This report has been copied from Nick:
For the last couple of months I've been down near Okinawa running a
kite school. For 2 weeks, the Japanese Naish distributor used the
same beach for providing trials of the new Naish products. The F-One
distributor was also there for a week, so I've had a bit of time with
both these kites. The ARX 15.5 has more power than both the Areo 16
and F-One 15.1, but the F-One makes up for it in turning speed. This
kite has to be flown to be believed. In Japan it will be sold with a
tiny 55cm bar (same bar as for the 12.1) but the kite turns extremely
fast, even in very light wind. The F-One would definitely be best if
you want low wind power. If your going for relaunch, the Aero wins
hands down. Even the 16m is a breeze to relaunch. But...personally, I
think that the relaunch is the only good thing going for the Aero.
After watching people riding them, I thought they looked amazing, but
after using the 8,10,12 & 16, I would not buy one. They are very
stable in the sense that if you screw up, the kite tends to fall back
as opposed to straight down. This gives you time to recover from
stalls. However, I've never flown an inflatable that is a jumpy/gerky
in gusty wind. The kite is hellish if the wind is not stable. This is
my observation from personal experience, and seeing many people
dragged and lofted in gusts that most kites would handle smoother.
Also, many people (including the distributor) don't like the new bar.
The self-centering idea is a good one, but the chicken loop is so
heavy that if tension is taken of the lines (like when gibing), it
tends to fall off the spreader. May be best to go for last years bar.
Just to let you know where I stand, I am a school, shop and importer,
but do not sell either of the above kites...yet. I personally fly
North kites (7.5,9.3 & 12) and would not change them for anything.
For the way I ride, they are the perfect kite. BTW, I don't sell