I have flown the F-ARC now several times in varying conditions. Those are my opinions about it. I compare it to the North Rhino (sizes between 16 and 12) because that is the kite I am most familiar with:
Wind range: Better than Rhino. Comparable to the FOne Mach 1
Upwind performance: Better than Rhino. In fact, better than everything I have flown before.
Jumping: Better than Rhino. Very high, very smooth. Best jumping kite.
Turning speed: Rhino is faster and more direct. However, there is much more power on the backlines of the North.
Board speed: the F-ARC is probably the fastest kite on the water
Stability: the F-ARC is maybe a bit more stable than the Rhino. The ARC will not drop if the wind dies.
Launching: better with the Rhino. Solo launching an F-ARC can be quite a hassle. It needs pre-inflation
Solo-landing: very easy with the F-ARC
Water relaunchability: I have not dropped the F-ARC yet, but I guess the North will relaunch easier
Wave sailing: better with the North. It is a more direct kite
In summary, the F-ARC is a high-performance kite which still very easy to use. The feeling is different to a tube kite and kiter who like foils will love the F-ARC, especially in gusty European conditions. I would not recommended this kite for beginners with no kite experience. It has an enormous lift and water-relaunches not as good as the normal F-ARC or a low- AR inflatable.
Sorry, i tried the f ARC as well. For me it is the worst kite i ever tried. And i tried and testet really a lot. O.K. The power you can get is really impressing. But everything else is shit. The start is even with help from somebody really dangerous. Waterstart? forget it.
And for me it took 30 min. to get used to the kite, cause it only works, if it has speed. If you have not enough speed after the start and turn the kite to fast, it stops 45 degrees in the sky and does not fly forward any more. Even with complete loose Depowerlines. So you have to fly to the side of the window to get this kite back up in the sky.
Finally this is like a F- One Racing Car. Nobody of us should drive it. The f Arc is dangerous in the hand of a not professional kiter. It will cause many accidents if it is used by normal kiters. And this is what we really dont need this year.
I partly disagree with you opinion. Starting an F-ARC is not dangerous as you always can keep it close stalling and let it very slowly ascend. No problems there, even on an overcrowded British-summer-holiday-beach. Furthermore, it much more stable than an inflatable kite and it will not collapse over the front tube if the wind dies. A friend told me that the waterstart works 9 out of 10 times, just like a high AR inflatable. I agree with the power-supply. In low winds you have to keep it moving during a turn, in high winds it sits very nicely in the window. Foils are like Marmite: Either you like it or you hate it!
If it is hard to launch - please be specific - then why would it be easy to land? Are they not somewhat mutual? Or do you put it in the water?
I have seen them fly - not done so myself - and none of the danger mentioned was apparent?! Bernie, maybe you could be specific. Generalities give us a flavor, but specifics give us a real taste. Thanks.
I land and start the F-ARC like a normal ARC: straight down wind. Starting is tricky, because if it is not fully inflated it sometimes gets turned. Landing is very easy by increasing the backline tension and stalling it controlled.
I tried the F-Arc and be a owner of North Rhino's. The Power is the Rhino is much better, because the F-Arc needs Speed. If you don't accelerate you can ride. Jumping with the Rhino is easy, the F-Arc hasn't as much lift as the Rhino and you need much more experience.
The F-Arc has the ability for restarting the Kite out of the water. I made it, but since now, I don't know exactly how I made it. My North will restart nearly everytime (I can't remember that I didn't made a restart with the Rhino).
In my opinion the F-Arc isn't nearly as good as a tubekite.
....careful with saying not nearly as good!
I fly Rhinos a lot and the performance of the F-ARC is as good if not better. Sure, it flys different. If you like it or if you prefer tubekites is just down to your personal style. I bet everyone who used to fly ARCs or Blades will love it to bits...