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When it comes to wave kites, the Reo has a truly obsessive following. It was one of the first ‘pure wave’ kites on the market and it ticked all of the boxes for waveriders looking for a refined kite that would work with you and not against you in the waves. Since it was first introduced this sector of the kite market has exploded and is now an exciting and innovative part of the market, so how does one of the original wave kites now sit in this market?
First impressions of the V3 Reo is the weight. As ever there can be few lighter kites in the market – the Reo packs down to virtually nothing with super skinny struts and minimal reinforcement. We often mention it with Ozone kites, but their experience in the world of paragliders and super-efficient flying machines is always evident and makes a lot of other kites look a bit ‘over done’. The Reo’s profile is boxy with wide tips and a classic wave kite look and the new colorway for the V3 looks great.
The bar is the Contact Water Control System which has had a revisit and is looking great. Super soft bar ends will ensure that you won’t be searching for the Solarez if you smack your board with it, and the above the bar depower has no fuss and is easy and precise to use. There are also nice touches such as small balls on the steering lines for you to grab on to if you need those extra few inches to really pull on to get it to pop back up…
As soon as it goes in the air it has the distinctive Ozone ‘tuned in’ feel. The lighter weight really does equal astounding responsiveness and even the smallest bar input is immediately recognized. Turning is relatively pivotal but less than some other wave kites. We rode the Reo stacked and on a lighter day. When super powered up the depower is excellent although the turning can be a bit less comfortable and it’s probably time to come in and put up a smaller kite.
The Reo really is a kite for all levels – you can choose to do very little with it and it’s a very accessible and easy to use kite, but if you really utilize it and know how to coordinate your board with the wave and with the kite then it can be a magical kite to fly. The low end is not as powerful as some other three strut kites but the pay off is one of the most responsive and ‘light touched’ kites on the market. The Reo responds very cleanly whether sheeted in or out and you can really work it to get where you need to be but then switch it off and it’s like it’s not there.
For cross-off drifting it goes without saying that the Reo is as good as it gets, but for conditions that require a more reactive kite, the Reo has also evolved into a real player…