7m Ozone Hyperlink

Gear reviewed, commented upon

7m Ozone Hyperlink

Postby PowerManJ316 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:56 pm

Hey Everyone,

I wanted to give an honest review of the 7m Hyperlink foil kite. First, Lee from kiteboarding.com borrowed it to me. A great guy. I am in no way shape or form affiliated with Ozone or kiteboarding.com, so my comments here are not biased by sales/affiliation.

I've flown several foil kites in the past. 6m Ozone Access, 12m Ozone Summit, 8m Ozone Manta II, 15m Ozone Chrono v2, 13m Ozone Chrono v2. I am not an expert but I have enough experience to understand how to launch/land and fly them efficiently.

So onto the actual review of the 7m Ozone Hyperlink. The kite was flown in both open cell and closed cell mode. I couldn't notice much of a difference honestly. I would say I preferred the flight characteristics a little better in closed cell mode. It seemed to hang in the air a little better during lulls. However, it did make landing a little more difficult. Both the benefit and detriment of closed cell mode was pretty minor.

Though marketed as a big advantage, I wouldn't agree. I've landed the kite in winds as high as 20 knots in closed cell mode and it isn't difficult. So when comparing to a foil kite that is only closed cell, I would not be deterred to go with a Chrono for example, even if the sole intent was to use it in winter/land. The downside that I see is that there are zippers and velcro vents required to switch between open and closed cell mode. This is additional material and hardware that may be susceptible to long term wear. My overall opinion is that I'd go for a kite that is closed cell only regardless of usage, since I'd want the ability to take it on the water.

The other unique feature of the Hyperlink is that it can be converted to a 5-line kite. However, I didn't see the use for this. I never actually used the 5th line in all the sessions I had on the kite. I found it was actually easier to launch/land the kite using the brake built into the two outside lines. Additionally, when first powering up the kite (first time launched, didn't pre-inflate) I found that the 5th line caused some problems when it was trying to inflate. It seemed that when first trying to fill the cells, the 5th line had a little tension and caused the kite to resist filling with air and some erratic motion generally followed. To really get the kite to fly and fill fast, I had to pull on the inside lines during launch and get the kite overhead fast. Then a couple of pulls on the brake would stall the kite and fill the wing tips. My overall opinion is that I'd never really use the kite in 5th line mode, unless I went out on an absolute nuking day. However, I'd probably use an inflatable on this type of day anyway due to stability, which I'll comment on later. So overall, again a standard 4 line closed cell foil would be my preference here.

Once flying in the air, the kite felt nice. I understand why people comment that it flies like a tube kite. It does. It flies quite far forward in the window, but definitely depowers nicely and has just the right amount of bar pressure. Not quite as much as a tube kite, but more than a traditional foil kite. The kite is higher aspect than most/all tube kites I've flown. With this some tradeoffs should be expected. By default the kite wants to fly quite far out in front out you. This creates great upwind abilities, but also like any kite, the further on the edge of the wind window you get, the less stable it becomes. This was the single biggest drawback to the kite. It could not handle the lulls very well. The power seemed to be lost instantly during a lull. Typically conditions were 10 - 20knots, maybe getting up to 25 in the peak gusts and probably average mid to high teens. The kite handled the high end of the gusts very well. I never felt overpowered. However, when moving quickly (25 - 30mph) and then you got a lull in the wind, the kite would almost completely lose tension in the lines. So if you were at a hard lean, many times I fell over because the kite simply stopped pulling against my weight.

One test day, I setup a 6m tube kite and the 7m hyperlink and hands down, the 6m tube kite was far more stable. Think intertia here. The 6m would slowly lose power during lulls where the 7m foil was on/off. Given my experience with other foil kites, I believe this was due to the size. I have not had the same experience on the 13 and 15m Chronos I've flown nor on the 12m summit (though I did frequently get overpowered on this kite). I think the combination of high aspect ratio and small overall size with minimal weight is not a good combination for the gusty inland lands. This downside would be strong enough to stop me from buying this kite. It was not a good quality.

