I got to spend 2+ hours yesterday on the 2011 8m Razor and it is sick!!! Here is my review.
First - I am 185 lbs, riding a 5'4" Naish surfboard, in wind in the low 20's at Crissy field in San Francisco. I have had OR Rises every year for the last 4 years, Torches before that. I'll mainly compare it to the Rise.
I took this kite out despite the fact that everyone was on 10m and 11m, I just really wanted to try it.
The kite is lower aspect than the rise with a more pronounced "C" shape. It's nice and light with the 4 struts. In the sky it has more of a deep pocketed look, like a wainman does above you.Power:
I was blown away by the low end grunt. I was well powered and I felt like the kite had the power of almost 10m Rise, more power than the 9m Rise. It's also very easy to generate power with the kite. It sits a bit further back than the Rise, but not way back like a real wave kite (Kima, Catalyst, Renagade)
The Razor does not handle the gusts as well as the rise or other such kites. You feel what the wind is doing and you need to use your board bore to control power, you can't just turn it off by sheeting out. It's more like a C kite in this way, but not that harsh.
At 185 lbs I will be getting 6,8,10 to replace my 7,9,11 Rises. You will not be able to run huge 4m gaps between Razors, you'll end up disappointed. ( I think that 4m gaps suck on any kite) Turning:
This is where it shines. It was super fast, even for an 8m. It zips across the window really fast. There is much more consistant pull through turns than the Rise and it climbs back up much faster without having to sheet way out. I didn't have real waves, but rode a few head high tanker wakes which are like sideshore wave. It is way better at this than the Rise, you just have fast steady power thoughout the turn and it's much harder to stall, even riding right at it.
The bar is very sensitive to inputs, which I like, but might be less forgiving to some riders.Jumping:
Timing might be a bit harder, but it has good yank and great loft. It jumps as well as any other kite i've been on. LOOPS are where it also shines. I liked the rise a lot, but it didn't loop great. The Razor generates much more power and catches you much better for softer landings. I had so much fun I must have done 50 kiteloops. I didn't unhook while riding, but I did on the beach and without trimming at all the kite stayed stable and didn't stall. Ideally it needs a bit of trim, but not a ton.Relaunch
I crashed the Razor a few times to test relaunch and it is also better. Due to the lower aspect it will move by itself (auto-relaunch) to the edge of the window and wait to be steered into the sky. I didn't need to pull a line at all. Granted this was on an 8m in decent wind.
All in all I would say this is definitely the kite to buy if you are an advanced rider or an intermediate looking to get into waves or freestyle. It is a much more involved, direct ride and will reward a good rider. For those looking to just cruise and do some jumps I would still get the Rise. The Rise has better range, better high end and a more forgiving ride. The Rise will still be a better kite for racing due to it's range and upwind ability.
I hope this helps.
Anyone want to buy my hardly used 2010 11m Rise with bar?