Were you a pretty good kite flyer when you started? Any wind sport background?
Back then I would not count myself as a good kite flyer. I'd say probably an average but if average is very bad then I would probably say only bad.
My boarding background is that I could get up with wake board. I have a hang glider pilot license so that is only wind sport background to understand wind and aerodynamics. And I'd seen power kite at around year 2000 piloted by local paragliders.
Prior purchasing Speed3 I flew Ozone Samurai on ice on different conditions (gusty, ultra low wind etc) with total of 6 hours so I guess I flew it more than there is time on commercial course. I count this as a trainer kite flying period. I flew Speed3 once on ice (30 minutes) before entering water training.
But for my weight and skill level I was a bit too optimistic about kite's performance. At summer temperatures, 7 knots (3.5m/s), moderate wind twin tip and as a beginner I could not plane with it. But got good practice on getting up to the board and trying to extend the length of planing one meter at the time. On my second water session it was 18-20knots (9-10m/s) and I had no problem with the power but more problem with lack of driving technique with board. On my first summer I found out that 10knots (5m/s) was about my limit for planing and upwind. Now it is 1m/s lower. Perhaps with line extensions and race board I could extend limit a bit.
As an investment it was on expensive side compared to more common used kites but after I sold it price per hour/session was cheap. I had very little wasted gasoline (90 minute drive to shore) and no sitting on the beach to wait conditions to go up.
For my case I think it worked out quite good as I had new out-of-package, modern, stable, safe and powerful kite to learn with and I could go out learning when I had time for it. I liked my Speed3 experience so much that now my loved kite is Speed3 12DLX and I love to travel with family with only one kite to spare weight/space/hassle and renting a board.
On my experience I don't think there is anything I would not recommend as having large Speed3 as a beginner kite. Speed3 12DLX is probably a bit too extreme for a beginner