I used my 10m V9 in 20-28 knots & generally under powered & using no-depower.
At first glance, out of the bag, everything looks v similar to the V9, the bag is a little nicer, with better loops on the zips - personally I hate zips & would prefer older style rope fastening, as zips will always corode.
In the air & without load on the kite, the canopy doesn't look as sharp as the V8, it looks lower aspect and dare I say a bit "baggy" like the old & great Naish Park.
As soon as you power the kite up & dive it, you're instantly aware of more grunt and lower end power - it feels less "racy" than the V8 and more punch than even the V7 - overall it feels more freeride and less racy, which for me is perfect.
The kite has great Edge speed and boost - there is also a low end pop sweet spot with the kite, where it can take you by surprise how high you can go on a transition/pop jump - I didnt really get the chance to use much depower, but the kite easily handled a 28 knot gust and for me this is when the kite started feeling more boosty. I need to have a day of 35 knots + to see how the performance matches to the V9, but overall the kite feels more grunty, with more bar pressure (on middle/medium setting) and the turning was as smooth/fast as the V8.
Overall, for me the V9 feels more of a freeride kite than the V8 and less "racy" - time will tell how it compares in height, but speaking to Bully who has tested the 8m V9 in CT, he was very impressed with the boosting.
Friends who have the v9 are loving theirs including looping ability.
One friend reported:
"Back to back tested the v8&9 today the v8 is faster and jumps higher... but there's bugger all in it and the v9 feels gutless but is easier to fly."
On Saturday a friend was out on his 13m v9 whilst I was on my 17 v7 (love that kite). I personally found that my 13m v8 has a lot of crossover with my 17 v7, but felt the new 13 felt gutless in comparison set on middle setting and middle knot on the new bar. Having to ride it fully sheeted in (maybe a freestyle thing). As the session progressed he changed to shortest backbone setting, with a reported much better overall feel.
Tried my new 13m V9 today, wind was on the light side and was a bit underwhelmed really.
Felt a lot less powerful than V8. But at least the wing tips didn't fold when turning!
Hope to try it in better wind before long.
Had my first session on the 15m today. 16knots. Not as powered as I like to be, but still very good.
The Kite definitely turns faster than the V8. Which takes some getting used to, and also the depower is different. It feels like it is bridled a bit more forward then the V8.
In regards to lift and performance I would say that it has more jumping potential, as it gives you a better return on loading than the V8 does. This means you get more height if you load longer, and get more height for better technique. If you are just pulling on the bar to jump, then it might be a bit of letdown.
Basically In this wind I think I would not have had as much fun on the V8.