Been following the Eclipse Cali tour for a few days now. Good times all around. I got the chance to fly the new Nano 11m today at Chrissy and play back-to-back on the Sabre 135x43 and Dimirti Pro 128x39 boards. It was the evening session and I think I was the last one off the water so the wind was pretty fluky but still a good time. I'm 175lbs and an average kiter. Also demo'ed the new '09 Thruster 12m and the Kima 6 and 9 earlier in the week.
Nano 11m: this kite should have been re-named. This is not anything like the '08 Nano. Totally different and much much better than the 08 nano 12m. Dimitri has said it all about this kite. It's the easy going, works for everything kind of kite. It's not the jumper that the Thruster is and it's not as fast and wave-kite style the Kima is. It's grunty, sits further back in the window than the Thruster, is more forgiving and stable. I think the Nano looks a bit like the profile of the GK Trix, but pulls better and feels more stable. The nano pulls like a truck while the Thruster feels like a race car. Great all-around feel. My preference for flat water is still Thruster, but you have to try all three for yourself as they are very different.
Thruster 12m: Very similar to the 08, dare I say it's the same kite? There may be minor tweets in there, but I couldn't tell on my short demo. Still very fast and such a fun jumper. The '08 is my favorite kite for average winds and the '09 still delivers.
Sabre 135 and 128: This board feels big. It was a bit choppy out and I jumped off it and then back on it as the wind came up and down. Nice board, sick graphics and would have been a lot more fun if I wasn't lit and bouncing off chop. Rode the 128X38 a few days ago and it also feels bigger than it is, but handled the chop a little better due to it's smaller size. Really comfortable board that I'd like some more time on with the pads set where I like them. The snakeskin graphic on the deck is really cool and gives the boards a nice look. I think this board would be great for most riders especially in smoother water. They aren't bad in chop but they don't smooth out the bumps quite as much as some other boards, perhaps because they are wide.
Dimitri Pro 129X39: I didn't think I'd be able to ride a 129 with the conditions and honestly wasn't that interested in this board before riding it. Dimitri kept pushing it to me and I stepped in. wow! Seriously surprised by this. The graphics and wood core look really nice, but the board shape doesn't look like anything special. Must be hidden voodoo because I want one! After adjusting the straps tighter from Dimitri's giant feet, I felt instantly at home on this board (I ride Underground TT's mostly). The short length betrays a much bigger feeling on the board and the new pads are comfy. The Pro pops nicely and lands great. I'm no pro rider but I really liked this board. I think it's unusual for a pro board to work so nicely for the average joe. I have no idea what the groove on the bottom does but this board is way better in chop and just a blast to ride and try new things on. I'm seriously interested in the larger size as an all-around TT.
Kima 6 and 9: The Kima 6 is pretty close to the '08 Nano 6, which is my favorite kite in the surf. Super fast, controllable, and inspires confidence on waves. I make a lot of mistakes on waves and this kite just forgives me over and over. The 9m is totally different than the 08. Seemed to have great low end if you're efficient with the kite (same with the 6) and turns really fast. I'd really like to try the big Kima in the very light SD winds because it would be awesome to fly this kite instead of the giant beasts.
There is only one new Morph bar touring right now and I did fly the 9m Kima on the new bar. Nice bar, a lot more throw than the '08. The depower rope hole in the bar is pretty big so you can turn the kite and sheet at the same time, no binding up like some bars. I like that they removed the velcro from the safety system (QR) as that would catch on my wetsuit and fire the QR. It's been changed to a ball. I absolutely love that you can re-attach the QR with one hand while still flying the kite.