Cars are extremely complicated machines with a huge number of moving parts. Kites - not so much. I have owned & flown the same brand/model kites from 4 consecutive years - not a noticeable difference in performance & certainly not in "safety". I have also had the experience a couple of times of buying a new model kite & finding it flew worse than the older version - very annoying.
There certainly have been improvements, but more like tweaking in the last 10 years. Most significantly, there are now a greater variety of kite styles available with more specialized characteristics - wave kites, foiling kites, singe strut, no strut etc. - that were not available 7 or 8 years ago. These are better for their intended uses than what older kites offered, but a good all-around kite from 7 or 8 years ago is still good IMO.
its the same with all kites , lei , foil depower , fixed bridle flexifoil blades, in the early days all of these kites were raw and in some cases scary , and tru the development they became "more useable", and softer in the power delivery , and bigger in the wind ranges
the main 2 kites I have flown are flexifoil blades , and flysurfer speeds, and with both types of kites the same applys , the early speeds are raw and powerful -the early speed 1's were the first great flysurfer's , and they became softer/more useable tru the mk's, and flexifoil blades are the same , mk 1's are very raw and powerful , with the blade 2 and 3's being the rawest and most powerful ,and are my favourites, absolutely fantastic to ride with and jump , and then the future blades became more useable , still great to jump with but easier to fly and handle ,and certainly better/simpler to learn on
- old kites don't relaunch well
- old kites don't resell well
- old kites are heavy and are not good for LW
- bar pressure on old kites might be a killer
- old kites didn'thave single inflation point
Have you tried ozone edge II (2008?)?
No, didn’t have a chance to fly that one. I flew later edge models and they’re awesome for upwind and boosting but suck for looping and drift. Nice higher aspect inflatable wing.
Was 2008 edge II a good model?
Old kites are fine, I still actively fly 2004 and newer, hard to find good 4 line c-kites these days. Right around 2005 is where c-kites were refined. There were a lot of bad pre-2003 kites, but there were some gems too.
I would say flying 2005 or newer kites with new bars is fine (that is what I do). Old bars were dangerous as the quick releases often did not work under load (or would release when unwanted).
2006 was the "depower" sle movement. Depower is overated. Most of the modern accidents are riders rigging kites that are too big for the conditions. C-kites don't have depower, you just rig the right size for the conditions. For those that complain about twitchy 2004 and newer kites, they probably aren't using the ideal bar configuration for that kite (i.e. undersheeted, depowerloop line too long, bar too long, flying lines too long). C-kites and forward flying sles, love flying fixed bars with a rooster ring, rock solid with no twitch.
There are a lot of bad sles and bad c-kites out there, but that is up to opinion. For example kites mentioned in this thread, I think the North Rhino (c-kite) and Best Yarga (EH designed c-kite) are great, but hated the Best Waroo.
Find classic videos of Lou Wainman and TopHat and try to convince yourself that old kites suck. Kitesurfing without chickenloops makes for the best style imo.
When in doubt, rig down in size. Understand your safety system, when in doubt, go to safety.