Aloha, I'm a seasoned kitesurfer and want to get into kiting on the snow in CO. I'm not sure how to make the transition, except maybe bring my snowboard pants instead and leave the bikini at home. I hear traction kites pull more, there is less resistance on the snow than in water, among other elements so I frankly have no idea what the norm kite would be for me on snow.
First let me say foils are bomb. I wish I could use them all the time. Easy to relaunch, no maintenance, no pump.
I own a 10m torch, it's my best friend, I sweet talk it all the time, and fear for it's life in CO. I don't know if that's suitable for CO, it can blow up to 35 mph constant on some days.
I'm looking at a 5m apex kite, it looks awesome. I'm 120Ib and ride a 150 cm snowboard. The wind conditions in CO vary, usually 20mph every other day; I'm looking for a standard kite. Like for me, I can ride a 10m here when conditions aren't too extreme. Any input would be great and help me on my way to a weighty purchase. Is a 5m too small for me?
It all depends on what you're planning to do. I'm not experienced at snow kiting but I know the difference between powder and hard pack and also flat surface kiting as opposed to playing in hills / mountains.
It's also too difficult to say whether foils are more powerful...because it depends on the foil (and the LEI for that matter). Some really suck. However, Ozone and Flysurfer make stable, powerful, de-power kites...you'd be surprised how big a kite you can go with because the wind range is really big. If you don't want, like, or need de-power and are happy with a fixed bridle kite like Flexifoil and other makes then you probably have to have a couple in your quiver for different conditions...
At 120 pounds you have to be careful on the advice you get , most guys flying are a lot heavier and may not know what 120pounds hooked to a kite will do. I have a 5,7.5 and10meter Apex II , one 80 pound and one160 pound kid and three other neighbor kids that fly these. A 7.5 apex may be very similar in power to what you are flying now. My sons friend at 100pounds flys it fearlessly static in winds just under 15mph , he likes to jump with it. I'm 150 pounds and have flown it in gusty winds over 20mph. With the experience you have and the the wind and snow conditions you're in , a 5meter Apex may be to small. Oh almost forgot ,120pounds hooked to almost any kite in 35mph wind can seriously disrupt your life. I'm guessing Colorado winter winds are not at all like open water wind that you're familiar with.
I know someone here in Montana that I'm guessing weighs 140lbs, and she got by on a 5m frenzy and an 8m access for a couple of years (on skis). Last year she had a few good sessions on my 10m and 12m manta 2s, and is looking to buy one for powder and lighter conditions. I think you'll get by learning on a 5m but you may have some trouble in deep snow. That's where more power really helps. You could try a larger board in powder...