Rich, interesting idea. But lets not over complicate this kite. The whole appeal of this kite is its simplicity.
Features like no 5th line, works on a fixed bar, light weight but sturdy, has good depower on a CL but flys nice and forward in the window and hopefully independent inflation on the struts.
For a kite like that I would gladly deal with rigid battens - and put them in my board bag for any overseas trip. I will never use anything bigger than the 7 - maybe the battens on the 9 and 11 will be a pain - but will be less than 6ft so they can still go in your brd bag!
Looking forward to trying out the surge once it is released - will have to find out who the WA distributors for Eclipse are.
Eclipse kites are available in Australia through http://www.kiteboardingshop.co.nz/
, I believe there will be an Aussie website up shortly.
I currently have demo's available of the 6 and 9 Kima's and 12 Thruster in Perth (mainly riding at Mullaloo and Floreat - Brighton) and will be trying to get my hands on a Surge as soon as I can.
I am a long time surfer but fairly new to kiting and missed the whole C kite era, but am curious to try a Surge.
I am really enjoying the Kima's in the waves, and wonder if (having never really flown C's) I will be able to adapt my flying technique enough to appreciate the Surge or stick to flying the Kima's.