Another session in really punchy winds 20 - 30knots on lake michigan has me liking the 9m smoke a lot. I do not miss the torch 08 i am used to. Rode it stock setup with back lines on the furthest knot, got the stopper ball bar (static stopper) not missing adjustability.
Biggest jumps ever, you know where the kite is without looking. Just like a C no changes there, very high and mighty on the way up, gentle on the way down.
The key to the kite is to realize that it likes to be flown, you have to move it and back it off from the edge of the window, scooping in backwards especially when you are going down a wave. The kite needs to be flown so that wind goes through it. Felt really "full" smooth depower was on hand. Turns with power (not like a bow).
If you do not back the kite off and it is at the edge of the window and let there be full slack (i am not talking about a missed jump or "taking a break" with the kite at zenith), then it will start to move to the water ready for relaunch. Otherwise it will hover when you have it above your head. This thing does not just crash or fall out of the air by itself.
When the kite is on the side of the window and you leave slack in the lines by racing towards the kite it will sink down to the water. That can be bad when there are waves, but the key is to sheet in and steer the kite back into the window so that that does not happen. If you sheet in the kite will move back into the window again or you have to steer a touch backwards.
The stronger the wind, the less there is a need to steer the kite back by the way.
Finally, when on waves the kite turns really well when you push the bar rather than pull it, (i,e, pushing on the top hand). Backing it off is not hard because the kite rides so "connected" to rider input with no bow lag.
Had an awesome time, on my own which is special to me.
Managed to do the self land by pulling on the top front line brought the kite right down even in the high winds leading edge facing the wind. Self launch was no problem either, just flipped the kite over and it was in the air right away.
Pretty stoked right now. If you can, try it out if you see a rabbit.
for the right people, I think it's the way to go.