I think Jake and I are going to have a similar perspective on this.
I like to paraglide, kitesurf and snowkite. I’m a new paragliding pilot, and I'll agree that a foil design has more integrity with regards to the life span of the wing and loading. The foil obviously has more attachment points, actual calculated numbers for integrity and hours in the air which are all pros. Not to mention all sorts of recoveries through turbulence.
The tube kite is single panel, has air filled bladders, just a handful of attachment points, and is less convenient. However, WON’T ANYONE AGREE that the speed, control, and stability of my 2012 Ozone Edge (in my case) TUBE kite adds an element of safety based on performance alone? It is so fast and so stable in turbulence I can land just right. Isn't that a PRO? As far as structural integrity...I load test it myself. We all know how overpowered you have to be to ride through 20+ inches of powder uphill, and the most insane kiteloops you can think of. Hours of riding is so similar to airtime. I back up my hook and inspect my kite and lines, just as you’d do with a paraglider.
We’re not flying cross country with varios and GPS. We’re doing gaps and ridge soaring, not to mention that my Edge would have sliced through this turbulence like butter… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm5tiw2ICh0&feature=fvst
(Less than 30 sec)
I think the safety issue is how comfortable I feel in turbulence on a tube kite. Perhaps even more than integrity. I shouldn’t be alone on this one, and I wonder if we should be asking if paragliding is safe?
How about driving on the freeway? Is flying off big hills as safe as driving on the freeway?