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Opt. wind range
|HQ Kites (Chris
196 x 103 cm
Avia .210 carbon
Sleeved dyneema, turbo
4 - 15 mph
80 lbs, 50 - 100 ft
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Choice of hardware