actually Peter it's just about the opposite with the clouds at least. The sweep of the LE and the large wingtips keep the CG back enough I think.
When the AOA is too low, from sheeting out or from unstable wind, the area behind the LE luffs, making more drag, as this happens, the kite moves back into in the window and the luffing decreases a little. Sheet in and the whole canopy makes lift again, plus drag decreases, and the kite moves forward in the window, powering up.
This can happen pretty fast and probably helps resist Hindenburg or inversion problems. It's used to advantage in waves, because it is very hard to run under the kite on a wave, just sheet out and the kite drifts really well.
One time in really light dying wind, maybe 3-4 knots, I tried the silly stunt way of landing, unhook leash and bar and throw them downwind to force a hindenburg crash. I figured the kite would land within a few meters downwind of me (I once saw a video of someone doing this and actually catching the kite I think. stupid stunt but funny.)
The Cloud? Nope, it sailed downwind almost a full line length, not even rolling over until it was a few meters from the ground, and when it rolled, it rolled sideways.
Definitely not nose-heavy.
I had to scramble to retrieve it before it drifted into something!
The fellow saying relaunch is bad I don't agree with completely.
You can create situations that make it hard to relaunch, but you can also avoid them, and the clouds are very easy to keep in the sky anyway.
It is true though, you don't want to leave the cloud sitting in the water in a funny position a long time, because it will get water on the canopy.
If the kite is LE down and the canopy droops into the water, letting water pool onto the top of the canopy, normally no problem, tension backline on one side and that side will start to fill with air, which will roll the water part farther and farther to the other wingtip, draining it in the process.
Sometimes if the kite is oddly positioned water can get in a big pocket behind the LE.
This is usually easy to fix though, just haul in lines on one side until the kite is diagonal or parallel to the wind, the water will drain away to leeward. Then launch as normal.
I only have a 17m cloud, it would be fun to have a 12 and 9 also.
The 17 is so smooth and good to fly in its proper range, nice floaty jumps in 12-15 knots, really fast turning, great drift, and riding fast with apparent wind in really low wind, etc.
If the wind is higher, a smaller size cloud would be right in its sweet spot.
I suspect the main frustration folks have is starting a session with the c1 17 or 13 and having the wind pick up to where they are overpowered.
It's definitely not like having an edge or switchblade a little overpowered.
Bar pressure becomes strong and if you tire of holding it and sheet out a lot, the kite flaps.
Sheet out a far and it becomes sluggish in steering.
But really what do you expect at 18 knots from a kite that gets on the water almost as early as a a 21m Speed?
Me? I switch down to a 13. Or even a 9 with a surfboard.
The other frustration that may occur is dealing with it being a different kind of kite, definitely as different as a C from a bow, maybe almost as different as a foil from a LEI.
The handling and relaunch, feel, etc, are all just different.
Not hard to master though.
I really don't know if my next kite will be strutless though.
The 17 gets rid of most of what I didn't like in other big kites -weight, bulk, slow turning, long time pumping etc. These things aren't problems with small kites, so for the 9 and under sizes it is just down to preference and exactly the right feel for the rider, in my view. Would I prefer a 9m Cloud to a 9m c4? A 9m rally? REO?
Don't know, haven't tried yet.
The big question for me is what I'll get after my 2011 13m c4 goes. That one is still very good for me and fairly versatile. I think I may find a personal size where I'd like to break my quiver between kite types, but not sure yet if it should be around 12 or around 9.....