conditions, the YO proved extremely stable throughout its wind range and was genuinely difficult to overfly. The leeward drift capability is, without a doubt, excellent. It has a high amount of grunt and ground pull, but, unlike a traditional delta, flies in a nice straight line with little inside line pressure required. As a wave kite it relies almost completely on excellent drift and stability to stay in the sky, rather than maneuverability. This will do well in side shore conditions, but makes things a little more challenging when onshore. It will turn, but it needs a little persuasion. Powered on a twintip, the grunt and lift and more sedate turning transfer into some lovely controlled flight and transitions with no surprises. The light weight, early flying and more moderate turning speed also make it a great option for foiling.
In a sentence: the YO is a minimal, light, and uncomplicated affair, with bags of power and at an attractive price point – an encouraging first entry to the market.