Mactnka... I work for Ocean Rodeo so take what I have to say with some skepticism but I also encourage you to continue to research what others are saying about the Flite as it has been a runaway winner for us this past year with many people describing it as the best light wind kite available.
Anyway, here's some answers - straight from our designer Ross Harrington.
MACTNKA wrote:I was curious about the low end with a non light wind specific twin tip and top end? Also responce speed at the bottom end? I weigh 175lbs. Thanks!
The 17m Flite was made with its draft quite far forward. This essentially means it wants to pull forward into the wind and pull you upwind as a result. There are 2x benefits to this, obviously the 1st is that in light wind it will help keep you upwind. The 2nd though relates to your question, with many light wind kites the designer has only built a kite with a lot of "shape" to catch the wind. This results in a grunty feel but also results in a kite that is a real tank in higher winds and pulls you downwind. The Flite's draft allows the kite to continue to sail upwind in higher winds - giving it a much larger useful wind range than other light wind kites.
MACTNKA wrote:Should I even bother to get a Light Wind Kite or should I Look for a Race Kite like the edge?
The Flite has been designed specifically to be used with "fun boards" as he calls them. Basically, regular TT boards or surf boards. Race specific kites (which many people use for light wind) lack the initial grunt of the Flite and instead rely on their ability to generate power off apparent wind speeds (essentially, they pull harder the faster you start to move). Whereas the Flite has been designed to deliver immediate low end power (think torque) to get you up and going on a conventional TT board.
MACTNKA wrote:I had a 17m Core Riot Xr2, and was getting the same or better results with a smaller twin tip. The reason I sold my 17 was in Lulls the kite would drop out of the sky. What I was hoping when I sold it was that the Flite being full 2kg less heavy (3vs5kg) would stay up in lulls!
This is exactly right. The Flite is a full 30% lighter than our previous light wind kites and about 2kgs lighter than most other light wind kites. Most of this weight savings was in the Leading Edge which results in a kite which is much (much) less prone to "hindenburging" when hit by a lull.
Hope this helps. If you have any other questions post them here and I'll be happy to answer but I do also suggest you continue your own research as we are very confident with the comments and reviews you'll find on the Flite from other riders on this forum. (Specifically, the Average Joe thread
has about 40 pages of comments now, most all of them supporting the Flite as the choice for light winds).
John Z ~ OR