I have had a HQ Beamer III with me for a week or so, and have had it out of the bag a few times now to fly since coming back from Speed Week. Out of the beginners value for money range, this kite is worth real consideration as your first introduction to power kites.
The HQ Beamer 3 package comes with the trademark HQ Beamer bag with an oversized novilty zip on the front. They started this with their Beamer 1 series, and have carried it through. Any other brand did this we would be pointing fingers, but it seriously puts a smile on a persons face before they even see the kite.
The HQ Beamer 3 comes complete with everything that you will need as a beginner getting into power kiting. It comes with;
- HQ Beamer 3 Bag
- HQ Beamer 3 Kite
- HQ Kite Killers
- HQ Quad Dyneema Lines
- HQ Handles
- HQ Ground Stake
- HQ Instructional DVD
- HQ Booklet
Considering the price of a 3.0m HQ Beamer 3 kite is around the $350 mark that's a pretty good deal.
There is nothing you will need additionally to this setup as a beginner which is fantastic, as you can pickup the kite, book a lesson or meet an experienced flyer somewhere and get started.
Since the first generation of the Beamer HQ have been increasing the quality of the kite at each new generation of the kite. This year the HQ Beamer III is on par with the bigger brands such as Ozone and Flexifoil in terms of build quality. The bridles that come with the kite are sleeved, stitched and sewn. There is reenforcement where needed, and the leading edge now has extra reenforcement and protection for when crashing or dragging the kite.
One area that consistently annoys me with manufacturers is cheaping out on the lines. The big companies generally manage to get it right, but it seems of no interest to some of the smaller companies. Well HQ have stepped up the mark and are using sleeved dyneema lines on all their kites. The power lines look the business and look like they are excellent quality. The Brake Lines however I am not as confident with. They will do the job undoubtedly, however the finishing stitches on the sleeving, and the feel of the line itself makes me think this is an area that could be improved. It is good, it is adequate and beyond adequate. However the whole package is being offered at an exceptional level, and this really makes the quality of the brake lines stand out when it isn't up to the same mark as the rest of the package. A bit like owning a Mercedes and towing a rusted out trailer.
Handles & Kite Killers
These are fantastic, and perfect for people who haven't flown before. The handles are clearly colour coded, so you know which is which when picking up the handles. And incase you aren't familiar with the Red and Blue, then they are clearly labeled L for left and R for right on the back of the handles. The handles also have adequate rope out the back of them to attach to your harness or back strap.
The Kite Killers that come with the package are great, they are comfy and a good length and fit from skinny to large wrists.
Flying the Kite
The HQ Beamer III responds very well when setup right. I found the best setting was connect everything as it comes factory set. Then attach the brake lines to the 2nd knot on the brake bridle at the kite end. It seemed to fly best on that position without having to add any more knots into the handles or change anything from factory settings.
Grab the handles, a tug and one step back and the kite climbs straight to the top of the window. No stalling on the way up or struggling to climb, it goes straight there. Turning the kite is nice, apply a little brake if you wish and it just
The kite for its size is moderately powerful. I have flown similar sized kites from other brands that produce more power, but the design of the kite is extremely user friendly.
Sending the kite back and fourth through the window and it didn't luff or stall once. It just kept flying, and at any time that I wanted to bring it to the top of the window there was no working the kite required. Simply point it from anywhere in the window and it would travel straight back to the top.
The power delivery during moving the kite is very smooth, it builds gradually as you get deeper into the window. There is no snap on and off points with the kite.
The package is excellent and its pricing makes it one of the top value for money choices available. HQ have matched the quality of the leading brands with exception to the brake lines. And improvement here would have the whole package receiving a 10/10. If you are entering power kites for the first time, add it to your list of kites.
This review was originally written November 12th 2007 and published on our Community Forum.
Edited by .Joel