Full Disclosure: I am a Switch Team Rider in Tampa FL. That said I can give my honest opinion of the 8m Nitro2, 12m Nitro2, and 16m Nitro 3.
I have owned:
16m LF Havoc, 12 LF Session, 10m Latitude, 13m OR rise, 17m Ozone Zephyr, 18m Cab Crossbow, 11m Cab Crossbow, 21m Flysurfer speed 3, 15m Ozone edge.
I am 215 lbs and an intermediate to advanced kiter in my 5th season. My goal is to rig big for conditions and boost as high and long as possible. I do pretty well at that, IMHO.
I first ordered the 12m Nitro 2 based on much research and online reviews. Upon inspection after it arrived I can state for certain: Bomb proof construction. Compared to anything out there. It is a tank. That's good because I am not the best at taking care of my kites during packdown.
My first flight was at a local launch when everyone was rigging 9's and less. It flew amazing. Super huge boosts and looooong hangtimes. Awesome smooth landings. Very stable in the air, not twitchy at all despite being overpowered. Light on the bar, comparable to Ozone edge 15m. No tennis elbow pain after a long day of boosting overpowered.
So, after that experience, I was sold on the brand. I bought the 8m Nitro 2, just in case a tropical storm brews up in the Gulf, and kept my eye on the 16m Nitro 3 release as they were sold out.
Well, I got my Nitro 3 16m a week ago and have had two opportunities to ride it since. Once, extremely overpowered and once in very light winds.
The Good: The kite is built like a tank. Extremely well built and reinforced. It flew perfect right out of the bag. I rode it on a day that was forecast to build but the current winds were 18 or so. Did a downwinder. Well, the wind kept building and I kept it under control. Boosts were 7-8 seconds of hangtime on the good ones. When sending the 16m when overpowered it really tries to pull you off your edge. I had to really dig with my rear foot to hold it down until I released. I mean it really pulled. Once I got the hang of really digging in, it was a moonshot. I wear a boardshorts harness and it torqued my lower back a bit with the violence of the launch.
Can't wait for my next way overpowered day of riding.
The Bad: The Nitro 3 is built with no pulleys or sliders. Ozone does this and maintains a very light, really light bar pressure. Not the case with the Nitro 3.
Compared to the 12m and 8m nitro 2's, the N3 has a noticeably higher bar pressure. Yes, I was riding extremely overpowered. When I came ashore after the downwinder, everyone was rigging 9's or less. Pulling up with my 16m raised some eyebrows. Nonetheless, I have ridden my 15m Ozone edge in very overpowered conditions and it never had an uncomfortable bar pressure.
So there it is. Not too enthused about the bar pressure on the 16m N3.
Rode it again in very light wind the other day. 8mph was what was reading on the anemometer at the beach. Very light. There were a few guys, efficient lighter guys, out riding. 13m Ozone edge. 18m Cab crossbow, were the two actually riding.
I gave the N3 a go. It is heavier, for sure, and the very light wind reveals that a bit. However, I was able to ride with my Spleene door a few tacks. Just enough to remind myself I don't like riding in very light conditions. At my weight, I will never be the first one on the water with the 16m N3, but if there is anyone out and mowing, then I am confident I could ride, if only mowing also. FYI, bar pressure was not an issue in the light stuff, but it was higher than my edge, again.
And finally, while there was no tropical storm, I got the perfect conditions to ride my 8m nitro 2 just the other day. We had 30 mph gusting to 35.
It was quite the windy day. I rigged my 8m and there were a few out with 9's but mostly 8's, 7's, 5.5's, well you get the picture.
The 8m at first launch was choking out upon sheeting in so I had to change the knots on the centerlines to decrease angle of attack. I feel like I got it right with a quick fix.
Got it back in the air and Wow. I'm a bigger guy and never rode an 8m before. It was pulling like a truck. Really grunting. Boosts were epic and I had to really dig in my rear foot to hold it down when sending it. Major boost and hangtime. The only thing I am going to do is adjust the outside lines at the kite connection to slow turning speed and increase bar pressure. The 8m is downright twitchy on the outside connection points. For me anyway, who is used to bigger slower kites. Bar pressure was very light.
So, in a nutshell:
I LOVE the 12m Nitro 2
I really like the 16m N3
I really like the 8m N2
The 16m I need to ride in 20-22 mph all day and see how my elbows feel. I had no pain after my way overpowered day but only rode for about three hours. I noticed the extra effort in my arms and shoulders however.
The 8m I am going to adjust to slow it down a bit and I'm sure I will LOVE it then.
The 12m, I just hope we get some steady 26mph days and I will be psyched.
As for the brand: I am an engineer by training and not afraid of research. No one can say the kites are not well built. I would say they perform, mostly, as advertised. I confess to a little disappointment over the bar pressure on the 16m N3, but I will work with it and see if it becomes an issue for me.
Finally, yes, I am a team rider. But I also am 52 and will not be turning pro anytime soon. So I can't comment much on kiteloops (I will do a backroll kiteloop transition on occasion) and/or suitability for any discipline out there. I like to boost and hang as long as possible.
Considering that I just updated my ENTIRE quiver to brand new kites for the EXACT same price as a single 2013 Ozone Edge 15m, I have to say I am happy. The fact that every one of my brand new kites is a boost and hangtime machine, that makes me satisfied that my research was rewarded.
Switch may not be for everyone, but as Westozzy points out, some performance characteristics may be unnoticed by all but a very few professionals.