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Author: Subject: HQ Apex V - initial thoughts
nate76




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Registered: 9-9-2015
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[*] posted on 1-18-2016 at 03:19 PM
HQ Apex V - initial thoughts


I've had a chance to get the new Apex V out over the last couple of weeks and had a good session on it this last Saturday. The Apex kites tend to get overlooked - even by myself. I was surprised just how much fun I had on it and it actually left me wanting to get it back out again.

As most of you know, the Apex is HQs entry level, price-point depower kite. The bar received an upgrade this year to the standard bar used on all the other depower kites; the chicken loop is still the same style used on the Apex IV and original Matrixx.

Probably the two biggest complaints I've heard with the old Apex IV was that it used a top-hat safety, and that the bar throw and reach to the trim strap was way too long. I can happily say that both these issues have been fixed. HQ moved to a standard clam cleat depower this year, and also upgraded the kite to a front line flag-out safety system that works great. The reach and throw on the depower is considerably shorter and should make a lot of people happy.

In terms of flight characteristics, its everything you would expect from a low aspect ratio, beginner/back country kite in terms of reassurance and stability, but with a surprisingly sporty feel. I was flying the 8m in mid-teens-wind and it was lively and fun, with gentle pops of air available if you wanted them.

Probably the biggest thing that stood out to me was the lack of back-stalling. In my experience the Apex IV seemed to be trimmed a little heavy on the brakes. Once you got used to it, it was a positive attribute as you could spin the kite on a dime. However, I found for beginners it was sometimes confusing and complicated the initial learning curve. The back-stalling is gone in the Apex V. I found that I could have the kite fully powered both in terms of trim and the bar pulled all the way back, and there was very little - if any - tendency for the kite to stall.

This translates into a kite that is really easy and intuitive to fly and will leave the beginner/student with much less to think about. I found myself spending a lot less time thinking about the kite and just enjoying the skiing. It was just there producing power and helping me make nice lively turns and carves. No worries of collapses, tip tucks, etc, just lap after lap up and down the hill. It really was enjoyable - surprisingly so. To the point where I am looking forward to pulling it out again when conditions avail themselves.

The Apex series offers a lot of kite for the money; the fact that a cash-strapped individual can pick up a brand new 13m kite for under $1000 is impressive. The 8m has good power and I imagine the 13m would make a fairly potent light wind machine for someone on a budget. I think people are going to be really happy with the new edition - both beginners and more advanced back country explorers alike.

I'm hoping to get a back-country excursion in later this week, so hopefully at that point I can test it out in some tougher conditions. Till then, I put together a video overview of the kite for anyone interested:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvXkcZi-Ll0









Founder/Owner Colorado Kite Sports
Specializing in HQ and HQ4 Kites
http://coloradokitesports.com
719-200-2431
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yeti


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[*] posted on 1-18-2016 at 05:25 PM


Always used to have to shorten the center lines on these (III and IV) quite a bit to get rid of the backstall and make them fly faster when powered up in high wind (rather than just pulling way too hard with the bar out).

Sounds like they are a little better out of the factory now. Hopefully improved in other areas like depower range and such.
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nate76




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[*] posted on 1-18-2016 at 07:20 PM


Ya, the 1st thing I would do when I got a new Apex IV was move the center lines in a knot.

The winds I've been testing in were in the mid-to-high teens - light to moderately gusty. I'm looking forward to getting into some higher winds to explore the top end and gust handling a little more




Founder/Owner Colorado Kite Sports
Specializing in HQ and HQ4 Kites
http://coloradokitesports.com
719-200-2431
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windrider1


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[*] posted on 1-18-2016 at 10:53 PM


I love the apex series. Its great value for your money. The III series were great kites. Unlike the IV series which was very twitchy and backstall prone . Would love to try series v.



MY KITES
nano- 0.5m - high wind kite
mega-2.2m- low wind kite
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yeti


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[*] posted on 1-19-2016 at 06:26 PM


I only had the 11m in the IV series but I did not find it any more backstall prone than the other two I owned from the III series. When flying in the proper wind range, they all needed to be trimmed using the center line knots, but the IV was trimmed less than the IIIs I had.

I flew an 8m IV once and like the others, it could get to be a handful in gusty wind, but not much different from the others. Even my ozone frenzy that I still have tends to be prone to tip tucking or complete collapse when the wind is junk. For some reason, I have much better luck with higher aspect ratio kites.
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