I am a casual rider, i go out 2 times a week on the average since 2003. Mostly flat water/bumby conditions (Baltic sea). Not on lakes. Sometimes waves up to 4m (Capetown). Any kind of wind conditions.
I dont do competitions and are not selling kites or are involved in any other matter with a company.
I like doing tricks, but mainly old school stuff, rotations, board offs etc. Tried raileys but don't do handle-passes.
I owned approx. 16 kites so far.
Mostly flysurfers, warrior/mastair, pyscho1, psycho2, pulse1, a few Peter Lynn's (Phantom,guerilla,venoms) and in the beginnings a cant remeber RAM-Air kite.
Now i bought a Caution Answer Tube Kite in 12sqm (a SLE, between C-shape and bow) mainly for waves. Been out with it 4 times now.
First of all my expression of the Caution Answer, which i think will be similar with all Tube kites
1. Tubes suck. Pumping is a bit annoying, but ok thats how it is. On the other hand the handling on the beach is bit more easy, cause of the rigid structure. More annoying is the fact, that the tubes can get punctured, actually freaks me out. I am very worried handling the kite on beaches with not perfect smooth clean sand (and than this octopus system..., one hole, kite drops, sessions over). The kite really seems fragile compared to my flysurfers, which are nearly indestructible (up to 200 sessions with my 9 an 12 sqm Psycho1), still flying...
What i really dislike is, that repairing a punctuered tube is way more difficult than repairing a broken foil. Have seen a tube repair/exchange a few times...
2. Turning behaviour. The reason i bought the kite. Seems my expectations are fullfilled. Very responsive. Turns really fast at all positions in the wind window.
This is similar to a Peter Lynn, but its response comes definitely quicker, with less delay. This is not a surprise.
Big difference to lynns: lynns like turning upwards, tubes downwards...
Flysurfers respond faster than the lynns, but still slower then the caution. Also the turning behaviour of a flysurfer depends more on its position in the wind window and the turning speed is lower, which means the radius bigger in comparison with tubes or lynns.
Even the newer Flysurfers like the Pulse (owned one for 4 months) can't compete in turning behaviour with a lynn or the tube. With a more C-shape kite flysurfer will make up a bit of ground, but the rigidity due to the tubes is here a clear advantage.
I only write here about turning behaviour and reliability/ease of repair, because other issues depend too much on the brand and model of the specific kite.
Generally, if your main concern is fast very responsive turning behaviour, go for a tube kite.
Otherwise the foils have the real big advantage of easy repair (well, the lynns still can explode internally, which is not easy to repair, but at least it keeps flying).
Concerning all other issues, like stability, depower behaviour, grunt, speed, upwind ability, water start, float, jumping behaviour there is no general advantage or disadvantage between foils and tubes. Its a matter of brand, model and personal taste.
I will stick to foils for extreme winds.
In very low wind there is nothing right now, that can compete with the big flysurfers and in strong winds i like the lynns, because they have very low power per square meter, which means less sensitive to gusts and not too nervous. The smaller turning delay in strong winds, doesn't matter that much (well i have to see), otherwise they behave like the SLE (well depower is not that direct).
Sorry, foil lovers, tubes have advantages...