DISCLAIMER : I'm a personal friend of the Monkey owners. Please take it in the spirit it's been written and don't flame me for perceived "bias"
Received my new production version of the 15m Monkey on Monday and got to fly it for the first time last night after work. (Have already flown a 15m from the first test batch) I only had an hour before it got dark so the test flight was quick.
Rider's Weight : 95kg
Wind : 10 - 13 knots direct onshore (I'd normally ride a 20m in these winds)
Rider's experience : Just over a year
Rider's previous kites : ARX, Aero, Rhino II
Rider's best landed trick : Double backroll
Rider's best not landed trick : F111 to faceplant with boardoff
Rider's board : Underground Wavetray 142 with customised nicks, dents and scrapes
Unrolled the kite and checked it out. First impressions are wow, it's bright. With better foresight I wouldn't have asked to be supplied with "any old colour so long as it's unusual". Bright dayglo yellow with red trim (which btw is a custom Monkey colour scheme) Also noticeably, there's a new dump valve, bigger and brighter graphics and the pigtails have labels on them now. i.e. "faster turning", "more depower" etc
I'm clueless about kite construction so I wont even try to explain the construction quality. All I know is that Selena is very chuffed with how well they've been made and is understandably proud. She spent 10 minutes pointing it all out, but it was all greek to me and I was itching to fly the kite, which I guess she noticed after a while and helpfully offered me a launch.
Standing on the beach with it in the air, (kept low of course, ahem) my first impression was that it seemed grunty but with a smooth power delivery on the turns. I was surprised at the pull I was getting in such a light wind. It still turns amazingly fast and was nicely stable. I always knew exactly where the kite was in the air without looking at it, although this was probably a combination of feedback through the bar and the dayglo yellow burning a hole in my peripheral vision.
I had a quick go in the surf and was amazed to find I was going upwind in such light conditions for someone of my size. Hopefully I wasn't scaring anyone as I hooned along laughing manically to myself. I was working the kite quite hard and it never stalled, so I tried a quick jump with limited success in such a light wind. I'll reserve judgement until I'm nicely powered.
Anyhoo, in conclusion
Nicely grunty (I'm told it's comparible to the Rhino 4)
Very quick turning
Smooth power delivery
Dayglo yellow and red? Guess I'm never going to be lost at sea
The next 2 months are Sydney's non-windy months. Bugger.