I am 83kg, ride a 125x38,5 board and kite for two years. I had a set of Rhino1 12+16 and then a set of Skoop2 11,5 and 17. I have ridden most of the high ar kites in the market of 2003 and some of 2004.
As i am becoming a "old fart", jumping to the sky, wave riding and simple forward and back loops are my skills and goals.
This kite is really amazing and after being with it for three months i simply can't point a deffect on it.
I left North because it didn't depower like i think a kite should. The R04 12m does (this size, at least). I ride in rough sea and sometimes in gusty spots, so depower is a issue. Another one is stability and it's in these two areas that this kite rocks!
On the other day i had the first super loaded session on it. My final doubts are gone. It depowers really well. I can hold it in 25-28 knots (at least) gusts and this is what i had to have from this size of kite.
For the ones that don't have it, try to stay on the beach and compare a R04 12m flying with the other kites. You will visibly see the difference in stability.
I feel that i didn't loose any jumping high when compared to my Skoop2 11,5 (i am jumping higher now: better/easier kite? better technique? both?) and i might have lost just one or two knots in the top end (27 knot gusts). Those are compensated by construction quality and the kite bottom end (15 knots to have good jumps or less to cuise using the micro loop).
The Bar is marvelous and the only problem is that the center line wears out too fast (mine will only last for more 10 or so rides). Micro loop is imperative from now on for me.
Relaunch is a bit difficult in flat water (because the kite is very rigid?) as it "sails" on top of the water. Good technique solves that. In the sea it is like all the others.
I am really stoked with this kite, it has replaced the place of the Skoop2 11,5m as the best kite i ever rode.
I am now testing the R04 16m. The first impression (after a ride in a very, very, VERY gusty day) is that this one is more grunty (less depower)... But it was in a new spot with 20cm super chop and super-unstable wind, and in the video i saw that i was riding at the double of the speed of the other riders, so no conclusions. But it rides VERY "a head" in the window, so it should depower well... I am waiting for a good day to test it. It MUST depower well or i will be a little pissed... I will report as soon as i know "all" about it.