I've been using the 9 a lot - mostly as I sold my 12 to a client and we are waiting for more - mine is on the waiting list - They sold out europe wide and it takes a while for the production to catch up... I'm not saying this to aid promotion - but most importers were cautious at the start of the season and the fact is they were very well received - well enough that opening orders were immediately sold.
The 12 is quick, and fantastic in light winds (speaking as an intermediate level foiler). Since I lost the 12 though, I've had to use the 9, and I've been using it over the 12m 3 strut tube kites I have in light winds, as it's much faster and more stable in sub 9 knots. With an early foiling setup it's enough, and I have had some very light sessions indeed.
I have another good friend who is a very capable foiler and owns a quiver of clouds, some flyfurfer foils (new gen) and he has my second Ultra 9 demo. He likes all the aforementioned in their own way - but says that the tube kites give him greater freeride potential, and the Ultra's jump ability pips the Cloud for him if he were to choose a one model only option - but everyone has a different shopping list for sure... I'm certainly happy with the Ultra as coming from performance high wind tubes, they handle beautifully considering the wind we expect them to excel in..
Here are two vids, both of my demo 12 before I parted company - basic foiling vids with some friends who (like many) are just learning their way into the discipline. It gives you an idea of how they fly and what they look like in the air. Please don't slam the action - the majority of riders are new to this discipline, and expert ability aside, this is for me where the Ultra will steepen the progression curve significantly (certainly has to me).
We took a demo 12m Ultra out to Portugal in July, (one of our group trips we run there every year) thanks Mike!!.
Up till that trip I was happy with any regular 12m 3 strut kite but from day one it proved to be invaluable to the extent we begged to buy it on our return (thanks again Mike ), the stability in very light winds is simply amazing, really quite inspiring.
When your venturing out on a foil board in sub 10knots you need to have the utmost confidence in your kite, I'd also be keen to have at least one strut (rather than a non strut kite) in aiding the relaunch in the kite should you make a mistake in crashing it, this did actually prove it self on more than one occasion. The kite drifts so well in the lulls with no sign of it dropping like any "normal" kite!
The kite obviously packs down tiny too, making it an awesome travel kite too, mine went in one half of my holdall still with space in that half for wettie etc etc
I'd love to try the 9m too, I think this would make an amazing kite for wave and foil
Before this trip I was able to go back and forth but lacked both the skill and confidence on the foil to even think about carving around to toe side or gybing etc the combination of the P foil Shinn Jackson and the 12m Ultra was amazing and aloud me to have many days out with pretty much to just two of us out each session. It gave me the confidence to down loop the kite when gybing etc something that terrified me on other kites!
The aerial shots on the video below are all of my wife who was learning on the foil and again this kite aloud her to go out in the lightest of winds (she rarely uses bigger than a 9m normally) but was loving the 12m Ultra
After an early session with the FS Race 15 the wind picked up a bit and I finally could fly the Ultra 9 again. How much more fun you've got with a kite you can literally place anywhere and give or release power instantly! I didn't dare down-loop the FS Race to gibe yet, even with 21 m lines! - I really don't want to make my brand new kite wet. With the Ultra, no problem looping it, even when the kite is already low; it turns on a dime. Probably deserves the name Pivot more than Naish's kite . Who cares going 15 degrees better upwind if you're not a racer and looking just to enjoy yourself and improve your moves with such ease?
The ideal size for average conditions in Sanur would be a 12. That's what I want now!
If there's anything that could be improved with the next Ultra version (particularly the bigger sizes), it could be to make it less of a delta kite, so as to move its center of gravity further back. It might lose a bit in relaunchability but wouldn't have the tendency to drop when low in the window in light wind. I down't know how the drift would be affected, on the other hand.