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Passion (HQ Kites)

The Passion, the kite of the future for HQ. ft is the flagship of their new range, embodying everything about the forward-looking German company. Designed by HQ's in-house man at the drawing board, Alex Hesse, the look of the kite Is an interesting hybrid of the graphics of the Tramontana and Session ..... will it become a passion for you?

Specifications
Model:
Make
Dimensions
Sail
Frame
Bridle
Weight
Rec. lines: (supplied)
Opt wind range:
Price
Passion
HQ Kites
218x 111cm
Ventex polyester, 16 panel
G-Force UL tapered carbon
Turbo sleeved Dyneema
266g
80 to 150Ibs, 50 to 125ft
3 to 20mph
Around 150.00

DESIGN / CONSTRUCTION
The kite arrives in a fine, quilted bag, in which the spreaders are tucked into an internal pocket and the instructions in a second Velcro sealed pocket. Once out of the bag, the kite was easy to assemble. It uses 0-Force UL tapered carbon in both leading edges and lower spreaders with Avia Sport .2300 in the spine and top spreader. The top spreader is fixed to the spine with the familiar 0-ring; the APA leading edge fittings are stopped at both top and lower spreaders. The wing tips are held tight with a short length of cord rather than elastic.

The sail in Ventex polyester is very cleanly sewn in sixteen panels, some of which have the Tramontana-live curved shape. The seams are simply laid flat with double-sided tape and a zigzag stitch (as Prism do). The leading edge pockets are made from Ripstop and the trailing edge has a thin tape rather than a leech line. There is a Mylar laminate reinforcement around the standoff fittings and tip stretchers and the kite has three stand-off position options. At the tail there is a bungee on the back of the kite which pulls the sail into a tighter V on the lower spine - called the Tail Flex System; the area is also reinforced with Mylar laminate and Dacron, The stand-off fittings are a snug fit, made of soft rubber which tends to grip the spar tightly; the same goes for the tip stretcher (which was stored in the leading edge Pocket). We were concerned that the spar might eventually cause the pocket to tear as the spar was so hard to remove.

The bridle is a turbo arrangement which is adjustable at the tee with a lark's head knot which affects the angle of attack and has some influence on the outhall measurement.

FLIGHT TEST
The Passion feels light and sure enough the immediate feeling is that it is a responsive and nimble performer. With the kite on "factory" setting (stand-off in the middle position and bridle one knot from the longest setting) it did not have a huge amount of forward drive and showed some oversteer in the lightest of winds, but felt quick and assertive. The kite would spin very tightly, well inboard of the leading edge, but again there was evidence of over-rotation... Hmmm, this kite seems to be set up for tricks and on short lines in light winds it is a blast; the Passion will axel all day long and cascade down or fountain up. Speed control through tricks was excellent allowing for long, lazy rotations or fast snappy ones. The Passion would recover well from most situations, the only problems encountered were during turtles where the kite would tend to rotate and catch a line. Flat spins and 540s were again possible right across the wind window and it would pop into a poison ivy without too much bother.

Ground work was good, the 0-Force frame standing up to repeated tip stabs and coin tosses. The kite would also roll over or leading edge take-off without any fuss.

As the wind freshened we decided to check out the Passion on long lines. We also changed the stand-off position inboard and moved the bridle to the most nose-up position for more drive. The transformation was quite amazing! From a kite that looked dodgy doing a clean 90, the Passion suddenly tracked straight and started cutting razor sharp corners. On the long lines a two metre kite was bound to look small, but the Passion behaved like a full-size kite. Although the speed was there, the pull increased but it reinforced the positive feel of the kite's precision ability. Speed and agility were still a big factor so care and millimetre perfect hand control were required to make the Passion into a competition class figures' kite. But hey, how often do you fly figures these days?

CONCLUSION
Interestingly, HQ have decided that their new flagship is not the traditional Precision/Team kite, but a much more trick oriented two metre model. The Passion is built to a very high standard which we have now come to expect from HQ, and frame, sail and fittings are second to none. The attention to detail is very evident in the way the sail in particular is put together and the bridle and stand-off arrangement gives plenty of scope for tuning if that's your bend. The Passion is kite with positive feeling which is light to the touch and very responsive. It will be precise enough if desired but the attitude of most kite flyers is more trick-orientated these days and so is this kite. Whether the kite can generate the enormous volume of sales that the Jam Session did remains to be seen but it's certainly a positive move up the kite evolutionary ladder in terms of spec and performance.

GOOD POINTS BAD POINTS
Accessible
Easy to trick
Tuning for different characteristics
Tip stretchers

Verdict
 
Ease of use
Reliability
Design
Price/Quality ratio
Performance
Packaging
4/5
4/5
4/5
3/5
4/5
4/5

 

Kite Passion Magazine

This review was taken from
Kite Passion Magazine - Feb 98

 

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