First of all , I am intermediate and perhaps a little more than intermediate in surfing with a kite (20 years of surfing & windsurfing background before starting to kite)
I purchased the SW9 after a torch II 12, and having the two kites demoed last fall, some were saying that the low end of the SW9 is similar to a torch 14 , this was a little bit confusing for me first, but now after 2 weeks of good tradewind and some nice waveriding , I have a better opinion on the SW9 and how it can complement a classic 12 kite.
First thing, after a first fall in love of the kite (during demo) my first session was really bad, I immediately returned to the Torch and had a lot more fun on it, especially jumping & waveriding. The key problem was the bar pressure + the wind was not so strong (15-18 knots) so despite the declared low end of the SW it was really bad.
Let's say, that if you like physical work , the low end of the SW9 can possibly match the low end of the torch II 12 which is very good by the way. It is not confortable at all and pretty boring, but it can help during temporary lulls. Thus, the low end of the SW9 is similar to other 9 I tried or owned in term of confortable range.
Second try, riding with the shockwave on a small twintip is non sense for me in lower wind than 25 knots, a 9 C shape kite is more confortable in any case.
Now for the good stuff: I had fantastic sessions in 18-25 knots riding my wave directional board (162*40) , I could just surf with a kite like I never did before: if you are surfing upwind a good one you can depower the kite to almost to 0 and smack the lip really hard, no comparison with a C equivalent. If you are surfing downwind and the wind is good enough , just park the kite and do your rollers, the kite follows you downwind , it is incredible , you have no kite to worry anymore !
I can also say that the kite is very fast and can be turned of kitelooped
very quickly even fully depowered, which is very usefull in waves.
My conclusion: I will use this kite for wind > 20 knots and/or very gusty wind and only with my big board, going in lesser wind and/or with a small twintip is too much workout for me, I don't see the interest compared with an excellent kite like the Torch 2.
I bought the kite with my money, was thinking of reselling it after 2h and love it now.
As I am french, I am only allowed to have the 10kg stopper ball, I can tell that this is totally ridiculous, the 10 is totally useless, if you just leave the bar to uncross your line after a kiteloop the ball goes of and the kite falls from the sky
If somebody has an idea to get a 35 one, tell me , I am interested.
I don't have the sliding stopper problem, maybe because I have only the 10 ball yet ...