I own a small kiteboard shop in Florida. I try to ride every new kite that is available. The economy has affected sales somewhat, but kiteing is so addictive, that riders usually find a way to get the latest and greatest gear. 2013 brought about a lot of small refinements and new products, however, many of the companies have gone up close to $200 in pricing this year. Everyone is looking for the most bang out of their buck, more than ever.
I am a big guy, 6'2" and weigh in at 210. I am always on the search for a kite that delivers low end, pop and great hangtime while still turning on a dime. I do like SOME bar pressure and feel to the kite.
Last weekend, I ran into an old friend of mine in the Keys. Dimitri of EPIC kites was giving a demo out of the OTHER SIDE in Islamorada. I met him at the beach and all he told me was: Rush, try this kite and tell me what you think! The wind was blowing maybe 15 with a few higher gusts. I jumped on this kite, really not expecting much out of it. To my surprise, this kite had great low end and tremendous pull. The bar pressure was near perfect and the shape of the bar felt good too. On the second tack I decided to send it......BIG hangtime! This kite felt like I had been riding it for a year on the first few tacks, which is always a good sign for me!
Dimitri can get a little excited now and then, but now I see why!
I tried to buy the demo kite but settled for just ordering one...life is way too short to ride gear that is just so - so.