We were recently in Ireland for the Wavemasters event, and the final came down to two Ozone riders, local Ryan Coote, and the eventual winner, Neal Gent. Ryan was riding the Alpha, and Neal was riding the Reo.
You may be thinking - surely the Reo is the dedicated Wave kite, why choose the Alpha - but we've seen growing popularity over the last couple of years of riders choosing the single strut Alpha V2 over the Reo in waves. So which one should you choose?
The argument for the REO
The REO is a specialist wave kite. It has super light but direct bar pressure and very on / off power. It is a lightweight kite that drifts very well and is lightning fast through the sky. All this means you can throw the kite around, generate power on demand, then dump it when you want to. This type of kite works exceptionally well in onshore, or cross onshore conditions because you can use the speed of the kite to generate power. In cross offshore conditions you can just park it and cruise down the line. This is the best kite for most people we believe - especially if you have cross on conditions.
Why the ALPHA?
The Alpha is a single strut, which makes it lightweight, and good at drifting. It is not as nimble as the REO, but it is a more grunty kite. This is why Ryan chooses the Alpha. He is a heavier rider, who lives in a location where he predominantly rides cross shore conditions. The extra grunt of the Alpha makes it easier to get going, and he is willing to sacrifice the speed of the REO, because in cross shore conditions you do not need to throw the kite around as much.
The Alpha and Reo do crossover in some ways. We would argue the Alpha is a more versatile kite and would be a lot more enjoyable on a twintip, and better on a foil. It still delivers great wave riding performance in the right conditions. The Reo is more of a one trick pony. It is a specialist kite, dedicated to wave riding. It is pretty fun on a foil too, but really not great on a twintip.
It is a case of figuring out your priorities and how you like to ride.