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HQ Comet ECO Line Foil Kite
The HQ Comet is a brand-new ECO LINE beginner Foil kite Low budget entry level foil kite. A smooth flier with controllable pull. Excellent price-performance ratio. Ready to fly, incl. lines on d-handles
Foil Kite Features :
Kite Type: The HQ Comet is a solid kite for those on a budget
Kite Sail: Nylon and Polyester
Frame Kite Size: 120 cm by 55 cm
Kite Wind Range: 11 - 31 MPH
It flies O.K. for a cheap kite
Posted by John Bell on 27th Jul 2014
I had no need for this kite, but I look at kites somewhat like Imelda Marcos looked at shoes.
I have several HQ kites and had never seen this kite for sale in the US even though I was curious. I saw the kite at a hobby store and decided to pick it up.
This kite is actually HQ kites economy line. Some of my favorite kites are various kites from the HQ Symphony Pro and Speed kite lines. This kite is certainly not on par with those kites, but those kites are a multiple of the price of this kite.
The important thing is that the kite flew pretty well. It flew even better on a good set of lines. This kite does not fly well in light winds, but flew pretty well in a fresh breeze. This is typical of foils. It was able to turn tightly and only collapsed a couple of times. Some foils are more prone to collapsing than others. This is probably a little worse, but would quickly recover with a pull on both lines.
I felt that the kite itself was surprisingly well made for the price. The colors were bright and the kite looked better than some of my more expensive HQ kites. Aesthetics should not matter as much as aerodynamics, but it is one of my "prettier" kites.
The significant warning about the bag is to avoid getting the lines of the kite caught in the Velcro hooks. I would prefer that the bag had cheap plastic snaps than the Velcro. The trick is to keep the lines of the kite fully folded or rolled inside the kite when putting the kite in the bag. To keep the lines from tangling when you fold it, make sure that you use a larks head knot to keep the two sets together to help prevent tangling. This knot is the same knot used to attach the flying lines and is shown in the directions. The bag has already started to rip. However, the bags from Prism and Hq on the nicer kites seem nicer than necessary and a place that I would probably cut costs. I would prefer a simple stuff sack. Overall, I am not even counting this against the kite. If the kite outlasts the bag, you can find some cheap sack to keep it in.
The lines were a big shortcoming, but usable. The lines were twisted polyester as opposed to braided. Dyneema or Spectra is ideal for stunt kites, but out of the question at this price point. I think that braided as opposed to twisted might have only added added a little to the price. If you get into kiting, you will notice that Dyneema and Spectra lines are sleeved before knotting. This is not a concern with the lines on this kite. If the line breaks, tie them back together. If the lines tangle, cut the tangle out, tie the line together, and cut the other line to match the new length.
The directions show how to attach the lines to the kite. The problem is that there was no loop at the end of the lines. If you know this in advance, you simply tie a loop at the end of each flying line. The larks head knot that you use to connect the flying lines is also the technique that you will use to attach one side of the kite riser lines to the other to keep them from tangling when you fold/roll the kite. There is a set of pictures in the instructions and I am sure that you could find a web video.
Most line sets have a side marked with red and a side marked with blue at both the kite and the handle end. When you unroll the lines, you only need to make sure that the correct color is in the correct hand. If the lines are twisted, you can straighten it out in the air by looping the kite. Unfortunately, these lines are not marked. However, that is easy to fix with a magic marker. If you do not have a marker, just tie an extra knot at both the kite end and the handle end of one of the lines.
You can self launch by putting a weight such as drink can or sand on the trailing edge. This is how I flew it. However, you are best off having someone launch it for the first several times until you get the hang of things. I have taught several people to fly and you will find it uncontrollable and will crash it several times until you get the hang of it. One you get the hang of flying, you will find this quite relaxing.
When I rolled the flying lines up, I put both handles together and did a tight figure eight. This helps prevent twisting.
Now the question is whether or not I would recommend it. If you want to get into flying foils, I would probably recommend spending a little more for an HQ Symphony Beach or even a little more for an HQ Symphony Pro.
If you do not want to spend more money, I think this kite is O.K. for the price. If you are going to the beach and have a couple of kids, you could buy a couple of these. Just keep in mind that this kite is not going to last as long as one of the more expensive kites. Also keep in mind that either this or a more expensive kite is going to require a bit of a learning curve to master it.
The kite comes with an instruction sheet that I think is a pretty good set of instructions. You might also find some general instruction on the web. Do a web search for a video: "How to Fly a Speed Foil Kite."