2014 HQ Ignition Review

Sizes tested: 9, 12m Suggested retail: $999, $1,099 (9,12m kite only)
Sizes available: 5, 7, 9, 12, 14m

Test Team Report
The Ignition is HQ’s first-ever LEI kite design, and the results are impressive. Upon first flight, the Ignition was reliable and stable, with no back-stalling tendencies or funky flying character flaws. The Ignition is a stable and easy-to-use kite that has lots of endearing performance traits to be appreciated by beginners and advanced riders alike. A one-pump system gets you on the water quickly and without much effort to get the three-strut frame ready for launch. If you do crash the Ignition, there is quick and easy water relaunch. It has a beefy central canopy and deep profile that pumps out plenty of power, and in the high depower setting the kite sheds the pull nicely with good levels of depower. It’s an easy boosting kite, and with its deep canopy profile it has decent hang time.
The Ignitition also has some intricate and advanced tuning options that most kites don’t have. The Ignition has adjustable bridle settings that can set the kite deeper or more ahead in the window for more or less depower or better unhooked freestyle performance. This is ideal for riders who want a kite that sits deeper in the window for unhooked freestyle and can be changed for higher depower needed for onshore waveriding. You can also convert the bridle to a pulley-free system if that’s your preference. The wide wing tips offer good feedback and solid power through the loop. Overall, the Ignition is solid three-strut Delta shape that can handle the demands of the modern freerider who wants a kite for any condition or discipline.

The Trade-off:
Might have been the setting it was in, but some testers found the kite a little hesitant while initiating the turn.

Best For:
Any level of rider who wants a versatile freeride kite that works well in the waves and offers a ton of fun for boosting and gliding.

Design Notes: Kevin Wade

Because this is the first year for the kite, I have no notes on changes from a previous model. Here are a few words on the tech specs, and how they relate to the flying traits of the kite. As the Ignition is an All-terrain wing, the goal was to obtain versatile performance in each size for it’s intended wind range. In order to do this, we needed to spend time adjusting every aspect of each size to optimize performance. No 1 size of the ignition is a simple scale of another. The larger kites were given a lower AR to optimize low end pull and remain stable in fluky winds. With the smaller kites, (7 and 5m), we were able to increase the AR to improve performance without compromising stability. The unique shape of the leading edge allows for increased power and incredible usable wind range. This shape, combined with the overall solid shape of the wing, allowed us to use a relatively simple bridle system. Simplicity for us was key, as it allowed adjustments to the bridle points to be noticeable. The more complex the bridle system, the less of a difference the adjustments make. We believe the ignition to be a very solid wing that offers true versatility for riders of all disciplines and abilities.