Toby, I'm also 95 kg/210 lbs.
all i am saying here is that i've never ridden a big kite that gets me going any better in light wind than my 12M..it's a Wainman Boss btw. I've tried older 16M Switchblade, Zephyr, Infinity, and a handful of 14M's.
it doesn't matter whether i kite in an area of predominately strong or light winds. the point is only that when it's light, and i'm barely planing, and then i'm given one of these other large kites, i've not seen any difference. i'm still barely planing. (i find board size makes much more difference at that point than kite size).
it may be i'd notice more power if i were given one of those larger kites when i was fully powered on my 12M. in other words, maybe i'd feel a bit overpowered w/those...but what's the point of that except for maybe slightly better jumps in normal (not light wind) conditions?
I actually understand jkrug 100%
I feel exactly the same way, and I am even somewhat lighter at 77-8kg.
The same goes for the other kitesurfers around here, mostly.
It is really difficult to phrase or tell why - but my max kite will always be a 13 or 14m2, and that is one number bigger than "good" - even in super light winds - so I might dismiss this size...
So 12-13m2 is the max for me too, typically.
Not because I wait for more wind, and prefer smaller kites in more wind (we all do of course) - so that is not it.
But in light wind, a good board and a say 12m2 kite will work so much better than a 14-15m2 for me.
Maybe the 15m2 will have marginally more steady pull, true - but not worth the downsides as it will be really ineffective when turned, so it is lost rapidly.
And how long do you ride straight out with the kite parked ?
I dont - then I would rather collect stamps - more exciting
The other thing is, that one can typically jump higher (or just as high), and have way more fun doing kiteloops and tricks, with the 12m2 - in EXACTLY the same wind that is
You might not win races - but that was not the topic here...
Upwind also goes much better, as there is (IMO) a point where the big kites will be less efficient and it feels like they pull you sideways.
This is an experience with all big kites I've owned or tested, eventhough I can not say exactly why it is so...
I've had and sailed the Dyno and Boss and Chrono and Ocean Rodeo and Ozone Zephyr and others, in big sizes - but just dont work better for me in light wind.
If one were into hangtime, bigger kites makes sense - but I find hangtime without a lively kite and without height really boring. But personal choice, yes.
If I lived at a spot where the wind ALWAYS was around 8 knots and totally steady, I might find things different, dont know bout that.
And if I had huge raceboards so not much freestyle/kiteloops/aerial jibes to be done - I might also use bigger kites - but I am not sure actually.
When the wind is a bit up and down often, even in light wind - I simply can not stand the big kites for long, compared to a 12'ish thing - in the very same light wind
We have lots of really low wind days here - but because we can choose to either go out on other days, OR, ride with a much more fun kite on the right board in these low winds - that is what most prefer, so bigger kites than 12-14 are rarely seen anywhere here...
A few with big raceboards MIGHT just have a bigger kite - but even here, many of the big/heavy guys stop at 13m2.
Nice to see I am not alone about preferring the next or third biggest kitesizes in really light wind.
As said, almost impossible to explain why it is so - but not in doubt at all
Much more important is having the right board IMO, and having that - there is very little line pull, meaning very low winds - meaning the huge kites will suck even more at turning (compared to huge kites with small maybe wake TT's - that is different of course and the big ones turn way faster)
The real bummer about the big kites is - IF the wind picks up just slightly - you are almost stuck with no fun at all, compared to a tad smaller kite where you can do ANYTHING (better control, easier upwind, higher jumps, better in waves etc etc)
I am sometimes using 10meter extension lines in extremely light conditions - then you can still go, and jump fine, and can be shortened in a jiffy if wind is picking up ever so slightly.
Of course the bigger ones has slightly more steady pull, yes, can not be denied of course - but I still dont like it, not even if going straight for a while, because of all the downsides
Others like huge kites in low wind - so simply a matter of taste and how you kitesurf and what you do out there