I had a chance to try a few different 2012 Airush kites today: 10m Lithium, 10m Varial X, and 9m Razor. Winds were 15-24mph, averaging around 19 or 20.. I was mainly riding a 5'4 Airush Compact Surfboard, and then pulled out a Best 134 twin tip for a bit too. I weigh 170lbs.
Overall, all three kites are very nice, but very different. I have been riding over 10 years, and used to be a C kite guy up until a few years ago...Since then, I've been playing around with different C hybrids... So, I like the feel of a C kite, but also like a lot of the features of a SLE or C hybrid, or whatever you call it these days... I like to have some good depower, but not so much that the kite falls out of the sky really fast if you let go of the bar.
Here are my thoughts:
9m Razor: Very solid feel, fast, but not crazy fast. Amazing depower for a C kite. Way more than I remember when I used to ride them. On my twin tip doing some wakestyle stuff, it was perfect. Tons of pop, great for unhooking, etc.. On my surfboard, it worked okay, but I couldn't park the kite and get enough power. I had to work it up and down, and then had plenty of power. It was probably more of a 11m Razor day, but it still worked. If I was a wakestyle guy 90% of the time, this would hands down by the kites I go with. You can't ask for a better kite for that style of riding.
10m Lithium: Just rode this on my surfboard. This has a pure delta feel to me...it is definitely solid, and has a good feel. It was very powerful compared to the 9m razor. I could park it and just go... In the turns, it is more of a pivot turn...a little bit of a lag compared to the Razor when redirecting the kite. Tons of depower, and you can pretty much shut off all pull with just a push of the bar. I can see why a lot of guys like this kite. A few other guys tried the other kites today, and a lot of them liked this kite the best. But for me, I just am not used to a delta type of feel(the pivot turns and tons of depower)..
10m Varial X: Rode with twin tip and surfboard. This was the perfect kite for me. It felt like a perfect blend of the Lithium and the Razor. It has a lot of depower like the Lithium(but not too much depower), and it has the direct feel of the Razor. It jumped great, turned with steady pull thru bottom turns, and just felt good. In the parked position, it didn't have as much pull as the Lithium, but had way more pull compared to the Razor. I could park and forget about it. Just very comfortable to fly. Also, it is a strong 10m. I cannot normally be fully powered on a 10m in the upper teens. Of the three I tried today, this was hands down my favorite.
I made a short 3 min video trying to show the Varial X in action. I will try to post it soon, if my internet cooperates...