Fred , let's be clear... the 17 speed would smoke the Waroo 20 in both light wind performance and up wind... I believe it's better than almost all of the current supposedly light kites that are out there today... here's the difference. the waroo simply has a larger range , and other obvious facts .. cost ... and a less complicated bridal..
I'm very familiar with Flysurfer .. I really liked them and I wish that my locations would be more suitable for them .. I owned and still own Titans, manic FS kites ... but over the years I've switched back to LEI kites because of turning performance and general handling in difficult locations.. not all of our locations are nice sandy beaches here..
I think over the next few months were going to see some of the other manufactures come up with some pretty impressive light wind kites based on SLE design fundamentals. it's an exciting time .. some will get it right... other will totally get it wrong.. (like WW did with the Rap2)
The Speed is very different to the older Flysurfers. The Speed 17 especially for a heavy rider has quite a large wind range. I ride it from 8 to just over 20mph. I've even handled it OK in 25mph, but I was at a safe beach. Yup the Speed 17 is an expensive kite, but flysurfers hold thair value and are very durable not having high stress parts like struts and leading edge on LEIs. The bridel of the Speed is compicated, but with a couple of simle rules it pretty much looks after itself. Flysurfer has worked hard at designing the bridel to sort itself out. There is also a new 5th line option comming out for the Speeds that will make it much easier to land the kite in very overpowered conditions.
As for upwind preformance of the Waroos, from what I have seen they don't do well at the low end, but then it's like a switch is flicked and they go upwind really well as soon as they hit the sweet spot. With the Waroo 20 that should be pretty low. Unfortunatly for me that is a problem as it is really important to stay upwind at my local spots.
I'd be intrested in furthure updates from you especially about stability and relaunchability.
I've heard you have to pump the leading edge up a lot on the Waroos to avoid inversion. I imagin that that is even more important for the 20 too.
I'm aslo wondering how would a highly pumped up waroo fair if it's dropped in the surf. Wouldn't all that pressure eliminate the kind of flexability you need to avoid damage?
Anyway great to hear that there is an inexpensive light wind option out there.
On another nore I saw a Slingshot TD doing remarkably well in low wind yesterday..he was also using a Slingshot glide. Good low wind board, but rough on the knees if its choppy.
foils or lei's its all down to taste, i rode flysurfers for years and loved them dearly, due to their relaunch.
if your an LEI kind of guy, a foil isn't going to cut it, and like wise if you are a foil guy no LEI is going to feel right.
I've ridden the shit out of the 16m waroo and honestly can't imagine needing anything bigger, to be honest i can't imagine needing anything bigger than the 14m.
for the super light stuff a big board is always going to make the difference, but then again then nothing better than knowing that you have the biggest kite in your prefered style as well, just to be extra safe..
Telekiter, I now have about 6 total hours on the 20 and about 3 hours on the 14 , I realy like the power on the 20 its very smooth with its power and the jumps are as big as the 14 with LOTS more hang time..
I rode today with gusts upto 25 ... my board was a 40 x 138 (rogue wave).. it started to get a little tuff at the max gusts and I had to ajust the trim at the high end a few times, but I was never yanked even with the strongest gusts ..
last week I was at cape cod (west denison beach) the average winds would have been about 15 mph... 12 to 18 seems to be the sweet spot for me on this kite..
I am going to play with the Y connector on the rear lines to see if I can increase the turning speed a bit more... I am still working on my timming at the lower range to get this kite to jump clean..
the bottom line... this is a great kite for people 190 + if you are less then that .. the 16 would most likely do it for you .. this is not a kite I would recommend to someone looking for a sub 8kt conditions .. I think that it may have issues going up wind in the really light stuff... but for heavy riders .. this is a fast turning gunty kite for the 12 kt to 18 kt range..
here is the gragh from today .. I was out from 3:45 to 7:15 pm ..
quick update - I now have about 30 hours of riding on the 20...
this kite has more low end then my contra 19.5 had .. jumps better and today I was in winds the were so gusty there is no way I could have been on a "C" kite and stayed upwind ... range was 9 mph to 35 Mph... I must say that it was not fun when the big gusts hit ... but still these waroo kites can handle it no problem ... I also prefer the knot closest to the kite on the Y bridle a bit better .... turns a little quicker ... can down loops ffrom meduim jumps on this setting ...
I use my FUEL 15 with 37mt lines, super fast, nd it provides tha stability of a C, ride skimboard, wakeskate or surfboard ! Just chilling ! . More over, when tha wind picks up a bit, i use tha regular lines, this way i have just one fast, stable kite...for light nd stronger windss.. !