Behind The Scenes with HQ Powerkites

Behind The Scenes with HQ Powerkites

During the month of June each year HQ Powerkites assemble the team, all of the latest gear and prototypes and head to the island of Fano, Denmark. Fano boosts over 4 miles of usable traction kiting beach space and is much longer in total! Each year there is a huge kite festival along the beach with thousands of single line kites and other creations flooding the skys for a week. Bags packed and the car loaded we drove out from the Uk to meet the team, test the new gear and help out on some of the media product shoots. 18 hours after leaving the house we arrived on the island and were greeted by Jan Hendrik from HQ who showed us to our new house for the week.

Fano Kite Festival

The next day we stocked up at the local (and extremely expensive) supermarket for supplies and headed to the beach. The HQ team had set out a large base camp area which made them much easier to find along the miles of empty sand. The team consists of the riders, sales team, the design team and a professional photographer. Oh, and did I mention the models?  The wind was blowing steadily so we got started right away. This year HQ have an all new high aspect closed cell foil kite called the Matrixx and improved revisions of the Montana and Neo kites. Besides the larger depower kites HQ have also been busy working on a selection of beginner/intermediate fixed line kites and a new buggy/lift engine the Toxic.

HQ Montana 6 or 7Being a freestyle landboarder myself, and in the light winds I opted for what I originally believed to be a 12.5m Montana 6. There was a small wooden kicker on the beach which provided a bit of extra lift for busting out some old school spins and grabs. I was straight away impressed with the kite, I hadn’t flown any of the M6’s other than the 9.5m and found it to be extremely responsive and floaty for a 12.5m. Whilst sharing my positive feedback with Jan from HQ he quietly informed me it was in fact a disguised Montana 7, and a 14m! That would explain the massive hangtime but that made the turning speed from extremely responsive to ridiculous – what a kite! I continued to throw myself around the beach on the kite as the wind picked up, the kite really felt like a 12.5m in terms of high end. The HQ photographer Goetz headed over and we planned some freestyle shots on the flat, over the kicker and some including one of the German models Krin Besser. It was great fun shooting some “alternative” kiting shots instead of the normal freestyle over cameraman action that is to be expected. I would love to be able to share some of these special shots but HQ are holding onto them for now! – So I can provide a jump over cameraman shot instead…

Its not all fun and games however in show business and sometimes the role can be really demanding. Instead of a relaxing kite holiday I was forced to do some really tough work on the beach, jobs such as jumping over vehicles and seeing how many girls you can wrap around yourself on a landboard… I tell you, its tough. On a more serious note HQ really put a lot of hard work into the marketing, into the riders and into the kites that you will never really touch on or notice. They are a real lifestyle brand and are extremely creative when deciding on how to differentiate various aspects of the brand from all the others out there. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so check out the gallery below to help understand the vibe of HQ Powerkites.

HQ Matrixx Kite Landboarding Photos

HQ Matrixx Kite Landboarding Photos

We took the chance to grab a go on the latest closed cell offering from HQ Powerkites, The Matrixx at Wallop Reloaded power kite festival. We hope to join the group behind the brand in Fanoe, Denmark in the next few weeks to give the entire range a run for its money and report back with some real week long test reports and reviews!

Post your questions below!

Photos: Tom Routh

HQ Montana 6 Review

HQ Montana 6 Review

Introduction: 6 Years in development the HQ Montana has come on leaps and bounds since the original design. The Montana is a high performance open cell depower kite aimed at landkiting and snowkiting. Going big with massive hangtime is the name of the game, but does the Montana 6 deliver?

Hq Montana 6 2011

Talk the Talk: The HQ Montana is a high aspect depower kite aimed at the intermediate/advanced kiter wanting maximum performance for freeride and freestyle. Out of the bag the Montana is very easy and fast to get into the sky. The rucksack style bag opens nice and wide for getting the kite in and out in a hurry. Something that seems to be getting better and better in the HQ product line is the range of fabrics they are using on the kites. The Montana feels very smooth, light and water resistant in the hands which should make low wind snowkiting a breeze.

HQ Montana 6 Freestyle

Due to the aspect ratio and new foil design the kite flies very fast through the window. This can work well in a range of situations, the kite can gain apparent wind very efficiently in light winds which means a bigger grin on your face when the winds light – land or snow. The Montana 6 also goes upwind at quite a sharp angle, great for getting back to where you started after a massive jump or when freeriding terrain.

One of the days we had the kite on test was particularly gusty and the Montana gust munched with ease, it is a very easy kite to fly and dial into yet has massive amounts of performance for when you need it. In the hands of multiple competent landboarders the we really were very impressed with how much hangtime was on offer. I imagine the larger size is somewhat of a gliding monster on the slopes.

Although the kite turns quickly you have to work the bar well for the best turn, this makes more technical tricks much easier as the chances of over redirecting or accidentally looping the kite are reduced. There is a real difference between a fast kite and a twitchy kite, and the Montana delivers well in this area.

HQ Montana 6 Depower BarIn terms of the bar, it works, yet somehow still feels like something is missing or not quite right. It is quite large and judging from the turning speed on the 9.5m we tested it could certainly be smaller without jeopardizing turning speed. Besides this the safety worked effectively both on the top hat kill system and stalling the kite on the rear lines using the landing handle.

In essence the Montana 6 is yet another big step in the right direction for HQ Powerkites, The overall finish and performance has really jumped up a stage and should certainly make it to the watch list of anyone looking for a progression orientated freeride and freestyle kite.

Liked: Huge hangtime and big airs with fast turning and stability, whats not to like?

Would Change: The Bar seems somewhat outdated against some other brands on the market.

Overview: The HQ Montana VI delivers a great pop/hangtime ratio for freestyle riders wanting maximum performance, land or snow.

Size on test; 9.5m Complete