A self inflatable LEI would weigh too much. Strutless LEI are quite good, you should try one. A foil kite without a bridle would have too large a profile to be practical for kitesurfing, but they do exist. Seamless sail construction is quite advanced, though the technology could be made for kites the economics would be inhibiting, so definitely not cheaper to produce. That said of course there are smaller kites made from a single piece of fabric.
Kite designers range in intelligence, much like people. They do not seem to be of super high intelligence, hence they are designing kites and not rockets. They do seem to have some weird ideas about particular things, see some stuff the Duotone designers say. I guess the large potential solutions and variation of problems present in kiteboarding permit differing ideologies, even with their flaws.
Lol, why self-inflatable LEI would be too heavy? Just make it light weight! And single skin kite which relaunches effortlessly from the water - why not? It is foilholio's great suggestion - perhaps worth patenting? Those LEI's with only LE strut haven't been so great, and when I had a chance to test BRM it was impossible to switch kites on the water... But even better: let's not have that thick,round, ugly and draggy LE at all - lets have a really strutless LEI or perhaps LE kite
Duotone (ex North) designers have produced some of the best and most succesful kites out there - perhaps a bit rich when someone who tweaks cheap chinese kites criticizes them? And really: who is the guy having weird ideas there
All possible solutions to a self inflating LEI add extra equipment and as such extra weight. It is overall a dumb idea to even think about. Water relaunchable single skins are in development. Strutless kites are great, I think your limited kite view just can't grasp why. Solutions to the draggy LE have already been developed long ago, the problem is their durability is not even remotely comparable to what is used on kiteboarding kites.
North has been one of the most successful brands in kiteboarding. Duotone is about to test their luck with a new name. It must be said image creation is what drives most of the success behind brands in kiting. There are things they have done which have been and still are stupid. There is no need to use logical fallacies to try discredit my argument. The stupid ideas the Duotone designers express in articles previous are easily discredited with some basic logic and facts. The problem is most people have little of either and are swayed by silly things like argument from authority. Like for example the statement because Duotone/North was or is a large successful brand they must always know what they are talking about. You prove this with what you just said.
I use the exact same kites on the water as I do on the snow, same sizes too mostly. I have a few foil kites, a few inflatable kites. In gusty conditions I go with the inflatable kites. There's no such thing as a "water-only kite." It's not like the kite sees the snow and says "Whoa can't do this!" If it can pull you on the water it can pull you on the snow. I'm not a fan of the "open cell" foil kites, as they have a hard time keeping their shape in gusty conditions. I like the closed cell ones better and bonus is you can use closed cell foils in the water because you can relaunch them if you drop them. Anyway, talk to your local kiters ask what they are riding on that lake.
BRM cloud is a fantastic kite, kitexpert. You should give it another demo if you get the chance. I've flown some single skin kites before . . . I think the flysurfer peak? Have not liked them much because of how they taco and wing wrap in gusty winds. For me at least, I always want either a tube kite or a closed cell foil kite both snow and water. I like the single skin idea a lot, maybe some day they can make it work. But like I said before my favorite kites on snow are the exact same kites I use on the water.
I guess I have ten times more experience from kites than you foilholio - every kite type, every size and most brands. I've also designed and constructed dozens of different traction kites
You are proving the very point I am making that your kite view is limited and you don't know why. I have little doubt you have flown many kites and even designed them, it in fact makes the previous point even sadder.
AFAIK no-one is developing "water relaunching" single skin kite, there is enough challenge to make it work for land/snow.
Well you don't know much then do you? Does it dismerit experience or just you?
An 8m kite is just right for learning on snow if you have some experience.
If conditions are icy you might be able to go smaller, but in powder or heavier snow bigger is better. I rarely go smaller than a 14, and weigh 200 lbs also.
Your skis are far superior to a snowboard for setting an edge and tacking steeper upwind, and just as on the water, cutting hard upwind is a great way to depower when you're getting overpowered.
Lake kiting is fine if it's in the open and at least several miles away from mountains and other obstacles, but where I am, lake kiting is either too light or very gusty, and mountain ridgetops are where the most reliable and smoothest winds are. There are often gradual slopes to be found on them that make learning there feasible.
Unlike water kiting, hot-launching in light winds is often required, and in real light winds reverse hot-launching is a skill you'll need to learn.
Ok, I didn't remember that Monjet kite. It is a hybrid and unfortunately it has been quite silent with them. I had same kind of idea years ago using triangular cells (if I remember correct I presented it here) but I haven't had enough motivation to start it and probably never will.
Problem with this kind of developments is there is already very well working kite surfing kites, LEI's. Single skin are much more sensible for land and snow, it is best to leave water use for LEI's and closed cell foils.
I'd very much like to demo BRM kites, because they have their own mentality, being apparently different than most other kites. I've used Airush strutless kites few times and I saw the limitations of them.
For OP 8-10m Access or Apex or similar would do, or a single skin (which can be smaller). One kite is not enough in the long run, so it's not that critical what size first kite is.