First post, although I've been lurking for a little bit on and off. I couldn't find a "Rules" post in the stickies, so forgive me if this type of post is frowned upon, I'd imagine the "A compared to B" posts can get old kind of quick. Mods: If this is considered taboo please delete it, sorry for the work.
I'm a rather new kiter, been for a couple week long kite trips but seem to chase the wind away more often than not (skunk bait). Have gone out a few times in Hatteras, Dominican Republic, and now will be based out of Grosseto Italy for the summer. At this point in my learning progression, I've started to reliably make it upwind then get to do a mini downwinder to my launch point at the end of a session, very rarely dropping the kite in the water unless I'm trying something new. After my last outing at Hatteras I've completely caught the kite-bug, and figured it's probably time to set up a quiver of my own and get out on the water more often.
I've been looking at what gear to buy, and seem to have kind of closed in on the Core Riot XR3, or the Airush Lithium line of kites. Seeing as I haven't really gotten too wild yet I'm not exactly sure of my future kite style, although I can say that watching older videos seems to peak my interest more than the modern "wake style" stuff (I'm generally not much of a buck wild freestyle individual). Has anyone ridden both and have any thoughts on the comparison, strengths and weaknesses, advice, or even other kites that you think I should consider instead? Being an engineer-head I seem to be attracted to the German-designed Cores, but please do tell me if I'm headed in the wrong direction.
I've been demoing different kites (new slingshot RPMs, a Naish sigma thing, a FOne delta, a RRD Obsession years back), but run into the problem that I still become a better rider every time I go out, so obviously my favorite kite is the last one I rode.
While I'm at it I should probably ask about sizing as well. I'm 65kg, 145 lbs, and 5'6 or so. I'm based out of Boston normally, but Castiglione della Pescaia/Grosseto Italy for the summer and will probably be moving here within the next few years (for a hopeful automotive engineer Italy certainly has its perks
). I've asked around at the local kite beach and they claim a 20 knot thermal, with sometimes higher winds, but since I've been here I've witnessed one day like that and mostly 10-16(ish, hard to estimate without a gauge) knot thermal days. I was trying to get away with 2 kites if I could, so was thinking an 8 and an 11 or a 9 and a 12? Probably the former?
Lastly, again in the interest of post consolidation, board recommendations would be very appreciated. I'm building a plywood lightwind board so maybe something a little smaller than my planned 140x40?
Sorry for the long post, thanks for reading if you made it through! Have fun and hope to see you on the water!