I have spent 5 days now on the water in perfect conditions with the Crossbow 12.
I was sceptical the first few days, and not convinced I'd be getting rid of my old kites. After a few more days, I now have this kite dialed and LOVE it. Gusts are a thing of the past. I have now ridden the kite in wonds ranging from 13 knots to 25 and its the same smooth ride the whole time. As gusts hit you just go faster, slower and higher. But they are not noticable.
I was timid at first, but today I was boosting some massive jumps in Caloundra, kiteloops out of massive jumps, kiteloop transitions, spins even a didgey board off. You can fly this kite with one hand no probs when you get it dialed. It rocks up wind like nothing else, and lets you ride around superfast with no stress. Its all too easy.
It probably doesn't suit unhooked riding too well, as there is massive power when you unhook. But for everything else it is miles ahead in my view. Its just so stable too. I was droping down wave faces and getting it wrong, and the kite just sits there.
My only critisism is the bar pressure... Mainly in low wind or if the kite is too powered up in strong wind. You can fix a lot of this by trimming the kite right, but it can still take a lot more energy than a classic style kite. I think a powerlock will make a difference for those that want it.
But all you sceptics out there stick with it. Its a totally different experience (a bit like going from 2 lines to 4). But with time I reckon most people willl come to love this style kite. I have never ridden so fast with so much control so easily.
I am sure this sounds like hype, and it might be as I am still buzzing from my session. But I have no interest at all in pushing the bow, other than the fact I reckon they rock.