First post here as I don’t usually hang out on these forums but I think it might be helpful to provide an "average joe" review on the Helium 3 as folks would be interested to hear from someone who has actually ridden the kite. I've got the 8 and 10m Helium 3, with about an hour on each so far. I’m a weekend warrior mostly, and not affiliated with Switch in any way and pay for all my own gear (always have). I'm 162 lbs and ride strapless surfboards in the waves. My main (only) interest is surfing with a kite so I can't comment on its jumping or foiling characteristics.
To cut to the chase, in my opinion the Helium 3 is the best wave kite I've ever used (and I've used some good ones). I came from Element 5's (9 and 11m) and before that Element 3's and both of those kites were game-changers for me, making surfing with a kite so much better and allowing me to push my limits. I really loved the E5's and now, I can honestly say that if you liked the way those worked in the waves, you will LOVE the Helium 3.
Comparing the Element 5 and Helium 3, the H3 turns much quicker and is more nimble, but still gives you good power through the turn. As far as drift, it is better than the E5, and because it is so much lighter and quicker, if the lines get slack, it just hangs there and doesn't want to drop at all. Then just a flick of the bar and its flying again down the line. Really the kite to me is just perfect for riding waves. It doesn't need to be perfect side or side-off wind either. Even on Oahu, we get our fair share of onshore, junky surf and a quick turning, nimble, good drifting kite just plain works for those conditions.
The bar feel is significantly lighter than the E5, and initially I needed to watch it more closely because it turns so fast, but after just a few minutes, it felt perfect. If you prefer more bar pressure, you can change the bridle settings. I'm flying on the factory settings so far (lightest BP), and thought I would change for more bar pressure but for me so far the light bar feel just makes the kite feel super, quick, nimble and just right. You almost forget you have a kite in your hands, and can really focus on the surfing, which is really the ultimate goal in my opinion!
Its no secret that the kite is built a lot lighter than the Elements so time will tell how it holds up to getting dropped in the surf, self-launch/land, etc. But if you liked the Element 5, you really owe it to yourself give the Helium a try. Its definitely another game-changer