The foil kite trend in kitesurfing has been steadily growing for the past few years; however, as the technology improves we find the performance of these kites has increased exponentially. This is fantastic for those at the top, but for those who wish to use one as an everyday kite, the option has gone out of the window as they become just so technical to fly.
Enter the Hyperlink V1. A closed and open cell foil kite, it has been designed to bridge the gap between a traditional Open Cell foil and an LEI for those who want the performance and versatility of a foil but with none of the hard work which traditionally goes with it!
The Hyperlink V1 can be changed between both Open and Closed Cell for use on either water or land/snow. The closed Cell works well for water where the water has a slight delay in entering the kite should you crash it. Changing between this and Open Cell is quick and easy by simply unzipping the Cell itself. The Open Cell option is perfect for those on snow or land for whom sinking is not an eventuality!
The Hyperlink V1 is medium aspect foil designed for all types of kiting on land, snow or sea. The bridle is simple and much smaller than that of a race type foil kite. Compatible with both 4 and 5 lines, both options incorporate a single line re-ride, however the 5th line option, aimed at snow and land is only to be used when in Open Cell mode. The 5th line safety is a re-ride system which kills the power, lets it fall to the ground with no twists or tangles leaving you ready to launch again.
The Hyperlink V1 is surprisingly robust, made from Ozone's high-tenacity durable sailcloth you know the product is built to last.
Sizes: 5, 7, 9, 12 meters
The Contact Bar is to be used with the Hyperlink V1. Featuring the excellent push away ‘Megatron’ chicken loop, and an incredibly comfy ergonomic grip, it looks the bee's knees.
The safety system on the Contact Bar is of the highest quality. In 4 line mode, a light push of the release and the bar shoots up one of the front lines to the stopper ball situated on said line. While 5 line mode allows the kite to fall to the ground ready to begin again once checked.
Any twists in your lines are very easy to untangle with the well positioned ‘Spinning Handle’. The throw of the Contact bar is of ideal length. It allows kites to depower sufficiently, but you will never be in the situation where you lose touch with the bar, something crucial for smaller riders.
For depowering the kite, the cleat system works perfectly. Incredibly smooth and no need to be in the gym every day to use it.
A landing handle is present on the two outside lines just an arms reach away from the bar. It does exactly what it sounds like, and by pulling this handle the kite stalls to the point of collapse bringing it down to the ground for quickly and un powered.
Having flown many early foils, there is a certain joy of having such a simple kite to fly. Initially, in Closed Cell form, the kite inflates well though of course not quite as quick as when in the Open Cell configuration. Incredibly stable, it will hover above your head even in the super light winds. The power produced by the Hyperlink V1 is quite remarkable, lots more per square meter than we find on inflatable kites.
The feel through the bar is excellent, not to say it is heavy, rather responsive with a firm pull. The kite flies smoothly, powering you off with ease, no sudden surges of power at any points, and drives well upwind for its mid aspect shape.
Ozone claim it feels similar to an LEI, and in fact, it does. There is nothing at all unnatural about the feel; this will open up the world of foil kites to a mass of riders, it won’t feel completely alien to the LEI die hards out there. Jumping with the Hyperlink V1 is simply awesome. The natural drive of the kite just keeps you going higher and higher, and you will stay up there for quite some time before quite literally floating back down to earth. It’s an almost unique experience that leaves you wanting more and more.
The depower on the kite is immense, and it is incredibly stable when depowered too, the beauty of foil kites is they just change the angle of attack, but remain aerodynamic, so there is no flutter whatsoever. We flew the 9m on a solid 7m kite day, and people were out saying they were overpowered. On the Hyperlink, we just trimmed the angle and carried on flying around. When it is at the top end of its range, the jumping goes from insane to ludicrous mode. You’ll be guaranteed a smile on your face.
The low end is equally impressive, and it is the range that is the real star here, the 9m just blew us away. You could almost have it as your only kite, you’ll be hydrofoiling in 10 knots with ease, then as the wind increases, switch to a twin tip, and by the time 30 knots appears you’ll be boosting to the moon.
The Hyperlink V1 does not mean the end of your unhooked freestyle action. The kite’s stability and predictability make it an awesome option for popping some powered raleys and other basic unhooked moves. Do however be mindful of the fact you are still on a foil kite in the ocean; the kite will fill up with water if not relaunched fast enough!
Relaunch was an area that also surprised us, we’ve struggled with higher performance foil kites in the past, if a foil kite falls in the right way, it will come up every time in hardly any wind with ease. However, if it goes in and twists it can turn into a bag of washing and a real nightmare. We dropped the Hyperlink V1 while riding it round an island and in the wind shadow the kite collapsed and looked like a total mess. Thoughts turned to previous experiences, and we thought that would be it. However, a few tugs on the front lines, a puff of wind and the kite sorted itself out, popped up and even more impressively had no twists or tangles at all.
"Monstrous jumps, fast flying and sublimely stable"
You can also easily reverse launch the kite if it ends up face down, pulling on the landing handle will cause it to reverse off the water, simply let it fly high enough to spin and then let go of the handle and pull on one of the rear lines to rotate the kite. If the wind is light, you will have far more chance of relaunching a foil kite than a LEI, as long as it falls in the right way. Of course, if you don’t crash it you’ll never have any issues, keep it dry if you can!
The Hyperlink is the ideal foil for those looking to start foil boarding with a “foil” kite. The superior stability and extensive depower range make it that much more reassuring to fly. The higher aspect race foils tend to be a lot less stable when making errors on water starts or gybing and tacking. Something I learnt the hard way! The large depower range really takes the grunt off when you need it. Although it doesn't drive as far into the wind as the race foil kites, the Ozone Hyperlink still hammers upwind. The Hyperlink’s smooth power delivery gives you more time to focus on your next goal, not the next time you might get chucked over the front.
The versatility of this kite is phenomenal and will suit a huge array of riders for boosting, foiling, snowkiting and more.
As with any foil kite, crashing the kite in water can have dire consequences if left for too long. Though the Hyperlink V1 is incredibly safe and does have a quick relaunch, it is still a foil kite, which could potentially sink. For newer kiters, some relaunching practice in shallow waters would make this small risk even smaller.
Very impressive, the Hyperlink V1 is a huge amount of fun both on land and sea. Direct and firm through the bar it feels similar to both an LEI and an Open Cell foil truly bridging the gap between them both. Monstrous jumps, fast flying and sublimely stable; the Hyperlink V1 is something special indeed.
This review was in Issue 64 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Ozone
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