Over the years of participating in a wide variety of sports, I have learnt that having good equipment allows you to progress quicker and enjoy the discipline with more confidence. Wing Foiling is no exception and I would like to share my experiences of using the latest Wing from Ozone, the Wasp V3.
Although I was already very happy with the Wasp V2, and still own a 3m and 4m, I decided to change my 6m for the newer 5.7m V3 Wasp to see if it was better or not.
When it arrived (<36hrs after ordering it from Northern Kites) I couldn’t even wait to get to the beach, I had to get it out of the bag and pump it up in the garden.
The main differences with the design include larger windows, an improved front handle and new triple rip-stop material. The first things I noticed was that it felt lighter in weight, more rigid and was easier to rotate.
Features I loved with the V2 design have remained in the new V3 design. Specifically, the Y handles, which are rarely discussed but I can assure you they assist greatly in various tacking transitions. Out of all the wings I have tried, I find the Ozone Wasp has the most comfortable and best positioned handles.
On the water, this is where I was very surprised. The 5.7 V3 is definitely as powerful as the 6m V2, if not a little more. The rigid frame and improved canopy design makes it even quicker to get up onto the foil in lighter winds.
As soon as I was up on the foil, I immediately realised I was able to go higher into wind and to go deeper with it. My max speeds are approximately 1.5 knots faster using the V3 5.7m compared to the 6m V2 (24.5 vs 23.0 knots) using a Sabfoil 799/370 setup.
If that wasn’t enough of a difference, I then started to jump. Once again, the new V3 exceeded my expectations with higher and longer flights compared to the V2.
I then tried a more advanced transition that I had been working on (tack with passing the wing behind the back) which I couldn’t quite achieve with my V2. I was pleased when I managed to complete it on my second attempt. This was mainly achievable because of the improved rigidity of the front handle on the leading edge allowing the flagged out wing to fly stable.
Within a few sessions I was also able to do the Heineken Gybe. This transition involves facing the leading edge down towards the water as you use one hand to lasso the wing to the new side during a fast gybe.
The harness points on the centre strut are better balanced on the V3, providing an improved stability when hooked in. If you want even more relief on your rear hand, an additional harness anchor point has been added (closer to the rear handle). I haven’t tried this new position yet as I find the first two anchor points well balanced.
Using the 799/370 Sabfoil setup, I have found the best wind range to be 14-22 knots. I did go out in winds with gusts of up to 24 knots and found the V3 wing was still under full control with minimal flapping. In the past, I would find the V2 6m to become unstable around 22 knots and the centre canopy would flap.
Both the V1 and V2 bags only had one shoulder strap, which was very annoying if you had to carry your kit some distance. I’m pleased that Ozone listened to its customers and changed to a conventional rucksack bag design with 2 straps for their V3.
If your happy with the Wasp V2, there are still quite a few reasons (discussed above) why you should consider upgrading to a V3. If you have a V1 then the benefit will be even greater.
If I had to identify one feature about the Ozone Wasp that makes me stay with this product range, it would have to be the comfort of the handles, closely followed by its overall performance.