I've had two sessions on the 8m nitro 2 and thought I would give some impressions.
Bar and set up: The bar is simple and I have had it for a while. The depower cleat works well but if you have a bit of depower pulled it flops around and can get caught on a rear line and cause a little unwanted steering. You can velcro it to the stopper but it doesn't stay put if you crash. The main drawback however is the lack of a flag out system that you can leash to. You have to reach up to the Y and manually grab it. Hopefully they will fix this in the next bar setup. The kite has one of the nicest inflation systems I've tried. It inflates very quickly and deflates quickly as well.
Riding: The low end of this kite is incredible. It pulls like a truck and feels like a 10m. It handles the gusts well however and edges nicely into the wind to depower. It has smooth power delivery and isn't twitchy on the turns. It takes a bit of input to steer but will turn quickly if need be.
Waves: The kite isn't designed for it but it does pretty well in the waves. You have to get used to the fact that the kite pulls really hard at the top of the window (pays off on flat water) and can pull you off the board easily if you aren't prepared to let the bar out. The low end punch really helps get out. On the wave the kite drifts much better than I expected and doesn't give any impression that it might fall out of the sky. On the contrary it still has a little bit of pull. It turns nicely when bottom turning and has plenty of power for off the top snap.
Flat water: This kite is a boost machine. It just sends you to the roof. It has a ton of hang time for an 8m kite and will float you down nicely. It jumps like a C-kite with a wide turn. Just crank the bar and wait for it and you will be rewarded. It's forgiving on the landings as it still has plenty of pull at the top of the window so it's really hard to overrun it.
Summary: This is a great kite with a few quirks but once you get used to it it's a lot of fun and quite versatile. If you get a chance try one out.
Good review, I've had mine out twice in waves and it was just exactly as you described it. I was going upwind as well or better than many guys on 10's. I felt about equal to my friend out on a 9m Rally. (we ride together quite a bit). He said the turn looked slow, but I was on 27m lines. That might be part of why I was going upwind with the 10m's. It's a very fast kite down the line, but you need to keep swinging it or looping. You can drift it in high enough wind, but I was a bit underpowered in the wave zone (all the wind was out in the channel). I had to follow it really hard most of the time. Guys were out on 11's, smaller guys than me. (I'm 84 Kilos). So a very efficient kite getting back up wind.
I had another session in poor gusty wind and was not as happy. I don't use straps, and the gusts boosted me off once or twice. Boosting little loop tricks ended up way too high to land them. I guess it's more of a strapped riding boost machine. But I still had a blast, and look forward to trying it on 20m lines. It's a bit demanding to ride waves with I'd say, the thing generates so much power from a turn. You barely move it and you are just flying down the line. That can also be rewarding in terms of sheer speed. I am going to fly it until the 9m Method V2 is available. Then I will probably fly the Method and hook it up for one of my friends who loves to do big strapped airs. It's gonna blow his mind.
My summary (in waves) is there are some pivot turning kites that might be easier for less experienced kiters on unstrapped surfboards. It is more of a boost monster than a wide range wave drifter. But if you like to carve hard big fast lines it can be really rewarding.
The flying down wind thing is something I forgot to mention. I can't wait to take this kite on a long downwinder on flatwater when the wind is howling. It has an extraordinary amount of pull when riding straight toward it and you pull a lot of G's when doing high speed turns. As far as waves go I'm sure there are a lot of kites that are better for strapless waveriding but if you split your time between waves and flatwater and want a kite that does both very well, then I would recommend the 8m nitro. I tried my friends 10 m and it might pull a little too hard to take in the waves but the 8m has such good low end I can't see why I would need it.
Yeah I had a chance to ride a buddies 10m Nv2, is a really sick kite, very powerful, quicker than a switchblade, and really rig the bar pressure. I was out in OK conditions, I would normally would be ridding a 12m, another buddy was ridding his 12m as well, and could quite stay upwind, I was doing just fine on this 10m. This kite is an elevator.
I currently ride the Methods, although I'm incredibly happy with its performance, and raved about it here on a review when I first got them, the bar pressure is getting to me, it felt perfect for the kite, but specially after trying the Nv2, I think the Nitro's bar pressure is perfect. What a freaking workout it has been lately. I'm gona try to ride a size smaller see what happens. I ride both directionals and TT, although I've been more on my directional lately.