JS wrote:. . . not to compete with inherently simpler, faster alternatives like race boards, but rather to create a safer, albeit lower performance alternative that allows more than one person to ride together, with minimal training. In other words, a simple kite boat... which might also act as a stepping stone for those who wish to advance to kiteboarding.
I actually had yachts and dinghies in mind, when I first invented this rigging system, and build dinghy-based prototypes as well
while I had lot's of fun building and operating them, the slightly to effortful launch and recovery procedure for the kite prevented me from even trying to commercialize the concept.
After having downsized it to a beach launch-able size I see much better chances, to turn this into a marketable product.
I haven't tried yet, but could most probably carry a passenger on the kite scooter prototype.
I am optimistic, that after some not too big amount of R&D this could be even faster than race boards (reasoning: +++no heeling moment allows for bigger kite size in same wind, ++more effective foils, --slightly more weight, --slightly more wetted area, )
The kite scooter, even my prototype, could be used as a stepping stone for kiteboarding, after having learned to safely control the kite one could immediately start riding and going upwind at ease.