Mat Sawyer on the Ozone Enduro V2
One of Ozone New Zealand's all time riders, Mat Sawyer recently spoke to us about his experience flying the Ozone Enduro V2 on the Torque V1. Mat's been kiting for 9 years, and has a lot to show for it! He's a master in the air and on the waves, and here he tells us what it is about Ozone & kite surfing he likes the most...
Can you tell us what Ozone gear you’re using at the moment?
Currently I am riding the Ozone Enduro V2.
What gear are you using the most and why?
Ozone Enduro V2 10m, this is currently my go-to kite due to its performance in all conditions whether it be foiling in 8 knots to pulling kite loops and free riding up to 30 knots if need be!
What are you enjoying most about the Enduro V2 and what’s the ideal conditions for peak performance?
What I am enjoying about the Ozone Enduro V2 is it’s all around versatility and durability, I have been clocking up to 200+ hours on my Ozone Enduro V2 10 metre and quality is really coming into its own, whether it be foiling around in super light wind or doing big jumps and loops, the Enduro always feels like it’s up for the task. It’s predictable power makes focusing on everything but the kite achievable, making learning and perfecting tricks a walk in the park. I have also used my Enduro down in Taranaki, wave riding cross off 6ft waves and just with the change of the bridle connection it becomes a high performance wave machine. It drifts down the line with you effortlessly nearly matching the performance of the Ozone Reo.
What style of kiting do you like the most and what kite would you use for this?
For the freeride style of riding that I am most commonly doing, the Enduro V2 is definitely my go-to as it provides the perfect feel and power I desire. The Enduro V2 will be my go-to for some time to come, as it's going to help me get the most out of the unpredictability of the wind that we encounter in New Zealand.
Can you tell us about what board/s you're using?
Currently I am riding the Ozone Torque board as it provides ultimate up wind performance for a freestyle/freeride board. Match that with the power you can load into it to be able to pop into any type of trick makes it a great all round board.
How long have you been kiteboarding and what do you love about it? How long did it take you to learn and progress?
I’ve been riding for the last 9 years and the froth of being on the water hasn’t disappeared yet. What I love is the feeling of freedom it gives you. You can jump on a foil and go on a tiki tour covering over 40km in a session, or achieve the sense of flying through the air kiteboarding allows you to experience more than you could only dream of before learning.
NZ is a pretty unique place where you can go from coast to coast with surf and wind. Where’s your favourite spot to kite and why? Do you like butter smooth water for tricks or do you prefer big wave riding?
I can’t narrow it down to one favourite spot, but it has to be between Aotea and Taranaki. Both are proper rugged west coast New Zealand - Aotea is a harbour that has sandbars that show on mid-low tides creating the ultimate flat water spot paired with the strong dense south westerly wind making Aotea amazing for Kiting. Taranaki being my other favourite doesn’t need much of an introduction as it’s known for some of the best wave riding in New Zealand. As it works in nearly all wind directions it's almost impossible to not get a session in if there’s any wind. However it’s a gnarly place that humbles the most experienced with sketchy launches rock hopping and powerful waves, but all of this is rewarded once you get out onto one of the many point breaks and catch wave after wave.
Check out this epic video of Mat & friends kite surfing in Taranaki, agreeably a favourite spot!
How long have you been riding Ozone and why do you think it was voted 2018’s best kite gear?
Ever since I started Kiting I have been on Ozone gear. Once you ride an Ozone kite you instantly understand why others do the same, the kites are nearly bomb proof and feel amazing being lightweight as well. Customer service with Ozone too is hard to beat, if there’s a problem something will be done to either fix or replace straight away with no exceptions.
Have you had any crazy kiting experiences? What’s been your most thrilling experience and have you had any self-rescue instances?
Of course I’ve had my fair share of crazy and scary experiences. And all have been from silly mistakes so it always pays to be careful in your surroundings and around others as even the most competent riders can mess things up. My latest fu*# up was not paying attention rushing to get out and launching towards the beach whilst a gust hit and I got pulled over a rock wall nearly hitting my head. But every negative is outweighed by the positives in kiting, especially every time it blows 30+ knots which will always be the most thrilling time to kite doing massive jumps and loops on an 8m Enduro.
What would be your advice for someone new to kitesurfing and keen to learn?
Just always have fun and kite with people that make it enjoyable as progression will come a lot quicker when laughing and smiling with others.
Here's a video Mat made a couple years back of him sending it in Raglan...