well, lots of silly words here but some good thoughts and perspectives, too.
First, I'm gonna defend the clouds a little:
When you see a guy dive a Cloud and pull on a bar but instead of pull it delivers him a show of wingtips coming close together a-la underinflated kite it doesn't build ones confidence.
there is a point here, but you are describing a guy without good kite skills. and probably underinflated, too.
loop it and it flutters like a piece of crap and doesn't deliver loop power you say "meh" yet again.
if it flutters that much rider is doing it wrong. same rider as above?
As foil/wave kite, it is designed to give gentle loops. does the rider know what he is doing? choosing the gear for it? horses for courses.
And last you see a guy on 5-strut Airush of same size to get going in the same conditions, next to the poor underperforming Cloud and all you can say is
there goes a good kiter on a heavy old kite and a clueless punter with a cloud...
All this is timely and funny for me to read as I just got back from a trip with my 7 9 12 clouds, surfboards and hydrofoil, with some friends who flew various kites including cab apollo 16m, rpm 14, and flysurfer speed 18, ozone chrono (17 or 18?) and LF solo 17.5 as lightwind options, and rode surfboards and twintips. Everybody had issues at times, since nothing is perfect.
The flysurfer sometimes needed a ground crew to help get it untangled, inflated and launched. It lured a couple of people out into dying seabreeze resulting in upwind walks.
The chrono also didnt come out of the bag until the wind was below 8 knots, and not a lot happened with it.
My 12m cloud had pigtails that didn't trim right with my new lineset, and a leaky valve (maybe my tuning issues more than the kite's, I guess.). And of course the cloud was worse upwind than the flysurfer.
The apollo made great power and upwind in light air but wasn't too fun in a tight lagoon since it turned so slow the rider had to use half each tack preparing for the next turn, it seemed. Also the apollo, though slow, if not sent across zenith fast enough, would lift the rider right off his strapless board, even in what must have been 8 knots. The comment about cabrinhas not being light enough is funny, especially since the clouds are sewn in the same loft and cabrinha is a subsidiary of the loft's owner. You would think if they wanted/needed to make them lighter, they could figure it out.
Maybe cabs aren't light enough, but 2 of the other riders who I shared fun 10-12 knots sessions with were on 12m cabs.
No one was powered the whole time, but the switchblades and my 12m cloud (lines tuned etc) both did fine.
My last session was with 12m cloud and 30m lines on the foilboard in 8 knots, no one else was even trying. It worked fine.
I also had a few runs in light wind with a sweet potato, controller fins and 12m cloud -more practical than the foil at the main spot which had only narrow lanes of deep water.
A punter/bar tugger would have been hopeless with the clouds, the ram airs, or the foil, and God hep him if he dropped the apollo in the water in <10. Again, nothing is perfect.
And light wind is not the easiest sailing.
The good old rpm 14 of course was great in lighter wind, to a point, then gravity took over at about 11 knots, just wants to sink. built like a tank.
The solo 17.5 worked well for its rider, but not for me (20kg lighter). One day i tried it overpowered and one day underpowered. Both time the turning was sluggish, at/over top end it just drug me, at bottom end it offered not advantage over 12m cloud + surfboard, though it would have beat any 12m and a normal twintip. in general its slowness to answer to bar input was annoying. But for the 110kg-ish rider it worked great from 12-18 knots with surfboard and twintip.
Probably I should have jumped on my foilboard with the FS one ultralight day at the beach but there was a shorebreak and I didn't want to risk tearing it up....
just a little recent perspective for y'all to chew on as you consider light wind options...
and sorry this post is not completely about hydrofoils, but it's relevant in that you will often end up riding in paces that are not foil friendly when the wind is light or up and down, or your confidence in the wind is low.