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Obsession (HQ)


Obsession n.
1: Haunting or preoccupying thing; thing which fills your mind.
2 : Calvin Klein perfume.
3 : Title of a Roman Polanski film.
4: HQ's latest baby.

 

Specifications
   

In the beginning there was nothing. On the first day Dodd gave us the Session. On the second day Dodd gave us the Jam Session. On the third day he gave us the Session 1.1. And on the fourth day he gave us the Obsession. And we were mighty pleased (Apologies to Christophe).

I have to admit I was a late convert to the Jam Session but Itve found it to be one of the most reliable kites.

SHOULD BE A WINNER
For fliers, it is tough, has a good wind range and is very pretty easily accessible. As a shopkeeper it is a reliable seller for the same reasons. As with the Jam Session so, I suspect, with the latest off-shoot the Obsession. It is very bit as good a looker as the Jam Session though in a more subtle way. It has a wider nose angle and wing span although it stands less tall and is, overall, smaller. The four panel sail lay out, in blocks rather than stripes or chevrons, gives the kite a modern look. The green/grey/white combination I flew looked really good and avoided the problem fluoro colours. The build quality and finish are again  excellent with all seams rolled in (French style). There are centre mouldings at bottom and top spreader centres, the latter to improve shape retention/remove flexibility from the nose. Also to accommodate the bowed rod that goes to the bottom centre piece and prevents the kite falling flat on its face, the death position.

NO WAY TO KILL
This is not a new idea but certainly a valid one. One which saves untold walking up and down to relaunch the kite but also makes it impossible to "kill" when you want to stop flying.

Maybe that's what they mean by "fill your mind" Obsession. The telltale HO tip pockets are there again, the trailing edge leach-lined, curved and tensioned by two 22 cm stand-offs. No snag line is fitted but easy enough to do. Intriguing system for inducing billow at the nose, similar to the other focus test kite, the Matrix. Hard work to keep going the lighter end of the wind range, it changes completely once you cross the 6 mph threshold, medium fast forward speed with exciting variable cornering speeds.

Take off is smooth and straight line tracking fair for such a trickable kite. In the medium wind range the kite is at its best. It is turbo-bridled and this can lead to some unplanned tricks in an inconsistent or light wind but, given consistent pressure on the sail (and hence on the bridle) it is under manners and the tricks are fully controlled.

SQUARE DANCE
This will be a fantastic kite for the beach where the wind is consistent right down to the ground. The turbo bridle and relative heaviness of the frame puts square corners at a premium and punch stalls or landings can quickly turn into something far more adventurous. Recovery is good but you are advised to add a snag line to save a bit of walking, regardless of the frontal bow. Obviously the frame weight is a strength issue and worth it for the lack of breakages that is an HO trademark.

I can't help feeling the Obsession would be yet more obsessive in ultra light format and it would eliminate the need for bridle change~ in lighter wind. The smaller the kite is the less inclined I am to change bridle settings. As it is the kite is well set up for axles almost anywhere in any direction. Flat spins are made bit less hairy with a snag line added and, as you might expect from the maker of Flight School III - the tricks video as well as the co-designer of this kite, there's not much you can't do with an Obsession. My only quibble with the whole package is the extravagant wind range claim, given in the magazine adverts as 1 to 6 Beaufort. really ? 0 to 31 mph of wind? Shurely shome mishtake ? Not even an MEFM will do that.

Dodd and Christoph have been pretty busy sorting out the Session series which has certainly greatly enhanced the HQ/Invento range and given us some great kites to fly. Looking at the four steps to their creation so far one wonders what they'll get up to on the fifth, sixth and seventh days? A long weekend perhaps ? A short holiday in Naples ? I s~spect not, this one looks set to run a while yet and all power to their collective elbow if they can continue to deliver the goods as well as they have to date.

You'll soon be able to judge this kite for yourselves anyway when Dodd's new Flight School video hits the shops in the next few weeks featuring, by some strange coincidence, the Obsession. Knowing how many Jam Session/Maestrale hit the sky on the back of Flight School III can tell we'll be seeing a lot of Obsessions with Flight School IV. Ask any retailer and they'll tell you, its videos not employees that sell kites best.

One final piece of advice. Don't confuse this with the Calvin Klein product of the same name as it may have an adverse effect on your relationship. Cheerio.

Jeremy Boyce

 

Kite Passion Magazine

Kite Review by Jeremy Boyce taken from
Kite Passion Magazine March/April 97

 

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