The second annual Waterman demo day took place on Saturday at barkers kite beach with loads of awesome new products from Ozone, Slingshot and Nobile for everyone to try. The wind was light but there was a still a great turnout with people lining up to try next season's kit. Waterman are matching USD prices in their store this year and with a huge range of kites, boards and harnesses they're definitely the place to go to make sure you have everything you need for the season.
I tried out the new Ozone Catalyst first. Ozone have made a few changes to this kite over the last 12 months and it's now more of an open C kite and supposedly it should ride like a Slingshot RPM. I disagree with that last sentiment because it doesn't ride like an RPM at all. But it is a very nice kite and I do agree with the "all-rounder" title the manufacturers have given it. The first thing I noticed was how good it felt in my hands. The bar is soft and padded - perfect for long sessions on the water! And the second thing I noticed (as soon as I'd crashed on my first trick) was how forgiving it was. It gives you time in the air (more than I'm used to with the rpm) and plenty of control for your landings (and gathering yourself up after a crash.) It's stable in the sky and gives a constant pull through the window.
I still love my RPM's and their power and aggression but a couple of years ago when I was just learning tricks and progressing fast I think the Catalyst would have been a great kite for me. A perfect entry level to intermediate kite for learning tricks without the unforgiving power of an advanced c-kite, I think a lot of people will be chosing the Ozone catalyst this year. Ozone have even stepped up with their graphics this year so it looks cool!
For more info on learning to kitesurf and buying new gear check out waterman.ky