12/03/2020 at 9:05 am #17099Levi RhodesParticipant
TLDR : GREAT boat for the Saint Francis and general play runs. May be hard to paddle at first with sharp edge and low rocker. Stern squirts/play moves are a blast and it is VERY COMFORTABLE even for bigger guys.
I am going to write this review about the MEDIUM Ozone and adjust comments to give an idea of the L and S as well.
If I only had one boat to my quiver and I was near a class III run, I would want a slicey boat (unless if there was a play hole, then I would want a potato). I would want to splat and stern squirt while being able to run the river and surf. Unfortunately, slicey boats are typically very uncomfortable, and often slow. The Ozone is Pyranha’s modern answer to that issue, with some added volume to adjust performance.
COMFORT: With high knees and feet, and ample volume centered around the paddler, there is no shortage of leg room in the Ozone. I had to use all of the factory foot foam and then some in the Medium as well as in the Small I demoed. Watch Adam Goshorn’s YouTube review of the Large Ozone hear a big guy say the same about the Large. It’s ROOMY.
VERTICALS: The volume around the paddler gives this boat an atypical slicey boat feel. With volume and narrowness around the stern, it’s buoyancy and shape allows the paddler to spin while vertical, which is something I hadn’t figured out before and was a really fun feeling to learn. At first I found it strange to initiate the stern, but after I figured it out, it’s as easy as hitting a ‘vertical’ button. It also balances well and responsively, allowing you to keep it vertical for longer.
RIVER RUNNING: Afore mentioned volume around the paddler gives us the “watermelon seed” effect – when water loads on the deck of a boat and you come turbo-boosting out because of the buoyancy and wedge shape of the boat. Basically, for a slicey boat, the buoyancy gives you some fun acceleration when coming through holes and features. I needed a lot of outfitting in this boat to make it feel comfortable as it FEELS wide in the seat and I am not (it’s not really a wide boat at all). At first, the flat hull and sharp edges were getting the best of me and I was not able to enjoy the boat going down river. You really need to feel connected to the boat before you can feel comfortable. It is a driver’s boat and demands edge control, as the flat hull is not meant to be forgiving but aggressive. With that being said, the flat planing hull surfs like a dream and carves into eddies like a knife.
PLAYBOATING: I don’t do much of it at all, so I’m probably not the person to ask about how it performs in a hole. From what I’ve gathered, you can still do all of the spud boat moves, but they load a bit more slowly with the extra length. I’ve heard the boat compared to an elongated JED, seeing as it still has the volume in the same places and a similar hull. The volume is there, but so is extra length. It cartwheels, that’s about all I can attest.
LARGE / SMALL: The small is very much slicier and doesn’t offer that buoyant feel that I like about the medium. Fans of easier old school slicing will probably enjoy the small if they can fit in it; it is still a roomy boat for a small. Some people in the medium range prefer the small for it’s automatic vertical initiation. The Large has all of the same attributes of the medium but amplified. Most big folks I’ve heard reports from have plenty of room in it still and have to add foam to the factory kit to fill it out. More coverage in Adam’s video.
BASICALLY, I have learned a lot in this boat, mostly vertical stern tricks and control. At first I was worried I didn’t like it, and I wasn’t sure if the market really needed this boat, but after my second time paddling it, I was itching to take it out for more. I didn’t know what I was going to learn with it, and I’m really glad I spent the time with it. If I only had one boat to paddle a class II -IV run with, the Ozone would be it. There are many videos on YouTube which go into further detail, I recommend the content from Wade Harrison and Adam Goshorn. If anyone gets to paddle one, please share your thoughts! Cheers!
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