humandrive - thanks for the heads up, it's nice to know that there's some kinda scene out here. The guy I had that lesson with today goes out with like 9 other guys in this area, so that was really nice to hear (even the same inlet out infront of the house.) I might have to hit you up in the spring or something when I'm down here for a while!
Blueice - it was a huge help, that's for sure.. going from a little 1.5 trainer to the 3.5 flexifoil power kite was awesome.. getting a feel for those slower stronger turns, knowing where in the turns it's gonna pull, etc. It's sorta how I imagined it, and like I said - it was REALLY nice to see that I could get them right down on the bottom of the window without catching anything or crashing at all. I'll ditch the Ion idea then - it's too much for an older generation kite anyways (the one he's getting rid of.. I mean he's got an awesome price on it, but the msrp is still up there.) I was damn impressed with the build quality though.
So I'm throwing in the Royal Era too, good price and amazing reviews from everyone that touches the thing.. might be worth looking at.
The new naish sigma line sounds awesome from every direction - they have a cheaper one aimed at intro-intermediate stuff too, the Code, but no one's got any pricing info on it yet. The next step up (intro-advanced..? from what the naish guys say) is the Cult.. $1399 for a 12 though.
I guess that's not bad for such a revolutionary design / 08 model.