Quick review on the 7/9.5m Roam/Stick Shift Bar:
Background info: 170 lbs, 5'3" Cabrinha Spade and OR Duke, mostly all directional riding in mixed conditions (I've had onshore, side-off, and sideshore)
So, I'm coming off a quiver of OR Razors which I've been on for the better part of 4 years. This switch to the Roams is because I'm basically riding a surfboard 90% of the time, and while the Razor is super-responsive (and fun to boost) I wanted to try a more surf-oriented kite to see if it will indeed drift well. I'm really happy with the decision, it has made a lot of things easier in general - like going down the face of a wave towards the kite, and I'm able to move upwind on a wave better. Here's a quick breakdown:
I've thought a lot of times that a surf-oriented kite wouldn't really make that big of a difference, I figured that if I had something that loops pretty quick and has solid/smooth pull, I'm good, right? I have to say, that having a surf-oriented kite really opens up the overall control and feel on the water with a surfboard. Case in point, I'm a big fan of downlooping in the flats, building speed towards a slash off an incoming wave. It's literally the best thing in kiteboarding IMO. With the Razor, it was always strong through the loop, but then as I slashed and proceeded down the wave towards the kite it would maybe not stall, but at least lose some power and I'd have to redirect back out. The Roam is the best of both worlds as it loops fairly quickly (faster than the Prodigy, a touch slower than the Razor) and I still hold the same power coming into the slash as with the Razor, the upside being that it sits/drifts beautifully as I proceed down the line or pump down the wave towards the kite. It's especially helped my backside riding.
Rock-solid, standardized on the single inflate/deflate, the material is an upgrade, no issues at all. The graphics - umm........I actually really like the Prodigy graphics with the dots and mix of colors. Although, I did get the purple on the 7m, and it's pretty solid.
I've had the 7m out in 30 knots plus, no issues, very smooth power delivery, not as on/off as the Razor with gusts. The low end on the 7m seems to be upper teens/low 20's, obviously this is widely dependent on current, conditions, etc. Basically I'll say that if it's above 20 I'm fine on this, if it's 18+ I can comfortably do a downy. Low-end with the 9.5m is not as low as the 10m Razor (obviously it's a bit smaller) but I generally had no issue with a surfboard on the 10m in 15 knots. The Roam - it's a bit of a struggle at 15, but again, it's a bit smaller, and doesn't have the raw power that the Razor does.
I've actually tried both kites out with a twintip, and while it's not the Razor, they are pretty solid in the air boosting, etc. I'm not saying it's great, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be.
I originally did not love the Stick-Shift as I thought it would be cumbersome under extreme conditions. I love it for one simple reason - as I mentioned above I generally downloop in the flats, slash and then ride waves down the line, slash some more, etc. With the Stick-Shift, I can quickly bleed off power with a quick bump before I initiate the downloop, then once I'm down with the wave, I can quickly power back up as I move out the back. I strongly suggest it for anyone riding waves.
OR stepped their game up with both, top notch.
That's it, message me if you have any questions or if you are in South Carolina want a demo.