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Tricktana (HQ Kites)

 

tricktana.gif (20425 bytes)

Specifications
Make
Model
Dimensions
Weight
Frame
Sail
Bridle
Opt. wind range
Rec. lines
Price
HQ Kites (Chris Matheson)
Tricktana
196 x 103 cm
220g
Avia .210 carbon
Ventex polyester
Sleeved dyneema, turbo
4 - 15 mph
80 lbs, 50 - 100 ft
105

The Tricktana is one of the kites in the new Tramontana 2000 range which was developed by Chris Matheson for HQ. It is a 2 meter "tricky" version of the now well known Tramontana and features the same sail graphic as it's larger sibling.

Design/Construction
The Tricktana retains many of the features of the original big kite with a few small changes. The wing tips have a less pronounced paddle and the kite has a much smaller depth ratio to the sail giving it a slimmer and more streamlined appearance. The kite has a 14 panel Ventex polyester sail sewn with flat glued and zig-zag stitched seams. It has ripstop leading edge pockets, deep at around 40mm. The spine is enclosed in a tunnel which runs up the centre of the kite standing proud of the rest of the sail. The nose is reinforced with webbing and Mylar laminate reinforcement is used on the wing tips. The 'T' stand-off positions, tail and tips are Dacron covered. No bungees are used: a simple loop of bridle type line is employed at the tail and loops are again used at the wing tips but they double as the attachment for the trick line. Minus a leech line, the trailing edge uses ripstop binding tape to keep vibration to a minimum. The Tricktana uses an Avia Sport .210 pultruded frame throughout. It has two sets of stand-offs and a tip stretcher all made from wound GRP. APA fittings are used on the leading edge and nocks and 'T' from Exel. The carbon was fitted loosely in the T-joint but the stand-offs and tension from the leading edge camber seemed to keep the lower spreaders in place. The bridle is a turbo arrangement made from sleeved Dyneema.

Flight Test
The kite would fly in light winds although it tended to be hesitant in very light breezes and would fall nose forward easily; in a stronger wind it proved much more assured and flew quite reasonable precision for a kite of it's size. Straight line flight was steady, speed reasonably fast and angular turns could, with practice, be achieved quite readily. The kite would spin well within the tip although recovery from a tight spin was treacherous as it could pop onto its back.

In 3-6 mph winds the Tricktana started to show off what it could do. Any kite with 'trick' in it's name will be expected to be a freestyle specialist. With this in mind the kite was taken straight into a mix of tricks: axels, coin tosses, axel take-offs, 540's ... all came off but care had to be taken to avoid line wraps. As the kite rotates, it tends to go nose up and the tip stretchers plus the tail tended to catch a line. Turtles were interesting, it did not want to stay stable and would often rotate on its back, again catching a line. These moves were tried repeatedly and the kite would often recover itself from the line wrap before getting to the ground, then fly off again, without feeling much under control. Fades were difficult to achieve - almost impossible in the middle of the window. It was easier on the edge but the kite didn't seem to want to stay in this position for long.

During the test, the top spreader stops on both sides came away as did the wing tip tensioning line; a minor fault but disappointing. The loose stand-off fittings would slide across the spreader and a couple of times the lower spreaders popped out of the 'T' which could have had far more serious consequences.

Conclusion
The Tricktana is a good looking kite. It flies fairly good precision for its size and will trick well if handled with care. It would however line wrap far too easily which made trick combinations difficult. The standard of fittings was also not what's expected from HQ today. These minor problems can be fixed quickly no doubt and an adjustment of flying style could prevent some of the line wraps.

 

Good Points Bad Points
General flight
Frame
Choice of hardware
Line wraps

Verdict
 
Accessibility
Reliability
Design
Price/quality ratio
Performance
Packaging
4/5
3/5
3/5
3/5
3/5
3/5

 

 

Kite Passion Magazine

This review was taken from
Kite Passion Magazine - Aug/Sep 98

 

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kite fest photos
design and plans

Buggying
how to buggy

first lesson

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buggy pics
tandem buggying
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Extras
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