There is a wind condition aspect to this also. Some places get really light AND steady winds, some places get light but variable winds.
You have winds going from 12 to 4knots is really different conditions than a solid 10-12knots.
I have a little of both, but often variable and ive found having the extra floatation on a surfboard, and being strapless helps a lot more than a wide and long TT that just bogs in the lulls.
Last big kite i had was a Naish 18m Aero 2 from 2001 or 2. Man that thing was a monster. If it hit the water in light wind? no way were you gonna get it up. Depower ? about 30%.
Just picked up a Core XR2 17 - so im giving a big kite another try.
Last week I rode a Slingshot 6' 0" Coupe Surfboard strapless, Phase Five Stock Skimboard, SuperShinn 135X41 Twintip, and a Naish Alaia....all within about an hour.
Don't know exact wind numbers and would not state them if I knew (the experts would have to correct my opinion).
But for upwind..for me..that day..
I would not have enjoyed any higher aspect kite.
Would probably have had more fun on a Big Mama, Fat Lady, Infinity, Evo 14M.
....that day .....in those conditions ....with those boards.
Point is, that different stuff works for different people, with different boards, with differing wind and water conditions, weight, age, skill, and preferences.
I am tired of the handful of self proclaimed Kiteforum "lightwind experts" that have their opinion dialed into the one thing they love best.
Lots of good choices out there and what is great for one, may not be for another.