I own a 2002 model inflatable (F1-Mach), to Peter Lynn Arcs and my latest: a 7m Warrioir.
and i've flown everything from an airush to a slingshot to the every reliable Naish - most models, so I'll let you know what I think...
Very simply, foils (the warrior) have a safety system that cannot be compared, nor their relaunch capacities. For guys who only kite once or twice a week, this is imperative (remember fella's most of us are not pro's). Set-up and pack away cannot be compared either. Repair and maintenance should not even be discussed, the warrior wins again.
Those who disagree with this I ask you two questions:
1. Have you owned and used all three types of kites and
2. Have you flown in the North West of Western Australia, with no kite shops, massive tides, gusty wind, horrid shell/barnacle infested beaches and some very, very big bities that require some fast relaunch ability at times - those who have fished up here will be smiling right now I suspect - I mean big, biiiiiiiiiiig fish.
The flying characteritics are all very different and depends on preferance and ability, those who try to lump kites in two or three categories i.e inflatables / arcs / Foils really need to get out there and try a few more kites! They are all different!
However I will say the new generation inflatables - especially the airush have much much better vertical lift - how do I know - I bloody use them. There is no comparison, the ease of jumping for vertical take-offs inducive to quick multiple loops etc well the warrior can't compare - it can't overfly (which i loooove) hence you cannot punch as straight up - although I have seen some experienced riders (4-5years) use it pretty well The jumps tend to big long and floaty. The inflatables win this one.
But you have to be honest with yourself, to get this vertical lift you need a high performance inflatable, which will overfly, as a learner or intermediate rider it could turn into a nightmare and an expensive and probably unsafe one at that. To appreciate the vertical lift you need to be able to kite well - before this happens I suggest you go for a safe, reliable, easily relaunchable, luff resistant, tangle resistant (anyone who has untangled a four line mess will understand) and relatively well performed kite - I'd go a warrior - be honest with yourself, don't buy into the massive marketing machine and the magazine promo's showing pro's going sick - you are a long way from that and do not have jetskis and rescue boats to get you - use common sense and talk to lots and lots of people that use all styles.
Plenty of ways to skin a cat man..
seeya when I'm lookin' at ya
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: eppo on 2002-10-04 02:10 ]</font>