I often say something similar to people, that I'm out to ride and not to fly a kite. That's why I'll always prefer a wing that becomes intuitive quickly, and I prefer conditions in which I don't have to pay attention to the kite at all (wind speed < 30, and I'm less tolerant of gusty/rangy conditions than some of my friends).
The best case scenario for me when riding is to get into the flow state of action and reaction, turn off the mental monologue for at least a few seconds at a time. Waves work for that, even if they're small. Doing tricks back to back will also work for that, like when you have a perfect fast landing and can scoop your speed into another jump or spin. Carving and looping the kite works for that, and in light winds carving and looping the kite on a skimboard or less stable platform. Wondering if strangers on the beach are optimally impressed by what I'm doing does not work for that, in fact it's poison to what I'm trying to get out of kiting. I'm not practicing and I'm not performing, I'm riding.
Don't get me wrong, I love to sky it. I don't want to think about what and when the trick is going to be while I'm riding though. It seems like it's much more fun to be opportunistic - like making a big inside carve after riding a wave and suddenly there's a perfect ramp and you happen to have the speed and just enough time to redirect the kite and Kapow!, even better if you're in this situation and make the decision to loop the kite while you're ascending.
I was the same way with snowboarding. When I started I was all about jumping off high spots. But then it became apparent to me that if the entire run is the traverse to and anticipation of the jump, and then the jump, and then that other part of your run which happens after you have had this peak moment, then you get less flow. Plenty of snowboarders and skiers have had very impressive photos taken of them when they snowmachine to the top of a cliff, assess the landing, dress the takeoff area, double backflip, ride into the flats, ask the videographer if it came out good. It's really not sour grapes that I can't double (ok, nor single) backflip, I just know that trees + powder deliver bliss. Every time.
I'll just keep delineating why I ride a bit more with another sport- paragliding (because this thread deserves to be at least one page if Big Kites Can Jump No. 1 had 8, maybe we can get Billie to chime in
). I haven't done a lot of it, just some ground school and a tandem and one solo off some bluffs 15 years ago. I'm truly impressed with the fact that people have achieved their dream of flight, accessible to the masses, without an engine. It's super ethereal and has some of the qualities of a lucid dream and has something in common with sent airstyle if you packed a board along with you and passed it behind your back and put one foot in and took it out and then the other foot. But contact with the surface happens at the beginning and the end and isn't the core of the experience. It's not riding, and when I was paragliding I found myself looking down at the contours below me and wishing that I could be physically interacting with the hillside, reading terrain, laying down turns, soaking up G-forces with my legs and core. (true, speed flying crosses it up perfect, that shit looks like fun but I'm just not getting on board at my age, even with Obamacare)
Nothing against PG, it's just that I started skateboarding 30 (holy shit!) years ago, it was my primary play for a long time and riding is how I'm wired for fun now. I like to run, like to bike, play racquet sports etc. but in my dreams I'm riding. There is a lot of room in this sport for a rider to have absolute peak lifetime fun without excelling or specializing in a sub-discipline. Out.