Thank you very, very much rowboat. I feel this discussion is best left among the riders so I've been staying out of it lately. But you address what I feel is a critical point that I'd like to add my comments to in the hopes that any riders considering these kites will have as clear as possible understanding.
The vast majority of riders that have gotten Clouds have understood and enjoyed it. I'm SUPER STOKED for this. My huge thanks to our riding community!
For the small number of riders that haven't appreciated the performance, I think there have been two main causes. Not understanding or accepting that the windrange is different from conventional kites. And/or assuming that since the depower range makes it possible to ride them beyond there intended range that the handling should still be the same into a much bigger useable windrange.
Impressions are always evolving. My current impression is that most riders will find the size of the useable windrange for the Cloud similar to most other kites around two meters bigger. Both for getting going in the low end as well as for getting overpowered in the high end. I'd love to develop one size kite with awesome performance in all winds but till I do I'm proud of unique performance of the Cloud within its intended range.
This is off the topic but while I'm on my soapbox: Since other brands have announced intentions to launch strutless kites there has been more discussion about the character of all strutless kites. Having flown a couple of these my feeling is clear that just as all kites with 3 (or 5 or 2 or whatever) struts do not perform the same, it is same for kites without struts. This is why I describe the Cloud's performance as unique.
During earlier development I had some different theories, but since flying some other strutless kites I now feel the absence of struts has its biggest affect on performance due to its effect on weight. There are infinitely many variable that will influence a kite's performance but my current thinking is that bridling for example plays a bigger role than strut-count. I'm as interested as everyone else in shorter and simpler bridles, but not at the sacrifice of performance. This is a whole discussion in itself that I could go on and on about, so I better leave it at that.
Thanks also to Dirk for reinforcing the ideal windrange for the 17.
Hope now that spring has sprung that more riders are getting more time on the water.