Danny! Stoked on the stoke!
The Neo's are great kites and the Pro Series is probably one of the best "high performance" boards on the market from a kite company.
Since your a young guy wanting to push your progression i would definitely lose the straps now so you can spend your time without the crutch.
Once you do that a great progression is.
1. Go out and learn your tacks and jibes fast in flat water.
2. Learn how to pump aggressively on the water to build speed with the board.
3. aggressive cutbacks
4. Strapless airs with then without grabs
5. then do them off a lip unhooked
once you can really feel a difference between boards, look for a local shaper to work with you on building a board
I'm sure that's a lot to work on for the next little bit. I want to see some strapless vids coming out.
as for trying out "wave" kites
my top 3 in order (zero brand affiliation)
BWS Noise Pro
The wave is so multi-functional when it comes to tuning its rediculous
the unhooked slow setting sits there and drifts so you can really just work the pocket and your board, when you switch over to the fast setting I had a 9m for 2 months and it touched the water twice on that setting even if its gonna tomahawk into the water reach out grab a side of the bar and you can send it back up to the top. just as fast turning as the 7 neo
The noise has the most positive feel Ive found even matching it up against C-Kites. Tuning goes the same for the BWS but it didn't quite have the same unhooked feel, good but a bit too much for me and could wander a little bit, I have weak arms
The neo is solid but the bars a bit too complicated for a surf setup: easily stripped down. Not that many tuning options I like to rather have the proper kite connections on a kite rather than depowering it to slow it down for unhooking. Aside from that if I'm fully powered and trimmed its definitely my favorite for proggresive tricks and kiteloops.
Try them out and lets see you killing it soon