Last week-end I had the chance to try this new Epic Racer kite, since Dimitri sent me a Prototype. Here is my impression and feedback. Please note that here it's the winter so it was in snowkiting and I am 192lbs and ride on Rossignol DH 216 skis.
The kite feel very light in the air, not as stable as the Infinity in light wind but if we pull the bar halfway and gently move it I am confident it will stay stable up waiting for the start signal in 5 knots or so. The bar pressure is light, lighter than any other Epic kite I have tried. The turning speed is quite fast for such a large kite. The LE is not as big as normal kite and it felt light.
Because it is a LEI with HAR, it doesn't give huge amount of power on a stroke but once you get some speed it will give you back some more speed and so it is very easy to reach good speed in light wind. I was able to ride at 45km/hr in 5,8 knots. And it was steady at each pass, not just one occasion. The kite does not pull you downwind like an Infinity so it is easy to keep your edge and so keep your track and go fast upwind. Because it turn fast, it is easy to to downloop turn and start back with good powe if your timing is right.
The relaunch is slightly more complex in LW than a foil kite. I am unable to relaunch by pulling just one line. I always had to pull both lines but it was difficult because it is a long kite so I need to get it higher to have it turn back. I usually need 2-3 try to get it correctly. This is not good in races but at first most of the time it is a rider's piloting error. In my case, it's because I had some difficulty turning my 216cm racing skis (because of our surface) to follow the kite and one time because the wind was too light, probably below 5 knots.
I tried it with a 2010 bar with 24m lines. I think that it will benefit from longer lines for a more powerful stroke on start up. I did practice my racing in 5-10 knots and it's a perfect wind range at my weight (192lbs) on racing skis. On regular ski for doing freeride and jump I could certainly hold it to 14-15 knots but in snowkite racing it will probably be around 12knots the maximum which seem appropriate for his size.
Overall, it is a great racing machine as it is but I think that each size should have their AR and shape to better suit the need of racing.
Here are some pictures :