Mike Birt that was pleasantly informative - fascinating. I'm sure I can speak on behalf of others that there's no need to apologize for the length of your post(s), to the contrary, we're all here to share information and learn as much as we can from kiter's with experience or different experiences. You have a real-world way of explaining something, without the reader needing a degree in aeronautics.
Eppo and others, your input is equally informative, if not entertaining as well
Mike, I like your "depower is a privilege" and the lack of it in the old days. My hats off to you brave souls. This is what kept me windsurfing longer. I didn't fully understand what is really meant by a kite's top end and after listening to my friends, I don't think they know either. This is good info. Top end is reached when you no longer can effectively / safely control the kite in a given wind speed.
So different type of kite designs / kite models, perform differently at certain sizes and wind strengths. This makes sense. Pardon the windsurfing analogy but it's how I can relate in terms of your explanations' > we would change to different sails-models in relation to size depending on our weight, and our purpose - waves, racing, etc. Some sails performed brilliantly in size "a" but were a dog in size "b" or at least not as well.
Good stuff guys! I look forward to trying a Varial 6 m.