Got to ride the new Thruster 8m on Friday. Winds were in the mid to upper 20's most of time, with a few gusts over 30 every now and then. Background on me: used to work in a kite shop over a year ago, but am back to the "normal" 8-5 business type job. Been riding since 2001 and have been on C-kites up until the past 6 months. Other kites I have demo'd over the past few weeks: 2008 Best HPs, Waroos. Also, I own a quiver of Royal ERAs. I tried to compare the Thruster to these as best I could. I only rode the 8m, so can't comment on the other sizes.
If anyone is interested, there is a review here:
http://www.extremekiteskiteboarding.com ... .php?t=984
The short version is: I am going to put in an order for a quiver of Thrusters. My riding style is a little of everything. I like to jump high, like to ride waves, do unhooked tricks, etc.. I've been looking for a kite that would do well in all these areas, and I think this is it. Plus, this year the construction looks bomb proof. They really went the extra mile in terms of making sure the kites are built tough. Being the jackass I am, I tried to do a huge fancy handlepass in front of a few guys that were watching me, and I missed the pass. By the time I came to the surface, the kite was still in the air but I couldn't get to the bar in time. It landed in front of a nice size wave(we had the hurricane passing by and had big surf for Florida)...the wave rolled the kite about 4 times, then another wave hit it, another one, etc... thought for sure the kite was toast and I was going to have to buy it...made it about 10 feet from shore, and was able to water relaunch it and it was still in one piece. I called it a day after that...