I realized based on the 14m review post that there's not a ton of reviews oriented to the 12m Roam Aluula with a focus on mostly surfboard riding. I've had the kite for roughly 9 months now and probably 50 sessions on it. I would say the split is roughly 85/15 surf to foil. Here's a quick review and comparision to non-Aluula 12m Roam (I had both generations previous).
Initial Physical Observations:
-Extremely light obviously, I didn't think it was a kite when first delivered, actually ignored the box. It's a significant difference in weight.
-Durability - I tomahawked it pretty bad on the beach one day when I got crossed up on a kiteloop, no issues. I will say the material seems to grab sand a bit more, but that's the only other observation I have. Bridles, connections, etc. all solid. I've also dumped it in the waves a few times, no issues.
So.......what's the significant increase in performance between the non-Aluula and Aluula? I think ultimately the cost/benefit analysis comes down to how many sessions will it save/give you? If you are foiling most of the time, it is a signficant upgrade, I think that's been covered, but what about on a surfboard in waves? My primary observation on advantage is two areas:
-Upwind: I can outpoint and create a better angle to get upwind far better than on my non-Aluula Roam. I had a bit of time with both kites and it was pretty significant.
-Slack/Drift, so the other big thing is when I slack the lines going down a wave it drifts better and floats with me better. The Roam is a pretty good kite at drifting, better than the Prodigy, and far better in my opinion than the Flite. The Aluula just makes it even better.
-Low End: I think in gustier areas, it will definitely help cover the lulls. It's not going to be a noticeable difference in power, but better coverage on the lulls.
-High End: I think it has a bit more bar pressure than the non-Aluula kite, but I also have had no issues holding it down in higher winds.
-Overall Range: I covered it on the low end/high end, but to give some context, I'm roughly 175 lb/78kg, and ride a 5'4" Hydroshort. It's kinda pointless to give wind ranges because of so many variables (rider skill, current, etc.).
Ok, so should you buy it? I would say it's kinda like the upgrade to the Stick Shift bar, at first I didn't really see the significance. Then after a few sessions I started understanding that I could dump power without changing my stance which helped a ton coming into the flats on waves with the SS. Now, in waves, it's all I use.
Similar to Aluula, in waves on a surfboard there are little nuances that make it hard to go without once you are used to it.