I've been riding them since the 2011 model and they get better every year, though they feel a little bit different
This year they have light to medium-light bar pressure, and are pretty quick and responsive. not as responsive as some kites, so perfect for beginners. it does turn pretty fast once you give it some input, which makes it great for wakestyle
3 struts with maxflow inflation means it pumps up faster than any other kite ive seen. i have my kite pumped and lines rigged up while others are still pumping up, haha.
It's a really lightweight kite that sits deep in the window, so it is super super stable in light/flaky wind. we ride in light wind most of the time here, and need the kite to be rock solid while putting boots on, and not drop it on some tourists head
because it's so lightweight it drifts really well, this is sort of what they designed it for, and it performs as expected
previous years it did not jump very well. it gave great glide, but the height was somewhat lacking. in 2012 it was a bit better and 2013 it goes just as high as any other kite i've flown. it does boost a bit differently - when you send the kite hard, it stays back in the window, right until you release off the water. it feels like it's going to drag you forward, but as soon as you pop up, it shoots to the top of the window and gives you awesome lift, and of course it's still a delta-shaped kite so it glides very well. very easy and forgiving to jump with
I also feel like its better for unhooking this year as well, i used to occasionally backstall the previous models when fully powered, but it's literally never happened to me on the 2013s. it gives an unhooked pull closer to a c kite than any other bridled kite ive tried. since it's bridled and sits deep in the window, you can load up forever on it. i personally like this a little better than having to be super aggressive and pop as soon as you unhook, it feels a little more like a cable pull to me.
this year's bar is a big step up too, the swivel performs as it should and is pretty simple. easy to clean. i never rinse mine with fresh water, just dunk it in the ocean before i launch the kite and give it a few swivels manually. there's a ton of sand stuck to it because i'm lazy, but it still swivels just fine. the grip has a beveled edge behind your fingers, so it's not a perfect cylinder. gives you a little extra grip which is cool
the relaunch is incredible, i actually have to be careful self-launching the 9 because it wants to be in the air so bad. if you crash it, it goes to the edge of the window, sits on a wingtip and waits for you to just steer it back up into the sky. ive never had to grab a line to relaunch, just turn the bar.
I can't really think of anything negative to say. Below the bar trim is kind of difficult to depower sometimes, I guess. It doesn't loop very fast, but that's not what the kite is designed for.
Overall if you are into surf, wakestyle, or just cruising it's one of the top kites in my opinion - i wouldn't ride them otherwise