SIZES TESTED (m): 9.5 / SIZES AVAILABLE (m): 7, 8, 9.5, 12 / CONTROL SYSTEM: Stick Shift
Balanced, stable with great direct feedback from the back lines.
The Roam is the dedicated wave kite in the Ocean Rodeo line, and shows some quality refinements in handling, feel and response from its predecessor. This kite works its magic in the waves and has great handling for learning to ride a foil or for any directional freeride blasting. Its canopy has a slightly lower aspect ratio and it’s framed with three struts and connected with a wider leading edge. This means the Roam sits back in the window allowing for optimum drift and instant response. This kite pulls very smooth and is stable and well balanced in the air with lots of instant depower to help keep you in the pocket or while driving down the face. Compared to last year’s version there were some tweaks that seem to give the Roam better feedback especially when jumping with the kite higher in the window or moving the kite overhead on a transition. The Roam also worked well for testing freeride foil boards with its great drift and good response at high levels of slack line tension or depower. The low end grunt is solid with this 9.5 meter and it sits back in the window and never back stalls. In addition to the improved feedback and smooth power delivery, the Roam has gentle and consistent pull through its loop which is ideal for learning transitions on a foil board or for smooth carving turns and transitions. Riding the Roam with the new Stick Shift control bar also sets the set up apart in the waves or gusty conditions. The new Stick Shift bar can instantly depower the kite by lengthening the back lines with a quick nudge of the knob at the end of the bar, giving the rider instant trim and depower without even taking your hands off the bar. This is an ideal feature for riding waves because you can power up the kite with a quick twist of the bar end to rip upwind to get to the backside and then when you see the wave you want, click your right hand to the end of the bar and you’re instantly riding with more depower to slash some turns on the wave face. The Roam and Stick Shift set up are an ideal combo for any serious surf specialist that wants a great wave kite with instant trim options and lots of depower.
Larger diameter leading edge slows the Roam’s pull speed a bit which can actually be beneficial in certain wave conditions, but the kite may not be as slick upwind as some of the narrow leading edge wave kites.
Wave and foil kiters that want a kite that’s built tough and can sit back, disappear and drift with the best of them should consider the Roam.