Alrighty I have this buddy and he only spends very little on his kite gear. A kite can be 50-150 bucks tops and pretty much 2006 onwards. He keeps telling me that the gear is fine and I am crazy for spending so much on my gear. My last attempt was to convince him to buy a relatively new kite for 25 knots onwards/storm sessions since he wants to get into looping and boosting big, his response: nah I have two 7m, got them both for 150.
Now what's the deal guys, can you use old gear that is in good shape just aswell as new gear? If I am not compeletely off here then a 2006 kite, even if it is "like new", should get you in weird situations more easily than a superceeded new kite from a couple years ago. Cruising on a huge flatwater section or a lake, alright I'll get it, doesn't matter too much if your gear goes boom but on the ocean I would be terrified with that material - maybe this is the marketing working overtime but the thinking pay a bit more and get a bit more quality is definitely a virus I can't shake.
Now the last time I went kiting with the guy we had 13 to 16 knots on a lake and he busted out a 12m kite with 7 struts, middle strut was leaking but hey: still have enough struts. I was enjoying the early morning session on my 12m, wasn't much wind but it worked good. After 30 minutes I was looking for him and he was in a wind shadow and I towed him back to shore. The day before the wind was very soft, maybe 11 to 13 knots, some people were on 13m kites and were able to at least not drift downwind. He busted out a 16m and couldn't go upwind, was stuck in another wind shadow and had to swim back in - now this day was weird so can't put too much weight on it but I told him: listen I'll believe in your strategy if I see you more kiting than swimming