I think we misunderstand each other here Tom
My point is, the power vectors from the wing or kite when riding are the same, meaning you dont get less lift compared to pull, with a wing.
Again meaning, you can ride in more wind with the wing and have exactly the same absolute lift.
Some riding with a 4 or 5 m2 wing in 25 knots, well, that can be done easily on smaller foilwings with both a wing as well as a kite.
You can have the very same power using a wing, and if needed or desired, using a harness is easy, my friend did that here when he learned to wingfoil this winter, as holding onto the wing with thick gloves made it extremely tiresome - and we all know that when learning and also cold, fatigue comes faster, so a harness loop worked brilliantly for him.
Wingfoilers ride less powered usually, and having the bonus getting rid of the harness is awesome, as the harness connection is very limiting, just like when kitefoiling - if we could get rid of the harness and line in front of us, blocking agility, it would be great
But most likely not very balanced on a kitefoil.
And you can paddle out with your wingfoil, when not wearing a harness, a necessity in many conditions
Yes, the powerdive from the kite gives a lot more power on demand, no doubt, which is the main reason kitefoiling can be done in marginal winds.
But when riding, no difference.
In fact I would say you can momentarily get more lift to pull ratio with a wing than with a kite, which is one of the reasons it is possible to start foiling with such small wings.
As you can pump a wing, holding it very upright, and pumping the wings gives a lot in order to start foiling.
This is not possible with a kite, you can dive or loop a kite yes, but it will still only increase overall pull, but not the lift to pull ratio.
Okay, you can redirect the kite back and up like for a jump, but this is not beneficial for starting, as you get no forward pull.
Both types have the same way of sheeting power, no difference in this respect, when static.
Except for the wing being able to depower instantly so no run away mares like when kite hydrofoiling, where the kite still pulls like crazy if sitting deep and you have to fly it slowly to 12, or if you sheet out it accelerates thus for a while the same power, before depowering.
So if one wanted, easy to use a harness and ride with the same foilwings as we use for kitefoiling.
But as said before, that is not how it seems to balance very well, thus bigger foilwings are used for wingfoil, so more freedom with the wing and a balanced power
If one wanted to go fast, using a windfoil or a kitefoil is much more efficient also, so this implicitly gives the wingfoil the status of "being for fun" and not for performance, so seeking smaller wings and higher speed is not desired.
Only to some point of course, just like Gunnar uses a 1200 cm2 Onda for wingfoil when its windy, as it balances fine now.
No idea how gear choice will evolve and maybe change - time will tell, but it seems to work fine right now