Interesting discussion for me as new foil kiter.
I've only flown the hyperlink 9 UL. Today was constant 14 knots and it was magic for me. Out 2 hours.
Last 7 sessions in a row on the hyperlink...
I don't see need for bigger one really because winds 8 -10 knots here are having deep lulls. Like today was 10-12 knots, but then a sea breeze helped increase it.
I have 5m Reo and 7m -9-12 North Mono. Keeping those for waveboard.
I guess biggest negative with smaller foil in 7m size is the launch and landing ???
Basically it's much easier and safer to handle inflatable kite in high wind. Also, when it's strong wind foil kites doesn't have that much advantage really. So easier, safer and cheaper makes more sense.
My ideal range for the 7m Hyperlink on 23m lines is 14-18kts but use from 12-22ish. Launching and has never been an issue. Reverse landing in the 18knot plus is more challenging and commitment required. There is always the QR if too sketchy.
I find reverse landing in 14 -15 knots a bit scary still. I'm putting kite a 10 or 2 at Edge of window and backing it down from there.
A friend of mine with long foil kite experience does a teather landing like this:
He attaches teather to the c-loop, or center lines. Unhooks and takes off leash allowing teather to take the kite load.
He flys kite up to 12 and makes it steady. Then he gives the bar a light pull on one side and starts kite to fall to to one side slowly, then he runs out to meet it and grabs the tip. He says he's done it uncountable times with no problems.
14-18 sweet spot seems like a lot of overlapping with the 9m...
Reverse landing should be pretty doable in most winds if you have a brake line strap. You just have to commit and trust that the initial increase in power as it drops from 12 o'clock will drop fairly quickly. I have done this lots of times without an issue. Just make sure if you're on your own that you have a decent ground stake that is well secured!