Hi Hann - thanks for asking. I've posted the answers to your questions below
hannhann00 wrote:1) are Foil racing kites "better/ faster" than the inflatable 'racing kites' for racing purposes? what are the main pros and cons (i assume the biggest drawback being if you crashed a foil kite in the water you can't re-launch)? Are there many other sectors of kiting where a foil kite brings much advantage over a traditional kite with the inflatable leading edge or are they mainly only used for racing?
Ram air kites are inferior to inflatables. They track upwind ok on windward legs, but are plagued by instability (collapsing etc) on downwind legs.
Their useable LIFESPAN for racing is actually quite SHORT. Bridle and canopy stretching means most ram air kites are uncompetitive after about 20 h of use. Sponsored pro's can afford to upgrade their gear regularly, but for average Joes, ram air kites are a poor investment.
Ram air relaunch and safety problems have caused such issues in races that BANNING ram airs was recently considered. Ram airs are significantly less safe compared to inflatables.
No - apart from windward legs in racing, ram airs are INFERIOR compared to inflatables in ALL other aspect of kiting. I'll post detailed reasons soon.