Compare HQ Hydra with HQ Rush III Pro

by Dan
(Port Orange, FL, USA)

Thanks for the fantastic review of trainer kites. I am curious about your thoughts concerning the HQ Hydra. It is purported to be a water launchable version of the Rush III Pro but are there any other differences such as flight characteristics? I also wonder about the difference in size between the 300 series (2.8m vs 2.6m) while the 350 series are the same size.

Comments for Compare HQ Hydra with HQ Rush III Pro

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Mar 31, 2010
Rush Vs. Hydra
by: Glen -

Hi Dan,

Thanks for the question.

The Hydra basically is just a water re-launchable version of the Rush, and the differences other than that are small.

There are a few differences in the actual measurements of the kite, but overall they don't amount to a noticable difference. I.E - the Hydra 300 and 350 have a flat aspect ratio (AR) of 3.5, while the Rush 300 and 350 have a flat AR of 3.4 and 3.6 respectively. Kites with different aspect ratios do have different flying characteristics (higher AR kites are faster turning, lower AR kites are slower turning).

But, the truth is that a difference of 0.1 in aspect ratio is definitely not noticeable.

For the different sizes, the Rush 300 is 2 cm wider than the Hydra 300. This is probably where the extra area is added, and is also why the aspect ratio of the kite is a little bit lower. Again though, the difference is quite small and is not noticable when flying the kite (when comparing the two to each other). In terms of kite sizes, .2 m2 is not much.

When actually flying the kites, I don't notice any differences (you notice more changes in the wind, etc...)

The only difference of note between these two kites is that the Hydra is a closed cell foil. It doesn't make the kite fly any differently, but it does make the kite a touch more fragile. A closed cell foil is more likely to be damaged if crashed hard on land than an open cell. Because the air is sealed in the kite, it has fewer chances to escape when crashed and is more likely to build up pressure and damage the kite.

That said, I have seen a Hydra take a lot of abuse and not show any wear. These kites are designed to take some real beatings, so it takes a lot to wear them down (to date, none of my Rush or Hydra kites have been damaged - even after using them for the Trainer Kite Reviews...and they took a lot of beatings then, trust me!)

So, to sum up:

1. There are no noticeable performance differences between the Rush and Hydra. External factors like wind gusts are more noticeable.

2. Between the two, the Hydra is the more fragile, but it is still incredibly durable. Get one if you want to use it on water (which is very fun), but just don't beat it to death on land (although, it still can stand up to it, it's not made of glass).

Hope this helps! If not, feel free to send me an email using the contact form on the site and I'd be glad to answer... Better yet, post them below!



Jun 16, 2010
awesome comparision
by: tena

thank's so much for this article it helped me a lot. Good job guys!

best regards

Apr 10, 2011
Still have questions
by: Eli

I am from Colorado and looking to get into kitting. Since most of the spots here are by the lakes, I was thinking about getting Hydra 300 to learn how to kite. I would like to use it around lakes (not necessarily in the lake) and snowkite when they freeze in the winter. My concern is the durability of the kite on the ground. (summer) You said it have been taking abuse and was still flying well but my question is what if you hit a rock or a shrub. Will it tare it pieces? How about Rush III? Do you think it will hold the impact?
What is the difference between Rush III pro and Rush IV? (except it is newer model of course)
Thank you in advance

I am 6'2" 155 lbs and a very beginner (never flown a kite)

Nov 21, 2011
Rocks, rocks, rocks
by: Glen -

Hi Eli,

Thanks for your question.

Obstacles and debris can definitely cause damage to your kite, regardless of what kind of kite it is. I have had my 15m Waroo snagged and torn by a 4 inch stick on the beach, and that has nothing to do with the kites quality. They just aren't designed for that kind of stuff (nor would we pay for them if they were).

The best thing to do is the avoid obstacles and debris that might damage your kite. Most kites can tolerate some stuff, but if an object is sharp enough, it will damage the kite if they come in contact. Additionally, your lines can easily get tangled or dragged across rocks or sticks, which increases the wear and can cause them to snap.

Here's a story that someone shared about this topic: Kite Eating Tree.

Don't get me wrong, the kites are still durable, but they just aren't meant to be used on sharp rocks, sticks, or bushes. I have had my Rush hit a rose bush once, and I managed to extract it without any damage (carefully). I have also had a Rush hit and drag itself (and the lines) across some sharp-ish rocks on a beach once. It came out fine, however, I did not want that happening again. I depowered the kite completely, and carefully extracted it from the situation. I did not try to re-launch it from there.

To answer your question about the Rush 3 and Rush 4 series, there have been some changes. Mostly, the design has changed, but also the wrist strap on the safety leash has been improved so that it is more durable. The overall design specs (and thus the kites performance) have stayed the same.

Happy kiting!


Oct 27, 2012
Which Kite is the best for me?
by: kirk from canada

Hello Glen, I hope you can help me with the conflict I'm going through on which kite to purchase (hq rush or hq hydra). I will use the trainer kite for training friends and family for sure which means the odd crash here and there. Winter is alot of fun using the trainer which makes me think about the hydra , will it be tough enough to face the canadian winter and tough crashes on ice ? But the hydra has the option on using it in the summer on water which is the big selling point otherwise I'd just buy the hq rush.

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