Agree 100 % plummet.
My point was, that it is a mental thing, and many believe so much in their gear that they DONT think about it.
Whereas some with used gear and experience are thinking more about the risks, and not taking chances going too far, or risking getting offshore because of the spot and wind direction.
Having said that, I do the same as you, use my new gear for heavy conditions indeed, and more flurry stuff for hydrofoiling or less risky conditions.
What I see is, that most dont EVER think about what could happen if they get a failure, or even if they just by accident released to the flagout line or the loop got twisted when going toeside and pops out.
Sometimes it is not easy or possible to reconnect, maybe you will drift/blow to an offshore point, maybe with less wind, and now it is not possible to relaunch...
This is not when kiting alone, as otherwise I would never see this.
But when I talk to them about this very issue afterwards, they say "oooh, you are right, thanks" or something.
What happens with many though, is they dont give it a thought whatsoever when they are adrenaline high and out.
So even if they KNOW what not to do, they forget when having fun.
This will also apply to the same riders when out alone, and here it gets really risky of course
I also take chances myself now and then, where I know it will end really bad if something went wrong in that very instant, which I think we all do, just a matter of WHERE our limit of risk taking is.
That could be things like riding just windward close to a huge rock jetty in rough weather or similar
Quite rare you see an equipment failure though, and that is why it gets risky, as those who have never experienced this, nor an acciendental flag out release, have no idea about the risks when they ride, and many take this "unawareness" with them when they ride alone.
If you have had some failures during the years, you will most likely know the risks, and take better care and precautions.
Also, with experience you will know HOW much the weather can suddenly change, also a parameter overseen by most.
Unfortunately this does not go for everyone as said, as some of us gets so excited we forget once out
That goes for everything else too, not kite specific, yes.
Major problem is, even when not alone, you can not rely on others being able to see you, so sometimes one should ride like out alone even when many - in order to have a chance of getting rescued because some calls the coast guard chopper.
Most of our wave spots are without any houses, so not a chance that someone not kiting will see you either...
In reality the rescues happening most often is not at wavespots, as close to shore, the breaks, only at the risky ones where you end offshore yes.
But the race foilers are "bad" in this respect, as they ride out many miles when alone, and if the wind dies or any other failure, they have to swim ashore.
This is in the cold winter close to the freezing point, mostly totally new gear (when racing), so one example.
Many got a mobile inside their suit for this very reason, and get picked up by local rescue boats then, on occasion.
OR, they pack the foilkite down, put it on the board and paddle towards shore - but then some has called the rescue because they have seen one "out there in trouble", eventhough he/she is not.
This happens quite often, also at wavespots - bystanders not knowing got no chance of judging when in risk or not, it can be really close to shore almost able to walk in, and still some will call the rescue.
Of course better than a lost life, indeed, but most often it is ridiculous in these situations (actually ALL situations I've seen or heard of when close to shore)
Not saying one should be extremely careful, no reason to be a sissy, and this is individual choice.
Just that many got no clue whatsoever and ride like a gear failure or weather change can never happen