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OCEAN RODEO PRODIGY 9.5M 2013: REVIEW

Stats Main market Freeride/Freestyle Price £669 With bar £929

The new Ocean Rodeo Prodigy promises to be an ‘all terrain’ freeride kite.  Sitting between the grunty Razor and the chilled out Rise, it’s pitched as a freeride kite that brings a smidge of extra attitude to the party… Tested AH

BASICS
Build and Construction She’s a three strutter, with the end struts pretty close to the tips giving plenty of exposed canopy which equals more low end. Standard OR one pump – tried and tested ‘in’ and ‘out’ by the middle strut and no dump valve. Set up and tuning A few options on the outside lines, we initially went for minimal grunt but found the ‘mid’ knots better in a range of conditions.  You have got A LOT of throw on the bar though so plenty of control. Bar and trim Under the bar, nice and easy to get to and even well placed and effective enough to be able to adjust as you’re dropping in to wave. The OR bar is nice – we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – it feels nice in the hand and is a solid, well-engineered creation.

PERFORMANCE
Turning speed, handling and feel Putting the Prodigy up and you have an immediate sense of stability. It’s a well bridled creation and, sheeting out, you bin pretty much all of the power. On the water and there there’s not as much ‘softness’ as you get with other comparable swept-back fully bridled kites. You feel pretty connected and the low-end really is notable. On a borderline day, the Prodigy had us trucking along no problem. It’s a real sheet in and go machine. It turns smoothly, not ‘on a dime’ style, but quickly enough and holding plenty of power through the turn if you need it, or not if you don’t. The slack line turning is excellent. Unhooking. As there is a lot of throw, you need to get it set just so, but when you do the stability of the Prodigy makes it pretty pleasing to use unhooked. Trim, depower and range The range on the Prodigy is pretty phenomenal. There is a lot of throw, and this can be used to very good effect to suck up gusts, or when dropping down the face of a wave. There isn’t the ‘snappiness’ that you get from the more surf-focussed three strut kites, but there is slightly more stability and a lot more depower. So a good kite to start off with in the surf if that’s your bag.

VERDICT
The Prodigy is a very fun kite to fly.  With massive depower and great low end, it will cruise you around your choosen sailing area under the proverbial cows come home.  It would be a great kite to start out on, and would take you very easily into ‘intermediate’ territory, but equally has enough going on to keep waveriders and committed freeriders smiling.

www.oceanrodeo.com

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