Pics: James Jagger
Tester: Kev Sadler
With watersports being brought ever closer together – mainly because of foils, multi-discipline boards (sometimes called 4in1s), windSUP and now wings – there’s never been as much choice for getting on the brine and making use of whatever conditions you’re confronted with. So, these wingy thingies continue to grab attentions and for our money are great accessories to your standard SUP surfing.
Ozone’s WASP 4m is one that’s been surrounded by a lot of hype so we were keen to see what all the fuss was about. Out of the box the WASP is super light. One of the appeals of wings is just how minimalist they are. Of course, foils (if you choose that route) aren’t, but the ‘engine’ itself is much less heavy on the body than a windsurfing rig. The WASP is also pretty tough. You’ll need to be careful if deciding to play on land with it, as abrasive surfaces will damage. Crashing whilst on water, even in waves, however, sees the WASP cope admirably.
The WASP is also a pretty grunty wing. Having tried a few different ones the 4m version can punch foils (with bigger foil wings) into the air. And it deals well with gusty conditions. Ozone are due to launch a bigger 6m version but in the meantime the WASP is worthy of your attention for wind strengths around 18 knots and up. (With advanced technique you can get going in less).
We’re pretty sure everyone’s seen vids of wing riders using their ‘engine’ to drop into waves before turning the power off, luffing the wing and riding using wave energy alone. Ozone’s WASP is one of the better ones for this. It luffs efficiently being almost forgettable if you’re on a wave. And power, when needed, is instantly back on having finished your ride. There are enough handles to grab, whilst not being too many, to tune your grip according to comfort and feel.
Back on the flat and the Ozone WASP slips through the air with buttery ease. Considering the wing doesn’t have battens it’s an effective flying machine forgiving bad technique. If you’re a beginner, working to discover its sweet spot, this is good news.
Ozone’s WASP 4m delivers all the user friendly elements that wings promise, and more… It’s an incredibly light tool yet has a decent amount of bottom end grunt that allows riders to utilise squiffy winds. With more riders choosing to get involved with winging it stands to reason that equipment will get better. The WASP is a good example of a new school wingy thing that’s been developed with thought and attention. We can’t wait for the brand’s bigger version to drop so we can see how that goes.
Thanks to Freddie Oldfield and Maxtrack Distribution who helped with this test.