Some other highlights: this kite will boost you big time. In 10-15 knots I was easily able to boost 10 feet. I was nervous because there wasn't much snow and once you swing this thing overhead it wants to go go go. If you are looking for a big air kite, this would suit you well. Also, the bridle configuration is super refined. There were several times it seemed the kite wrapped up, twisted or was a tangled mess, but it always sorted itself out and flew well. I never had a setup where I didn't get the kite launched. My recommendation here is not to launch it at the side of the window. Just set that baby up in the power zone and launch it. Worked just fine in 10 - 20 knots. Probably also speaks to the good de-power the kite has.

For it's size, the kite has great low end power. This is a little different from other foil kites I've flown. It easily has more power than the 8m Manta I flew. Also, as I mentioned before, it never felt overpowered, even in 20+knot gusts.

All in all, I enjoyed the kite. I couldn't get going super fast on it, but my average speeds were significantly faster than a tube kite. I'd say a tube kite is faster downwind, but this foil kite is much faster upwind. The simplicity of not having a pump is nice. However, for my purposes I'd more closely look at a dedicated closed cell, 4 line kite. I just didn't see the advantages of the 5th line or open cell mode. Perhaps others will, but not me personally. I'd also caution others around high aspect foil kites that are small (6-8m range). I think you'd be better with a tube kite in gusty conditions. For bigger kites, I did not experience the same stability/pull issues, even in gusty conditions.

PM me or text me if you'd like any other info.
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Re: 7m Ozone Hyperlink

Postby jv. » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:25 pm

Great review Jeff, much appreciated, sorry I did not have a chance to fly it.

A quick comment regarding 5th line just for clarity. Having a 5th line adds a little more complexity as it can tangle if not put away carefully, and 1 in every 10 sessions or so I need to resolve this. And you are correct that sometimes in either light or gusty winds the line inside the kite seems to make ot trickier to inflate the first launch in a session. These downsides however do not stop me from being a big fan of 5th line because of one very cool and useful advantage: putting kite away or setting up for a new session. When you pull in 5th line after a session, even in heavy wind, you can pull the kite to you when wrapping up the lines! I do it all the time - if it is nuking I may actually walk toward kite as I wrap lines and certainly keep fingers out of the tight lines - but if you keep bar low and kite against the ground you can wrap up lines for next session as soon as you stop kiting. The bar can be used for leverage, and in gusty conditions you may need to stop working through a gust, but kite remaines tame and manageable as long as you keep it on the ground and NOT spinning around. Then, what is even better: if done right, and if conditions are not too drastic, you can actually unpack that kite when you begin your next session, allow it to take its shape with the breeze befour unwinding lines, and then unwind the lines by walking backward or allowing wind to pull kite away from you as you begin next session. It takes a little practice and the key is putting it away properly, but taking kite out for a session and then putting it away again with a little experience rocks! Worst case you can lay the kite out on the ground using snow to hold down edge (short edge in heavy wind with kite at 90 degree angle to wind; or long edge with kite set up for hot launch in normal wind) and completely unwind and check lines, put on board/skis, then unhook 5th line and launch!

As you mention, the brake is used to launch and land, not the 5th line, that is only used after landing. Pulling 5th line while in the air will bring kite down, but likely kite will spin and lines will tangle.

I used my Summit 5th line bar setup with Chrono for first year I had Chrono, though Chrono not set up for 5th line (no lines inside kite). I tied 5th line to one side of inside lines at bridal. Since the Chrono is clised cell, and especially since there is no internal line, this setup did not offer the 5th line advantage a real 5th line kite offers because the pressure in kite keeps Chrono from really flagging out, this is probably why Closed cell setups do not offer 5th line.
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Re: 7m Ozone Hyperlink

Postby PowerManJ316 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:59 am

Thanks for the comments jv.

I agree, the use of the 5th line is probably more than I stated, given my inexperience. I could not use the 5th line to retrieve the kite, but this is probably due to lack of experience. This would have been a huge added bonus because take-down was actually a litter tougher than a tube kite. Again, probably due to lack of experience.

I do also think though that the internal 5th lines on dedicated snow kites are far better than the fifth line upgrade you did manually on the Chrono and what the Hyperlink offers (kit). This is just conjecture though, and i don't have an objective basis to make this claim.
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