Downunder, you are right. Actually me included got a bit tired at some point with foil kites. Some years ago (actually quite many now
) those I used to use were getting out of tune and also had started to leak. I did quite a lot adjustment work then and earlier, even complete redesigns for the bridles, some with good and some with not so effective results.
With my own designs my principle has been simple: the less tuning the better. Of course Z tension has to be always adjusted, but if kite is a good design it flies well on its first flight. Mostly I look how clean the wing is - if it looks good and doesn't do any tricks it is all good. But I have had my share of not so good ones, then tweakings to save what can be saved has had to be done but unfortunately there is quite limited possibilities there.
You can trust me, after using some 100 hours to build a kite you really want it to fly acceptably, to be usable. And I have tweaked: bridles, mixers, pulley ratios, fixed line rows, internal strapping, airfoils, canopy curvature and even cell shapes
Never I have had to make things especially complicated because all kites I've worked with have responded to quite normal and straightforward methods of tuning (except the ones which leaked). One thing I've found useful when tuning is to have a helper to fly the kite, then it is easier to see from closer distance how kite looks like/flies in different parts of WW. However with experience you know quite well from how kite behaves what is wrong and what should be done.
I must say foilholio's explanations have many times be too weird and too confusing for me too. It is kind of strange because I think I should know how foil kites are manufactured and tuned after working so many years with them. Of course in reality basics of the foil kite bridles and mixer are not at all that complicated than it looks like after reading foilholios posts.
It seems like foilholio continues with his hazy explanations, no need for further comments.