Hi guys, another unhappy Quark owner here.
I've waited 4 months for mine, much longer than the initial scheduled delivery. Noir Matter kept on rescheduling the shipping date so many times that I even changed residence in the meanwhile! So I had to pay both the sales tax in the state where I was residing (Hawaii) and the VAT + customs in the country where I moved to (Italy).
By the way, I'm not sure if charging the sales tax was legal at all at the time of the order (May 2018) since Noir Matter headquarters were in California and not in Hawaii ...
When I finally received it, I used it one time with the kite, one time with the SUP and to make a couple of timelapses on a table. And that was it, because a few days later the Quark stopped working! It would not turn on, not even the led light.
But first let me make a quick review about it before it stopped working.
Test of the timelapse mode
The timelapse mode did not work very well. The rotation speed did not correspond exactly to the chosen settings. Basically you have to set the starting and ending position and the total duration (10 or 30 minutes) and the Quark should rotate with the required speed accordingly. However in many occasions the Quark was randomly changing the rotation speed or it completely stopped rotating to start moving again minutes later.
Video of the test
Test with the kite
The test was during a light wind day and with a Beast Mount. The Quark seems to react well to low frequency vibrations but it is very shaky with high frequency vibrations. Unfortunately, due to the light wind, I was underpowered and the lines tension was not optimal. I believe that with stronger wind and more tension in the lines, the mount would be more stable in the first place and the Quark would suffer less accordingly. Despite this, the Quark works very well in the transitions and to keep the horizon level, as rogue_kiteboarder
already mentioned. For the record, I never crashed the kite and the Quark never hit the water.
Video of the test
Test with the SUP
The test was during a relatively calm day, just paddling around, not riding waves. The Quark was mounted on the nose of the SUP. I was really happy with the stabilization that you can achieve on a SUP and I could not wait to test it while riding waves (which never occurred unfortunately). The Quark did receive water splashes as I was cruising around but it was never submerged. I was not worried about the splashes as it is designed to be waterproof within the limits written in the maintenance instructions (those posted by gmb13
). Sadly, I now believe however that those simple water splashes ruined the Quark (see later).
The test was good except for a slight malfunction while I was carrying the SUP out of the water: after I switched the Quark off, it randomly turned itself on a couple of times without pressing the power button.
After the session I rinsed the Quark with fresh water and I dried it before storing it in a drawer.
Video of the test (half of it is a timelapse)
And now it comes the painful part. Ten days after the SUP session I took the Quark out of my drawer and it would not turn on. I tought the battery was low, so I charged it for an hour, but it would not turn on either. Then I kept charging it for a few more hours but nothing was happening. Even the charging led indicator would not appear. I also tried with another cable and supply source without success. So I decided to contact Noir Matter explaining what happened. After a quick email exchange they asked to send the Quark back so they could check it and repair it if there was a manufacturing issue. So I shipped the Quark (more money flying out of my pockets) hoping for a quick fix or for a replacement but then I received this email:
We have check your Quark today and found out that it was plenty of water on the inside, it might have been submerged or exposed to high pressure jets, maybe waves ? did you crash your kite ?
At this time we are not able to fix it as there is too much to be changed.
The best option would be to order a new one.
We could offer you a 50% discount as your are an existing customer.
Please use the discount code : (I cannot report the code here)
Let us know if you have any questions,
Support @ NoirMatter
I promptly explained again that I used the Quark according to their specifications. The only time it came into contact with water was with simple water splashes. The product was clearly defective if it let water inside in that way. I had no intention to buy another one, even at 50% discount, because it was not my fault. Then I concluded writing that either they solve the problem or that I will file a complaint with the California Department of Consumer Affairs. This was their answer:
After checking you product had definitely taken water, as said it can get wet but it seems that it has been used outside of its rating capabilities.
We won’t be able to replace it, as said the only solution is to order a new one with the discount we are offering you,
Support @ NoirMatter
I have to say that I am extremely irritated now and that I will go on with the official complaint. It seems that this company does not take customers seriously. It keeps on blaming the customers for improper use and never takes into account the possibility of a defect in their product. What's the warranty for at this point? It's completely useless. They should better write "buy at your own risk".
Not to mention the unfair practice of immediately charging the customer the full amount at the time of the order (including sales tax no matter where you live), and shipping the product only months later with the excuse that "it is a new product, it requires time to make".
I hope your Quarks are working well and that mine was only a rare unlucky exception, because it really sucked to pay all that money for such a short lifetime.