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AVAILABLE SIZES: 7, 9, 12 and 14m
TESTED IN: Pismo Beach, 17-20 knots, small waves
FROM THE MANUFACTURER:
The fourth-generation HYDRA is the perfect kite for intermediate and advanced riders and is the result of more than 10 years of dedication to perfecting the FLAT KITE concept. The new HYDRA features the SPS (Supported Profile System), a unique bridle structure which supports the front and rear profile, increasing stability in gusty conditions and producing a more powerful kite with breathtaking hang time. Developed by GENETRIX, the HYDRA is the only inflatable kite to use this system. In addition, our unique MAP design (Maximum Area Power) produces more power per square meter than any conservative BOW or ARC classic kite.
THE KITEBOARDER REPORT:
Out of the Box: If you want to get noticed at the beach, you might want to buy a Hydra as this kite looks like nothing else we’ve ever tested. This kite is FLAT and has a trailing edge that is scalloped between the ribs, of which there are six. The large complex bridle connects to the individual ribs as well as to the leading edge. As far as we know, this is the only kite out there that does this. The Hydra has a one-pump system and appears to be well made, with proper reinforcements in all the right places.
The Hydra comes with a clean bar that features a push-away quick release, above-bar depower, and adjusters that allow you to adjust your rear lines individually while riding. Unfortunately, the lines do not have kook-proof connections, which allows you to hook up your lines backwards if you are not paying attention while rigging.
On the Water: The Hydra is a unique kite in the sky, and it feels unique on the water. Turning is not especially fast, but the Hydra flies very fast through the sky. This kite’s claim to fame is that it was the first one to break the speed sailing 50-knot barrier, and that’s easy to believe when you try to see how fast you can go on this kite. Probably due to the extremely flat shape, the Hydra is a very powerful kite and has a light-medium bar pressure.
The Hyrda is built for a fairly specific purpose, so it excels at going fast and getting upwind, and also has big jumps with a lot of hang time, but it is not a great performing kite for kiteloops, wakestyle moves, or riding waves. One tester commented that he was able to get upwind on the Hydra faster than on any other kite, so the Hydra might also appeal to the racing crowd.
- If you are about speed kiting, this kite is purpose-built for going fast.
- Good upwind ability and boosting performance.
- The Hydra is really good at big air, getting upwind, and going fast, but doesn’t do other things especially well.
- Lack of kook-proof connectors on the lines means that it is possible to connect your lines backwards if you are not paying attention.
While the Hydra does a few things really well, it’s definitely not an all-around kite. If you are looking for a powerful kite to ride fast, jump big, and get upwind quickly, you should take a look at the Hydra. If you are looking for a kite more suited for wave riding and all-around performance, try the Genetrix Origin. This is such a unique kite that you will probably get a lot of comments at the beach every time you ride. For speed kiters, this is one of the kites that can go fast enough to challenge the records, so this might be the kite for you if you crave going fast.
- Make sure the Hydra is properly tuned. This was a completely different kite once we had it tuned right.
- Pump the Hydra up really hard to get the best performance.
“A great kite for someone who is into racing and jumping big! The Hydra has only one setting attachment for the back line so tune the sweet spot using the backline micro adjustment on the control bar,” Kinsley Thomas Wong, 155 lbs., All-Around Kiter.