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Author Topic: HQ Crackerjack Sport Kite  (Read 12669 times)
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« on: February 06, 2013, 06:56 PM »

My thanks to Kent Kingston and Chris Shultz for the loan of this
early, almost production, model for photos and flying.

Bumpy 10-15 mph winds
2300 foot altitude
85'x175# Skybond line

2.4m (almost 8 foot) wingspan
12 gm? tail weight inside spine
Dynamic rods
HQ fittings

This is a trick kite. The bridle comes set heavy, but has adjustment knots.
I ended up moving the towpoint about 2" (I like lightly set kites).

There is a 4 point bridle which can go between static or short turbo settings.
There is a keeper line and the nose is very cleanly done.
There is mylar in all the right spots.
The ferrule at the center-T and the rubpatch needed a little work, but I'll
chalk that up to the fact that this is not a production model.

The kite has a very fast reacting bridle and will spin stall to a landing dead easy.
In fact, one must be a bit careful to not over spin the kite.
Precision will be supplied by the pilot, not the kite. Perhaps with a bridle
change to wider towpoints this could be modified. The Crackerjack is quiet
except for a very noticeable whooshing in flight sound. Around 12 mph,
the kite gets quite noisy. Leech lines are adjustable, but I left them alone.

The kite is a bit wobbly until the sail loads up. But even when loaded,
the kite is touchy and is difficult to fly really clean lines.

It felt as if the kite was made to thrive in an unbalanced condition.
Definitely suited for tricks.

The kite is a bit slower than other trick kites (which I like) and allows the pilot
and spectator more of a chance to see the individual moves.
Cascades were noticeably slower than I would have expected.
Barrel rolls  felt controllable to the point that I got a few backspins on purpose.
Not many kites will do both.
Spin tricks were decent and yoyos slow enough to really enjoy.
Jacob's Ladders, 540s, slot machines, (didn't get a Taz, but it's in there) axel takeoff,
all were done.

There are NO dead spots in flic-flacs. What a welcome joy that was. Slow flic-flacs
from any position were done.

And, I even got a few comete single rotations. This trick has been my nemesis
and the Crackerjack let me get away with a full rotation multiple times. That is
way better than I've done before. Don't know if it's me getting better or the kite.

The Crackerjack only comes in blue and retails in the low $200s.

HQ has made the Shadow and Infinity that I've really enjoyed. Now the Crackerjack
enters into more of a trick category.

If you're a trickster and enjoy watching the kite tumble at a pace you can
see and appreciate, give this one a shot.

Photos taken in my backyard.
Kite flown at my local park.
Fifteen photos (new lens arrived today) start at the link below:
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 07:01 PM by chilese » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 07:41 PM »

John, Thanks for the review I have been contemplating this kite for a while.
I'm leaning pretty strongly towards a puchase. I know you said in your review you mostly have choppy winds, how do you feel it will handle precision wise in smoother winds?
Regards Scott.
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 08:13 PM »

It is not a precision kite, period.

Better wind will help, but not cure, what it

wasn't designed to do.  Smiley

Perhaps if the bridle was redone to widen

the towpoints, precision would improve.

I only flew it with adjustments made to shorten

the upper leg.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 08:14 PM by chilese » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 08:55 PM »

Now go and put the bridle back on the factory marks and re-do your review.

We need to get you a ruler with fractions indicated.

You moved the bridle up Two Inches? Really?

You slay me.
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 09:01 PM »

Maybe 1"-1.5" looking at the first picture.

You can use the magnifying glass and zoom in a
fair amount. Give me your estimate. Then I'll open
the bag and measure the bridle. Maybe I'll go do that
now. Back in a bit.

Remember, I'm a hack.

You know, it's not a production model.
Maybe where I moved it is now stock.  Smiley
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 09:15 PM by chilese » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 09:21 PM »

I love the name - my grandfather used to call my cousins boyfriend that.  I never knew if it was a affirmation or a criticism, but he was generally a very kind and gracious man, so I think it was somewhat of a compliment. 

6 kite tom
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2013, 12:28 AM »

I'm not telling the rest of you how to set your bridle.

Just telling you the conditions for the review I did.

Isn't that what a review is supposed to be?

Tell the conditions of the test and do the test.

If I set the kite at a JimB skill level, that doesn't mean

I'll be able to get the kite to perform at Jim's level.

I'm not that good.

Yet.  Wink Maybe some day.

Wait. Did I violate one of the unwritten rules?
  Don't move your bridle more than 1/4" from stock.
  Don't enter Virtual Freestyle if you aren't good enough.
     I know I took a lot of grief over that one.
     Don't worry, I'll not enter another one of those.

I'm glad I have you guys around to keep me on the proper path.  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 01:12 AM by chilese » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2013, 11:22 AM »

Thanks for the great review John, I can't wait to actually fly this kite.  From your review it sounds like exactly what would fit in with my style of flying.  Big wing, pitch happy and slow smooth rotations. Smiley

I am glad you are enjoying the kite.  HQ doesn't get nearly enough credit for some of their productions.  The Infinity was a true gem and the Shadow has been an SUL Staple in a lot of kite bags. 

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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 01:06 AM »

Wind was light, lights were off at the Friday night fly, but Wayne (Wayner) and I

flew his Tekken and the on loan Crackerjack.

I left the Crackerjack with Wayne so he could have a shot at it.

His Slot Machines have really improved.  Smiley

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