Have been out of kiting for a couple years and am not up on the latest gear. In fact missed the whole low profile leading edge and single point valve thing. Four or five years ago the North Rino 20 and Best Nemesis 21 were the best on the market. Could not stand to pump those monsters up now knowing that kites have progressed so much lately.
Can anyone recommend a some good low wind kites? Preferably with single point valve, or at least an easy low volume inflation. I weigh in at 210 lbs and have been kiting for 6 of the last 8 years in LA and Miami.
The '08 Windwing Batwing 15.5 in my opinion is the kite for you. Great low end and jumps to the moon. I can ride in as little as 6-7 knots and stay upwind on a Spleene Door at 185 lbs.. Plus as of yesterday I can get you the kite for as much as 40% off the retail price. Nealy half the cost of retail. PM me if interested.
I weigh 245-250 lbs and have been kiting for about 8 years. I also had a Rhino II 20m and tried a number of other big kites. Over the last 12 months I bought a Rhino 06 20m (which felt slow and grunty), then a Flysurfer Speed 2- 19m ( didn't like it at all ) and then an 07 Best Waroo 20m. The Waroo 20 is the single best 20m I've ever flown. Great stability, fast turning (considering its size) and gets me going in less than 15 mph (which nothing else I've tried will do). Although it's not a single pump kite, and although it is no fun to pump up, it is a heck of a lot easier / faster to pump up than the Rhino 20m.
I also bought an 07 Bularoo 16 ( actually I have an entire quiver of them) and it is one of my favorite kites. If you don't need the bottom end of a 20m, then I'd say this is your kite. The Bularoo 16 is a one pump (and I prefer this also), great stability, great turning speed, great wind range and a ton of fun to fly. I get almost as much bottom end with the Bularoo 16 as the Waroo 20, but on those "desperate" days, nothing beats the Waroo 20. At 215 lbs, I would think the Bularoo 16 would be everything you need.
When it comes to light wind it's important to know what type of riding you want to do.
Large foils are the light wind kings in general.
bigkahuna likes the waroo 20m but he rides mainly downwinders in the waves mainly onshore conditions if I remember correctly.
The Flysurfer Speed 2 19 and 15m are really a magic lightwind kites. Great upwind ability, great juming and best hangtime out there especially in the low stuff.
No pumping required and setup is very quick.
Lots of LEI kiters who ride Leis in higher winds have gotten Speeds for low wind riding.
One area where the Speed is not your best choice is wave riding down the line downwind.
Great for cutting in and out of the waves and staying upwind when everyone else is walking the beach.
Another thing too is that even at the bottom of it's wind range you will never need an assisted launch. Water relaunchable in low wind too.
In light wind and waves I use a Pulse 2 14m and I weigh 225 lbs.... you would get more power with a Waroo 20m though.
If you go for a LEI one thing you could do is get a cheap high volume matress inflator.
Air Head makes a rechargable one for under $20. It wont get your leading edge upto full pressure,
but it would get you 3/4 of the way there. Then a few pumps with the nmanual pump and your set.
I think sports chalet has them. They can be recharged in the car.