Well FedEx got it to me Friday and I sat at the beach all day Saturday waiting for the wind which never came. But today was a different story.
The vitals were:
I'm 235 lbs (I think that's 106 kg's)
Board was a Naish 165
Wind was 12 - 18
Conditions - Flat water
Old kite was a 2002 Fuel 18
The aspect ratio is higher than the Fuel but not drastically so. Construction seems good. Bar seems good. (60 cm - 27 m lines). One weird thing is that the 2 end struts have one way valves and the others don't. Good shape in the air. LE doesn't appear segmented like Cabrinha, it looks smoother. The LE tube is markedly smaller than the Fuel's. Upon launching the first thing I noticed was the stability. The kite just sits where you park it even with hands off. So off I went and the thing fly's fast and well. Did I mention fast ? I was seriously lit up and haulin' J Lo ass. It was great upwind too when I pushed it. Also it turns pretty fast for an 18. Not as fast as a 10 or 12 meter but way faster than the Fuel 18 I have. Now I'm at the point where I'm landing most of my jumps so I cranked it back and got what I consider a long , high jump. Subsequent jumps where definitely high for me with lots of hang time. It behaved very predictably in the air and the landings were soft. I stuffed a couple of later attempts after getting a little cocky and expected the kite to fall but was surprised as it floated perfectly while I bounced to a stop. I was very pleased overall with all the characteristics of the kite and especially the speed. Most of the session was at the upper limit and I probably couldn't hold it much past 18 knots. Got alot of questions and positive comments as I guess this is the first one in my area. Can't wait to get it out there again.