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Jul 3, 2009

Author: SBC Test Team/Shane Thompson

Style: Five or four-line C kite / Price: $1,549 / Wind Range: 14-28 knots, expert (180 lbs) / What’s new: Braced four-line attachment, Venturi Channel, revised shape

The new OR Diablo is a hybrid C kite that can be rigged as a fifth line C or as a braced four-line setup. It had testers boosting big air and unhooking on demand. It has the consistent pull, fast turning and precision feel of a new school C kite. The Test Team was excited to have Diablo for some unhooked freestyle session as it offered up some super powered transitions and big hang time.

Key Kite Features
• C shape kite shape
• Overlapped double seams and extra seam shaping
• Thin leading edge and single-point inflation
• Optional double four-line attachment
• Venturi Vented kite panel technology

Bar Setup and Safety Systems
• C-kite bar with fifth line
• Colour-coded, carbon composite, tapered with smooth EVA grip
• Fiber reinforced nylon bar ends
• Pull-pull above-the-bar trim strap
• Fifth-line safety release or mini fifth-line
• Push away release cuff safety loop with two size loops

On-water Performance
The braced four-line setup is an easy conversion to make, with the front lines splitting and attaching off to two hanging brace lines on the leading edge. This is an optional setup kit designed with the North American market in mind. The Diablo was one of the only high performance C kites on the test that reminded testers why C kites still dominate in freestyle competitions. Testers noted that this kite sits quite far forward in the window and sucks up gusts nicely. This also allows the kite to unhook smoothly and gives easy access to pop. The bar pressure is moderate and gives the right amount of feedback while maintaining good directional stability while jumping unhooked. The Diablo was one of the faster turning kites and its C kite character gave it the smooth power generation during the turns. It still pivot turns quickly but the power generated in the wing tip is great to utilize during powered transitions and Kite Loops. Although this 10 m wasn’t as powerful as some of the other lower aspect SLE kites in the test, it can get you through the lulls with a bit of rider input. Water relaunch is not where the kite shines with a traditional C kite relaunch required. The Venturi Vent seems to really help with any back stalling issues and allows the kite to unhook with minimal sheeting required.

Reality Check
In four-line mode the two extra lines coming off the front lines take a couple extra minutes to set up. Wind range is smaller than the versatile Ocean Rodeo Rise kite tested in the Buyers’ Guide issue.

Bottom Line

Ocean Rodeo constantly bring innovative ideas and increased performance to their line kites. Any C kite rider that wants to push the limits of freestyle can look to the Diablo for the ultimate in unhooked pop, precision steering and powerful transitions and loops.

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