Kitesurfing, kiteboarding shop & school. Lessons - Durban, PE, J-Bay, Cape Town
Hi guys & girls!!
We often get the question from our clients "What is the difference between the Reo & Catalyst?".
I thought I will write a detailed comparison, which I thought may benefit others with the same question. I hope it is of interest to all.
Let me start by saying that both kites are excellent choices, they have quite a few similarities but also some major differences. Before the Reo was brought out I have been riding the Catalyst as my wave kites (4,6 and 8m) mainly and now after a season riding the same size Reo's I think I can point out the similarities as well as the differences!
I would suggest the Reo to be the better choice as you spend most time on a waveboard this is obvious the Reo being a wave kite..... If you want to ride on a twintip and boost airs and also like to ride a surfboard the Catalyst is a better option and provides the best of both worlds. Having said that the Reo can be an excellent choice for the ladies who don't like huge amount of power and like a kite that is easy to turn.
Let me explain a bit better:
CATALYST ALLROUND FREERIDE
The Catalyst is a 3-strut, pulleyless hybrid, semi SLE, with slightly swept back tips, designed as a great beginner to Intermediate all rounder. It boosts well, turns quick if needed in a more pivotal style, relaunches easy and goes upwind well.
It is light on the bar and responds directly to bar input. Two choices of bar pressure/turn responsiveness. The Catalyst can stall when deep in the wind window if the wind drops ie going down the line on a surfboard. The power build up is still very smooth but a more aggressive compared to the Reo. When using the Catalyst for wave riding you have to fly the kite a little higher in the wind window when waverding as the kite can stall when going down the line the Reo can sit deeper in the window and drifts better.
REO DEDICATED WAVE KITE
The Reo is also a 3-strut, pulleyless designed hybrid, with a more "C" shape, and more squared off wingtips a bit more resembling a "C" kite wingtip. This squared off wingtip design gives the kite much more lift created by the area in the wingtip when the kite is flying lower in the wind window. The upper wingtip creates enough lift to support the kites weight and prevents the kite from falling. It differs to kites with more swept back wingtop designs which allow the kite to immediately start to fall towards the water when bar pressure is released, even momentarily.
The bar pressure in the REO is slightly less than the Catalyst and bottom end power is very similar mainly due to the fact that the Reo is faster and you can improve the bottom end by flying the kite through the window.
The REO sits ever so slightly further back in the wind window but has much greater stability in both luff and stall characteristics. I was hesitant to fly the kite that deep in the window when waveriding as any other kite would pull you off balance. The Reo however is "harmless" doesn't pull you off balance and responds directly when you steer the kite.
The REO has three options for bar pressure/turn responsiveness and the choices offer super fast turning, medium or docile. Steering effort (not to be confused with bar pressure) is a little more on the Reo so that inadvertent turns do not occur from accidental bar inputs. The Reo turns much more like a "C" kite and drives with power and speed through the entire turn which makes it quicker out of the turns too, because it is always moving forwards.
The Reo is able to be steered with one hand quite easily and no adjustment is necessary to unhook. When unhooked the kite can be steered from the wrist something important for the guys that like this particular style of riding!
Compared to the Catalyst there is no boost in the kite as this is something you don't want in a wave kite. The upwind on the Reo is good but the Catalyst is better going upwind as the kite flies further forward in the window.
If you are a wave hound and surfboard riding is your thing I don't hink you find any better then the Reo. If you like boosting on a twintip as well as some waveriding the Catalyst will be an excellent choice and won't disappoint you!!
As always grap a demo and find out for yourself which one you like best!
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