Well, boys, the verdict is in.
Despite the ridiculous over-hyped claims from Flysurfer reps like Ted Bautista (aka Bullshitsa - thanks mad mick), Flysurfer ram air kites crashed and burned in Kiteboarder Mag's light-wind showdown in San Diego.
The overall consensus was that Flysurfer ram air kites are ok in light wind, but they turn VERY SLOWLY. The overall impression was that there are much better inflatables, in particular, the Rhino.
It's interesting that a lot of the ram air guys who were getting excited about this showdown are now remarkably SILENT, in particular, Ted Bautista. His rants in the lead up to this showdown almost defied belief. He reminded me of that insane guy in "Seven", bouncing up and down on the back seat of the car, rubbing his hands together, muttering to himself "I can hardly wait. Can hardly wait."
Ram lovers keep circulating their lies. We know ram lovers are prone to exaggeration and just plain misinformation eg see the following threads:
1 Ram airs jump 8m in 8 knots ("The future is bright, the future is foil")
2 Ram airs are better light wind kites than inflatables
Ram airs are inferior light wind kites because they:
1 Have excessive drag, compromising the Lift/Drag ratio
2 Turn VERY slowly
3 Have incredible inertia. The Speed 17 contains over 7kg of air in its pockets, compared to about 3kg in the Rhino5 20m.
And let's not forget the nightmarish problems associated with dealing with bridles on ram air kites of this size. Also, it's important to keep in mind the problems with wind dropouts in light conditions. If you choose to go out in light winds, you will occasionally experience full dropouts. No kite, inflato or ram, will stay up in these conditions. It is better to have an inflatable in drop-outs because at least you can support your weight and try to get back to the beach. All ram airs become hopelessly waterlogged and unwieldy after about 45mins and absolutely impossible to water relaunch. Ram airs are just plain dangerous in wind dropouts.
As confirmed in the lightwind showdown, and despite lies from ram lovers, you won't really have fun on any kite (ram air OR inflatable) unless the wind is over about 7-8 knots. This is the starting point for BOTH ram airs and inflatables, but because of the reasons I've outlined above, inflatables are vastly superior. And this is just the starting point. You won't really be having fun until it hits about 10 knots on an inflatable OR a ram air.
If you are going to buy a light wind kite, buy an inflatable: They are easier to use, much more fun, and safer by a loooong way.