I work for a kiteshop, so let me get that out in the open. We sell just about every brand: Slingshot, Naish, North, RRD, Ocean Rodeo, Cabrinha, Flexifoil, and Liquid Force. I guess I would call my riding style part new school, part old school. I like to do(try is probably a better way to describe it) a lot of the new school stuff, but I also like to boost big. I have ridden almost all of the 2005 kites, and most of the 2006 Kites that are out right now...and the Type HIR is the best for me so far. I have ridden the 10m, 8m, and 16m.
Speed: Super fast. Just like the Type 6's, Type ZH's, and new Type 7's, the speed is incredible.
Bar pressure: Very light...I was really impressed with the feel of the 16m. Fealt like I was on a 12m kite.
Lift: Wow... here is where the difference is between the new Type 7's and the Type HIRs. I loved everything about the Type 7's, but it didn't have a crazy amount of lift. The type HIR's do.. Very floaty jumps.
Range: Lots...I had the 10m in some really light winds for what I would normally ride a 10m in(most guys were on 12 and 13m kites), but I still had enough power to stay upwind. I had is zipped up... When the wind picked up(guys came in and rigged 9m and smaller kites), I could stay out with no problem. I just came in and unzipped it, and was fine. The zipper is no joke..it works...
Overall: This is what I am riding this year. I have tried the bow kites: Crossbow, Turbo Diesel, Switchblade, Ocean Rodeo The One...tried the new Naish torches and Raven's, Liquid Force M-80's, and most of the kites from last year, and this is the best for me so far... Nothing wrong with those other kites, but the HIR's is the perfect match for my riding style. I went with the 16, 13, 10, and 8m for my personal quiver. Very happy... Again, I work for a kiteshop, and we sell all kites, not just the RRD's...... http://www.oceanextremesports.com