Yes- Unhooked has its days. Some days are more suited to it than others.
Along with kite characteristics there are many factors that come into play.
Wind direction .
Some days the unhooked style is very difficult and will not be the best choice.
Trimming the kite is also something many guys over look. There is a fine line.
Depower the kite too much you will not have enough power to get you down the wave and your kite will not go forward enough - having it over sheeted it will cause it to drift back too much and sometimes fall back wards.
When riding unhooked correctly down the wave you are always riding towards your kite making little adjustments allowing you to keep the right tension on your lines, . Keeping your kite in the same spot is a common mistake many make and this really limits the amount of turns you make and how you can maximize your canvas. Some wind conditions allow you to do 2-3 turns before re adjusting slightly.
If its done right your arm acts as a extended chicken loop .
There are many styles of riding waves and pivotal kites have there place.
Just look at Ian and Patrick they rip it to bits,
They ride hooked 99% of the time and really capitalize on their pivotal kites as they use the sheeting capabilities for power on or off from the long throw they ride with,.They use the fast pivot characteristic of the kite when needed to put them in the right spot.
I have chosen to ride unhooked as it is challenging and gives me freedom when going down the wave.It keeps things interesting and is rewarding when you get a good wave.
It takes time and a lot of practice. Different strokes for different folks . More time has to be invested in getting it to look half decent along with the right gear and conditions. This is why many guys stick to the hooked in style.
Starsky has hit the nail right on the head he is spot on with turning characteristics of a kite for unhooked riding. He has either invested some time him self or paid close attention to detail or both.
Thanks for your time.