I think it is fair enough to make ones own choices, but I am also a little weary about going with what someone who has ridden a kite for 20 minutes..but have a lot of experience on another kite.
It is all valuable information, but I think kites that are more similar is easier to give an evaluation after only a short run.
I was running Cloud for 20 minutes as a try-out from friendly individual. It was the same thing you could do on your local beach organized by kite shop, "do you like the kite and consider the purchase". It is the first impression kite marketing. I did not try safety and relaunch because it was not a demo kite by shop.
I just wanted to know how strutless feels and does it generate power. After 20 minutes I quit trying, it has not got enough power for me in this wind and I am not having fun testing it. Maybe +2m/s more wind and I'd have ridden it for 2 hours (if I was allowed). But kiting for me is not about suffering. Kiting for me is about riding and jumping hopefully with afterburner. For that you need power more than agility. And feedback and feel from the kite.
I wanted to share my experience Cloud vs Speed because I've experience with Speed3s since 2010 and I've owned them all (12-15-19-21). Now I have just the 15 which suits best on sweet spot-wise in local winds and it is agile compared to 21. I think it is optimum for my kiting preferences with local conditions. And I am waiting to see/test what larger Speed4s are bringing to the table, that is why I sold my 21 this spring.
The owner of Cloud was also suffering on his own twin tip. I did not check his board model and dimensions. Barely holding ground or slightly downwind but he was first summer kiter so on skill and touch level he probably has much to improve. But after testing my Flydoor XL under his feet he could immediately ride his kite and go upwind. So for lighter rider Cloud performed and had enough juice when twin tip was fast enough. But imagine what he could have done with my Speed probably even with his normal board.
PMU knows, ignore the lies. I interpret this thread that it is Cloud-based pimping that Cloud could perform like 21. I second SupaEz that you should compare power levels of Cloud probably with Speed3 12DLX. 12 is funfactor-wise (acceleration and agility) totally different thing from 21. I estimate that if I could downwind plane with Speed4 10m I probably could have had mathworks kiting with ground holding with Speed3 12. Similar to Cloud.
As I mentioned downwind planing with Speed4 10DLX which I tested immediately after giving Cloud back to its owner and getting my Flydoor back from his counter-test. All beach watchers were betting against me "you cannot plane with 10 meters" and lost. In my country there is a 50kg woman which rides Speed4 8m when others use 15-21m sizes (all kite models). So for her even 8m is considered as light wind kite.
Unfortunately my GoPro battery had died on my session with 15 so I was only able to get short 15-20s clips until camera turned itself off again. I'd have loved to share what happened when I tried to jump the Cloud, and also self-video-analyze what went wrong
. *pufff* and mighty 20cm of height.
A teaser about power levels of Speed 3 21 to which the Cloud 17 is compared on this topic: similar wind, air/water temperature and same board and rider with same beach spot but just 2.5 years earlier and me less experienced. It was my first water session with my 21. With Speed3 21 I could get aquaplaning on upstroke after reverse relaunch, that is POWER. And I've kited 21 comfortable at 13m/s (26 knots) that is wind range. No way with Cloud based on my yesterday experience.