I had the chance to go out on a 2021 Ocean Rodeo 5m Roam today and I figured id throw up a review because why not.
First impressions- Who doesn’t love a new kite? Seriously though, nice bag, solid zippers, functional pockets. This is something that is so often overlooked its surprising.
Out of the gate I noticed the weight of the kite has been significantly reduced. Normally when I hear about “lightest ever” I’m a bit nervous as to the durability of “lightest ever” but there were no lacking material so far as I could tell.
Once out in the air, the thing that struck me the most was significant increase in power from this generation Roam. I have been predominantly on Neo’s for a while now and I rank power up there in preference f me. Out on the foil I went, before it cranked up. I consistently tried to choke the kite and back stall it to simulate low wind water starts. I did not manage to back stall this kite once, even after a number of tries. In fact the kite just kept climbing nicely. This performance characteristic was the next thing I noticed about the kite- the way it would climb in a vertical stroke generated significant amounts of power and that is (in my mind) ideal for low wind water starts on the foil. Nice. Once foiling I took runs at it and the drift stability in the back of the window was excellent. Once I would load it up again I did notice a bit of a power spike but that very well could have been the gusty wind. Regardless, the drive to the edge of the window definitely helped the kite drive upwind-all while without losing drift. I suspect this would aid in jumping as well, although I didn’t do much more than a couple ollies. I felt it was a good recipe. I like the bar pressure which was light to medium. Enough to let me know where the kite was when I was eating **it but not heavy enough to irritate my joints(carpel tunnel, lateral epicondylitus, old guy-ness)
Wind ramped up and onto the surfboard I went . The canopy and kite was rock solid- pretty much an OR trait in my mind. I was really testing the bottom end for kicks as most everyone was on 7 and 8 kites. I had power to spare and I gotta say I was a bit shocked. In my experience with low aspect kites they are a bit lacking (SST, BWS, Drifter)in the power range. Definitely not the case and I would say that the bottom end increased (became more powerful) a few knots in this new gen. The kite ended up where I wanted it. When I needed to move it, I could get it there fast(real fast) and park it if need be-all very intuitively. On a bottom turn it placed itself just as such that I had kite presence out on the flats. I wasn’t left with a kite driving to the window and leaving me kite less on the turn, yet setting it up f a drift it was similar to the SST.- Another win.
Gotta say, the crew at OR nailed this one in my mind. I will happily move from Neos and fill my new quiver with these kites-nice work fellas. If this kite performed this well with standard Dacron and ripstop material- Allula is going to blow it away; the future is bright for OR.
If I had to compare to any other kites, I would say the new gen Roam is a happy marriage of the SST and Neo.
For clarity sake- I have no business affiliation and am not employed by OR. They did not prompt me to write this. I’m just stoked and I thought id share it.