Smaller LE tube would be a big mistake imo. The 2008 Nano seems to have a smaller LE tube than the 2009 Kima. The 2008 Nano I had to pump rock hard to prevent the kite from jellyfishing & shoulder collapsing. (At least 15 psi for the 6M, at least 18 psi for the 4M). You guys are testing these kites in strong winds right? I like the Kimas for nuking/gusty winds, a smaller LE tube would be a no no. Any changes that takes away from the low end of this kite would be a mistake too. I hope the designers for Epic are aware of this as well.
We are looking at smaller tubes on the bigger sizes only. No reduction in low end. The 2009 Kima is a great kite - the 2010 will also be great. Each of the changes listed are being thoroughly tested and subject to elimination with inclusion only after they prove themselves. The effort is mostly directed at input/response and bar pressure as well as bringing the larger sizes up to the performance level of the smaller ones.
All things being personnal the 2009 Kima in smaller sizes was pretty perfect. Sflinux is absolutely right about the 2008 Nano. Reducing the leading edge diameter (and profile) on larger sizes will improve some aspects of performance to the detriment of others (grunt and power/m2) . It's a game of give and take.
All things being equal, what would really make a difference in a kite's performance is it's total weight (reduces inertia, improves responsivness), a cleaner canopy profil and bridle (less drag).
From a heavy guys perspective. A 10.5 meter kima would have really been great or even a ten. It de-powered very well and was great strapless wave sailing. Need more power for all us heavy weights in light wind areas for strapless wave, etc without needing to go to big 12m. Naish et all have a 10 to 10.5 as does Fone, Liquid force and RRD in good delta wave shapes.. More power per size and maybe offer up a 10 m plus size in delta kima. Same with the Epic kite and other brands who design kites around light weight riders in high winds when that is not what most of us need. Overall outside of the bar, the kima has been a good kite. A ten would have made it a great one kite quiver with a bit more grunt per size. J.M.H.O Oh yeah 195 pounds and by no means the heavy weight guy in these parts by a long shot. Most of our students are at least my weight and from surfing background so you can see where they will be going with their kite surfing needs. Canopy area makes a big difference.
Hey Guys, your totally right above the bigger sizes being dogs, I have a 2008 Nano 9 and 12m. I really dred flying the 12, it feels so slow and cumbersome and it really is not a light wind kite. I feel the bottom end of the 12 is only about 2 knots less than the 9m.
I have been tempted to remove the 2 struts either side of the centre strut to make it a bit lighter and maybe a bit more responsive - maybe Bill Hansen can comment on this or maybe recommend and alternative eg. Bridle mod.
Totally agree with the better strut design, the elbow type looked cheap and nasty - why would you want to have your profile shapers so un aerodynamic!!?
Here's another question, if I remove the pulley and connect a V bridle from the back line to were the pulley use to be and connect the backline to a pulley on the V, would this improve the bar pressure and turning ( even though the turning speed is not that bad).
I would deffinately be keen on a Kima than flies more forward and have bridle options.