I spent a month on Maui kiting from the end of June to the end of July. At that time Peter Cabrinha and the crew were using there Crossbows. They looked quite amazing. But more importantly there range was phenomenal!!! I also saw a new member of the Cabrinha team who actually at that time was riding for another company use the kite. This young man was able to do things with the kite that had not been seen even by the Cabrinha team. He is a phenomenal kiter but when he jumped he was going very, very high. I have NOT seen a regular LEI or air ram kite go this high. Not to mention that he would hang at the apex of his jump for a couple of seconds, then just flutter down to the water very softly. The reason I wanted to bring this up was I have read many reviews claiming that the kite does not jump high. It takes a while to learn how to truly sky these kites and I doublt that a average kiter is going to do this first time out. I have seen the potential of these kites and they are going to drastically effect the evolution of kitesurfing.
I have rode my 12m three times and my impressions are that they are very different and require some adaptation. More imput on the bar is required and I feel this is more like windsurfing where you need to sheet in the boom in order to be driven forward. I am kiting very conservatively as I am only into my 5th week of recovery from two broken ribs. I will spare you readers about all the detail regarding the kites handlling as they have been written many times before. One area that I am curious about is how these kites are going to stand the rigors of time. I had a quiver of 2004 Slingshot Fuels and they appear to be built quite well compared to Naish, Caution, etc. Cabrinha has had problems in the past with quality control so I hope they have worked things out on that front.
In the end the consumer/rider will make the decision on whether these kites work for them as they are not cheap. But I imagin as other companies come on board with similar designs the price will hopefully fall.