Quick review - I've had the bar for more than 8 weeks, but before I could use it I broke my foot skateboarding and have been out of the water for 7 weeks. Luckily, I'm back in the water and have 2 sessions on it so far, here's some thoughts:
-Line Swivel - Love it, works like a champ, one of my bigger complaints of the older OR bars. I loop the kite only one direction, and on almost every tack when on a surfboard, so I'm using this quite a bit.
-Clean Lines - I'm guessing the engineering/testing process to come to this solution speaks volumes in that it took this long to create a bar/lines without something dangling above or below the bar. This is the biggest advantage I believe to this bar over a standard bar.
-Lines - Top quality, stepped up nicely.
- Bar - I have no issues with the size of the bar, good feel, pretty light considering the added weight of the knob/springs, etc.
-Design/finish - This is the best built OR bar to date, I've been through a ton of bars since 2010 from OR, and this one is extremely solid and clean.
-G Stop - Takes a second to get used to, but works well. I like it a lot better than the old design (which wouldn't work on the PU tubing anyways)
-Sidewinder: I'm slowly getting more comfortable with it. It's not difficult, just different when you are so used to a certain design. I toyed with it more than I normally would just to get the hang of it. My main worry as a lot of people have stated is rapidly changing the depower trim. If you hit a lull or get stuck in currents and need to rapidly power up, there's no ability to grab the trim and go fully powered at once. I did practice going fully depowered by bumping and letting it run, and no real issues there, but I want to see how it reacts if I'm way overpowered. From a safety standpoint - I'm not worried with not being able to depower quickly, it seems to work great, it's mainly powering up quickly.
Overall, I think it will play well with anyone on a surfboard as you can make quick, small adjustments on the fly. I'd be a bit worried giving it to a beginner who is used to a standard bar, as I could see someone inadvertently pulling too hard on the knob side of the bar and overcorrecting into a loop. Basically, the advantages outweigh any negatives for the intermediate to advanced kiter; having a clean view of the kite and being able to make quick adjustments on the fly is well worth learning to use the sidewinder in all conditions.
I'll update this post after some more sessions with a full, final review.