Here's 20 photos of the Hydra:https://picasaweb.google.com/chilesej/2014Kites#6077322359740309602
Nov 2, 2014
Altitude: 2300 ft
Temp: 65°F or about 18°C
Lines: 85' x 175# Skybond
Winds: 5 to 15 mph, very bumpy (really not fair to the kite for a review)
Kite: Hydra (Paul's personal) by Into The Wind (oversea production)
Retail: $225, but if you buy the demo, there is a discount.
Size and weight: 7.5 feet or 2.3 meters. Sadly, I can't find my scale.
The new kite company Fortuna-Forms (googleable) has a sign up sheet to try out a Hydra.
I signed up and now have one to flail about.
I don't have any time on a Focus Kites Hydra, so can't do a comparison.
The kite is made overseas and badged as an Into The Wind Kite. It is a Paul de Bakker design.
Frame is Dynamic (at least the lower spreaders were labelled as such).
Static 3 point bridle.
Sewing looks good to me but I am not an expert. There is heavy mylar in key points.
The kite has been used. There were grass stains, dirt in the knocks, some threads were showing fraying.
Normal use kind of thing.
Personally, I like this panel layout better than the Focus Kites layout. Just a matter of preference.
You can have the blue or green ribbon version. They both look good to me.
HANDLING & PRECISION:
The kite responds well to small hand movements for tricks, turns and precision.
It is not a dumb kite made for precision. While it flies a straight line, you'd better tend your straps.
The kite loads up quickly (which I like). There is good feedback from about 5 mph up.
A hard pull with either hand will dump the wind into a quick spin stall, which is nice for tricks from a line exit.
The kite tends to tip back when tension is lessened while pumping, but not as much as many of the back-happy tricksters I've flown.
There was noticeable frame shake at winds above 15 mph. Enough shake to want to do something about it soon.
Below 10 mph, the kite is quiet.
From 10 to 15 mph the kite has a nice mid-register noise. Not a buzz. More like 1 octave below when you blow air between your lips.
It was a pleasant sound and got louder to mid growl by 15 mph.
Well we can add another kite to the list of "Tricks Better Than John Is Able To Do".
I was able to do my normal list: Axel, Axel Take-Off, Cascades (timing is different), Jacob's Ladder, Yo-Yo, Barrel Rolls (Not Backspins), 540s, etc.
I did get 1 forward yoyo, which for me is a big deal.
Winds were horrible for tricks. We even shot some video in hopes of showing what the kite can do.
So I do have evidence of the tricks listed, but I'm not going to take the time to show you my hack skills.
I liked the kite, visually, flying and tricking. Bambi liked the feedback and tracking but said she would like a slightly larger kite.
Personal preference. I like the kite way more than the Into The Wind Kymera which felt very digital in its transition from tracking to tricking.
And, if you're thinking about getting one, sign up for a demo before you make your decision.
That seems more than fair to me.