At a Glance
Ozone have been the brand to watch of late, this dedicated small group of passionate riders have been pumping out incredible products for a long time. In recent years their innovation seems to have taken things up a notch or two. The Hyperlink is a case in point. Launched a couple of years ago, the kite aimed to bridge the gap between inflatable kites and foils.
When I first rode the Hyperlink V1 I was seriously impressed, this year the Hyperlink V2 is fresh to the shelves boasting an all-new double ripstop material that is lighter and features a new coating to help it shed water faster. The focus this year has been to improve the overall performance of the kite while maintaining that classic Hyperlink feel.
Billed as a genuinely versatile kite, it can be set up as a four-line Closed Cell kite or switched to a five-line Open Cell mode for riding on the snow. This second mode allows for easy landing and relaunch on the land and slightly faster inflation, it’s an optional extra that is worth thinking about if you ride on hard stuff as well as the ocean.
The Hyperlink V2 is aimed at the rider who wants to do everything, from freeride to foil, big air to snowkiting, it’s even suitable for a bit of freestyle too. The elephant in the room, of course, is that it is a foil kite; however, the design team have worked hard to ensure the only time you’ll realise this is when you are launching and landing.
On The Water
It’s always strange not taking a pump to the beach, I’ve flown quite a few foil kites over the years, and this is still one aspect that throws me a bit. Once you get to the beach though it all makes sense. The Hyperlink V2 has a very minimalist bridle set up, if you’ve ever got a foil kite out of a bag and had a hot flush looking at the lines, there is nothing to fear here.
Set up is quick and easy, and the classic launch technique of pulling on the brake lines soon has the kite fully inflated in the air and ready to go. Power is one thing you’ll notice immediately, especially in lighter winds. The Hyperlink V2 generates significantly more power than a similar sized LEI, this is perfect for those foil sessions where a smaller kite is more manoeuvrable, yet you still want to be confident about it staying in the air.
Being so much lighter this year really improves the bottom end range of this kite, even in just a few knots the kite is easy to keep in the air, and you can generate apparent wind almost instantly on the down stroke to get going. Once you are up and riding the jewel in the Hyperlink’s crown shines brightly.
This kite really does handle and perform almost identically to an LEI, during one test session in Barcelona I switched from a 10m Alpha to the 9m Hyperlink, and I honestly couldn’t feel any difference in the handling. The Hyperlink V2 is that good. It’s fast, direct and incredibly responsive, which is a testament to how Ozone have designed the kite and tweaked the bridle.
Relaunch can always be a touchy subject for foils, however, due to the large cells and the simple bridle the kite is actually very easy to relaunch, it can be reversed off the water with a quick pull on the rear lines, or even revived from the edge of the window if you crash it favourably. One thinks I found with the Hyperlink V1 that is true of this kite too is that no matter how bad a mess you get it in, it’s relatively easy to sort out. Chances are it will have sorted itself out before you really need to think about what to do.
Hangtime and jumping on the Hyperlink V2 is an incredible feeling, you get the powerful pull on take off that you get with an LEI, thanks to the fast handling. However, in the air, you have all the float and lift of a foil kite. It’s a very engaging experience that will stick a smile on anyone’s face.
Upwind performance won’t touch something like an R1, it does bang upwind with ease though. The kite loves to fly forwards in the window and has impressive depower too. The overall range on this kite is huge, the angle of attack allowing you to hang on when it gets really windy. It’s fast through the air too, with excellent feedback at the bar letting you know where it is at all times. Bar pressure isn’t too heavy, we’d say on the plus side of positive.
This kite will suit a multitude of riders, but kite foilers looking for some low-end performance without the fuss of a full foil kite will really feel the benefits here. Simplicity is where this kite shines, for sure something like the Chrono will outperform it, but if you want the easiest, most forgiving foil kite on the market that flies and handles just like an LEI, then there really is no substitute. If you like to ride on the snow too, then the Hyperlink V2 offers a significant advantage in that it really excels on the land and the water. One kite to rule them all, for the genuinely versatile kiters out there.
If you’ve never flown one of these kites we really recommend it, it’s an engaging experience that will ignite passion in riders who have perhaps tried a foil kite and been scared off by all the bridles and the arguably different flying characteristics. The Hyperlink V2 makes a compelling choice for freeriders and foilers looking for incredible power and range coupled with ease of use. In terms of low end, there isn’t an LEI that can hold a candle to this kite, and yet it handles and feels like an LEI in the hands. It’s a compelling piece of equipment!
This review was in Issue 75 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Ozone
By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!