It Flies or You Die | The Ozone Kites Story

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Testing the Edge V9 | Photo: Ozone

Ozone has a die hard following of loyal customers that will only ride Ozone.  People that ride these kites swear by them.  Every Ozone customer that we talked to had a different reason as to why Ozone was their favorite, but they all agreed that they are the only kites they will ride.

To understand the Ozone lust we not only tested the kites over a four month period, but we kept asking questions to their reps, riders, staff, and customers.  What we uncovered was starkly different to any other brand in kiteboarding.

Matt Nuzzo testing the Frenzy in The Czech Republic
Matt Nuzzo riding the Frenzy in The Czech Republic | Photo: REAL Watersports

Ozone Roots:

Ozone makes stuff that flies.  Their roots are in paragliders and speed wings.  They also got into the squirrel suit market under the “Squirrel” brand name.  This fly or you die mindset was born out of their paragliding roots.  It now applies to their commitment to exceeding industry standards which led them to create their own production facility giving them total control over the manufacturing process.  When they started making water kites in 2007, they brought that mentality into their kiteboarding production.

Ozone owner, Matt Taggart testing the R1, performance foil kite. | Photo: Ozone
Ozone owner, Matt Taggart ripping on the R1, performance foil kite. | Photo: Ozone

Ozone Factory:

Ozone is the only kiteboarding kite company that owns their own manufacturing facility.  Their factory is located in Vietnam and they employ over 1200 people at this factory.  The factory is so clean that you can literally eat off the floor.  Their factory workers are paid well, have paid vacation and health benefits.  They have an extremely low attrition because they care about their employees in a space where most factory workers are given as little as possible to increase profit margins.

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Ozone’s factory is so clean you can eat off the floor. | Photo: Ozone

The Ozone factory has been operational for 18 years.  During this time period they have developed long-standing relationships with suppliers that understand their vision of quality.  Remarkably, Ozone examines every spool of line, bolt of cloth, and part by hand before it goes into the production line.  These supplies already have a strict quality control at the manufacturer and then Ozone double checks that all materials pass their own quality control test before they put those raw materials into production. That is crazy attention to detail.

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Ozone hand inspects all materials in a climate controlled environment. | Photo: Ozone

Ozone Tech:

Ozone went custom with everything they have done.  Rather than buying the stock kiteboarding kite design software that all manufactures in the industry use, they designed their own software called Oz-CAD.  This give them a lot more flexibility in developing the products they want.  They have an in house IT team that can adjust this software to suit their needs rather than designing within the parameters of the software.  If they want to try something wild, they can do it.  The net result is that there is no waiting around for prototypes.  They dream it up, make it, test it, and repeat.

David working on PC
OZ-CAD is the proprietary kite design software exclusive to Ozone. | Photo: Ozone

Ozone Production:

Most kite companies make an inventory of kites based on what they think people will buy.  Ozone just builds to order.  They have set up a B to B back-end interface so the shops and distributors that they sell to can place orders directly with the factory.  Ozone carries no inventory.  They invest all of their money into their factory and making the best quality products rather than investing in stock to sell.  

The Ozone Reo V4 is known as the best wave kite on the market.
The Ozone Reo V4 is known as the best wave kite on the market. | Photo: Ozone

When we want to place reorders or special orders we can do this by logging into their site.  We can see what colors are available, what the production time is, and when it will be delivered.  The manufacturing of our order starts 24 hours after the order was placed and production times range from 20-30 days.  

Ozone Custom:

Since Ozone owns their factory and build all products to order, they are very accepting of special orders.  If you want an Ozone Reo V4 in purple and that is not one of their stock colors, no problem.  If you want to get your company logos screened onto your kites, no problem.  If you want to get a completely custom looking kite with graphics that you made up yourself,  with different colors and panel lay outs, no problem.

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Ozone custom kites can look as simple or extravagant as you want. | Photo Ozone

We have people ordering custom kites for their business so they can then write off their kiteboarding addiction.  Others are ordering a full quiver with their charter boat graphics on it, so they can provide the ultimate in luxury experience.  We are even getting people that are ordering custom kites for photo shoots and TV commercials.  If your daughter wants to see you riding a rainbow kite with ponies on it, we can make that happen. (My daughter would be so stoked.)

Ozone Kites:

The best way to describe the brand is minimalist precision.  There are no bells and whistles on Ozone Kites. If something does not serve a purpose, it is gone.  All additions to the kite are to make the kites perform better. They don’t make parts or pieces to make a kite more marketable, they just make better kites. When you look at the Ozone kites and bar, everything is simple and everything works really well. 

The Enduro V1 is Ozone's do everything kite.
The Enduro V1 is Ozone’s do everything kite. | Photo: Ozone

The Ozone line of kites is deep.  At first glance they make a lot of kites.  When you look at their website both ram air and inflatable kites jump out at you .  They make all these kites for a purpose, and it is easy to understand what kite is for what purpose. 

Ozone Catalyst | The kite redefining cruise mode.
The Ozone Catalyst V1 is the kite redefining cruise mode. | Photo: REAL Watersports

Flying Ozone kites, you understand that they make things that fly because the kites fly so well.  The brand builds confidence as soon as you launch one of their kites for the first time.  We have tested most of the range of foil and inflatable kites and they all work profoundly well for their specific niche.

The Zephyr V5, a big kite that doesn't suck
The Zephyr V5, a big kite that doesn’t suck. | Photo: Ozone

Check out the REAL reviews of the Ozone lineup within the links below:

If you have any questions give us a call (252)987-6000 or email REALpro@REALwatersports.com

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