I had the opportunity to test the Ozone WASP v2 in 5,0 m². Ozone has taken nearly 2 years for v2 edition of their WASP wing originally released 2019. While I had a very short test in 2019 but was too much fixed to my boom wings so today I was interested to see the upgrades.
The first visible upgrade is the window. Even if a few brands may not agree that windows have to be an upgrade (e.g. slingshot), the WASP v2 to me seems to have the best windows by material and placement I have used till now. Next change that some could interpret as a downgrade on first sight is to give up one pump, but also here to me it seems more brands start so see more the problems caused by this connection, so better to skip it.
Changes around the handles
Ozone also dropped two handles, the second on the front-tube and the second on the strut. Also, this seems to be a common trend, while originally most brands seem to be afraid of having not enough handles they now are trying to just add those really needed. But in this case especially during knee start I missed that second strut handle quite often, even if for riding not really necessary. On the other hand, the remaining handles are now no more flat and at risk to be buckled after packing but now are round and pretty stiff which gives a pretty comfortable and direct connection to the wing. Only exception is the remaining front handle which is pretty slim and wide and therefore quite indirect, even if again for riding this need not to be a problem as when pulled behind on the handle the wing can stabilize itself quite well. Again, for beginning of knee start procedure it would be more comfortable to have here a more direct connection. Last positive thing about is the V handle, which already had my 2003 kitewing and just makes sense to me. Just wondering why some manufacturers avoid this helper for wings and rider’s anatomy.
Some other manufacturers in the beginning had problems with exploding struts as they have been displaced during packing and before reinflation. Some manufacturers tried to solve this problem by stating that:
“… And we can’t lock them (blader) in place because they have to be removable and light. So, to this day, only being aware and cautious can protect you from this problem (explosion).”
Others made videos with similar content, like: “..you should not hang your deflated wing into your shower to dry. “ etc.
Unfortunately, in wet, old, cold Germany it is an obvious way to just hang the wet bastard into the shower to get it dry … Fortunately, Ozone hasn’t seen this problem at customers side but solved it by simply adding two little loops to the front end of the strut bladder fixed with two little velcros inside the strut. Good job!
And also the rest of the V2 is an adult but light (2,7 kg) construction with further small details as a tiny swivel in the leash, so you may duckjibe-jibe-duckjibe-jibe… as long you want. It also comes with a state of the art waist band for leash attachment, that also can be used for packing.
What I don’t like about the construction has been the standard rubber boat vents as many manufactures to me seem to have more modern solutions and I was also missing the second strap, even if this in flight wouldn’t be of too much use as the wing grabbed here would stall, but for grabbing around especially during start and with short arms it would be better to have continuous straps. And similar for the front handle. During normal use no need to guide the wing here as it stabilizes very well by itself but in some occasions, it would have been better to have a stiffer front handle.
Starting, Riding and Handling
At the pumpstart I haven’t found a technique to do really powerful pumps which may improve with further tries, but the handling process during start is very comfortable due to the moderate span of 3,18 m and the rounded leading edge I was able to flip it extremely easy around into position. During normal riding it feels pretty stable especially when dragging it on the fronthandle so the surf should be its place, even if not tested, as also unfortunately not the highend, but by stability especially around jaw it should have a good range. Even if using a harness it felt like I would need it less than on other wings, but maybe just due to mostly riding it in light winds. Just in wind shifts I sometimes was a bit searching the pressure point, but not really and issues and started learning the to use the two back strap and the one back placed center handle better with time.
Freestlye and jumping
I think the wing is apart from its low drag glide in a wave also very suitable for freestlye by its compact shape, even if just tried a few ones my low level flakas felt best and easiest with the wing, same with many other manouvers. Since quite a while I am trying to land my raileys in full flight on a mono foil without touching down. It has been with the WASP v2 that I first made it, absolute great feeling to not touch down but ride on full power after a jump. So control with the handles during jumping is very good and with the two back handles you have two options depending on the jump you do. It also behaves very well when you touch down with the tip you don’t feel to much drag, don’t remember if I have ever catapulted with the wing, maybe not.
No doubt this wing is a good choice if you have swell to ride or you want to proceed in freestlye. But due to its easy handling also for beginners I don’t see any limits. It is just not the most powerful wings by m² but by span maybe also not too bad, so if you live in low wind areas, it could be enough to just take a size bigger than you normally would.
Sorry, no own riding pics, camera, wing and wind never met at the same time and place, but I try to make one where the resolution allows to see the smile in the face 😊