I've been using my 555s in sizes 10, 12 and 14 this summer. The 12 has been the most used. Some flattish water but mostly chop and waves.
I like them, not flashy but solid and reliable, I can see me keeping them for a long time. Got a feeling that they might just become classics. I think they would do you very well as a first kite, and prove good value because you won't be hankering to change after a month or two.
Thoughtful design, quite simple (which takes some doing)
Safety good with the mini 5th and the QR that seems reliable and easy to use
No nasty flying habits, decent combination of speed and power
Easy to set up, flies straight out of the bag
Very good in the waves. This pm was out with the 10 in some waves, found myself going in one direction with the kite still pointing in the other, no bother, it sort of backed up, followed me for a bit and then was there in the right place when I finally did turn. Turns pretty well even when the steering lines are slack.
Good lift and float
The bar has finger indents that let you know which is the right way up just by feel, surprisingly useful feature. The bar grip is good
Last but very important, a really good bag!
The bar is good, but some irritating details could be better, eg the elastics that secure the lines after you have wound them up don't hold tight.
Some of the larksheads don't have those little pull tabs that let you get them undone with cold fingers
Naff writing about "versatile SLE" etc on the wingtips
Not much else really