We've ordered two boards to see for ourselves what it can do. Going upwind in 8 knots is not that important to us if the rider is only going the wind speed. For us, we have to be able to go significantly faster than the wind. Say, in 8 knots of wind, moving 14-16 knots. That would be worth it. Airush says the board will do that, so we are hoping for the best.
One month on my sector60 now.
At 87 kg,i'm able to plane and stay upwind as soon as my 13m kite can fly.
Don't worry about speed on 8-10 knots you will develop it with apparent wind.At 15-17 knots need to pull trimmer,way too overpowered.
It's a comfortable ride even in chop once dialed to the feeling,easy upwind and you choose between cruise arround or go for challenging speed runs,the board it's not designed for anything else,despite jumps with that width and such big fins.That's not kiting anymore,think about sailing,way more similar to formula winsurfing.
All that said,i'm a bit dissapointed on Airush quality:
Board come with a tiny frontpad,same as MONARO,not enough for TWO front footstraps,heels a bit out of the pad.
Front fins of 22cm not necessary for a Freeride board for my taste,so reshaped mines to 18cm.,board feels much better now, not as "stiff"
Footstraps without velcro size adjustment (thought we are in 2010
And the most annoying thing,it's that the MiniTuttle fins doesn't come adjusted to the box,Or the box it's 1,5mm wider or the base of the fin it's thinner than expected.You simply can't put all the stress of a 22cm fin on a small head 5 or 6mm screw cause it's going to move,i almost lost mines
on my first session....had to glue a layer of glassfiber on the inside face of every fin base to fit the size of the box
i hate have to tweak new gear just right out of the box