Thought I should chime in with some thoughts on the 10m as well…
The 2012 10m is replacing my long serving 10m 2008 Rise. My other kites are a 6m 2008 Rise, and an 8m 2009 Rise. Before purchasing the new Razor I managed to log maybe a couple hours on the 2011 8m Razor. At this point, with only ~3 hours on the 2012, I can hardly claim to be an expert Razor rider, but can certainly let you know how different it is from the Rise.
I flew the 10m on factory settings the first day. The kite was definitely a lot faster than my old 10m Rise. As most now know, the loops on the Razor are quick, and very smooth. I was mildly surprised it wasn’t just a bit quicker though, but I chalk this up to the fact that I had only flown the 8m Razor previously, and of course it just shreds all over the window, looping like crazy. So for a 10m, this is quick right out of the bag.
Whether it’s because I’m a bit shorter or tend to have bad form, I found with the Rise I would sometimes find myself ‘squatting’ a bit, as when I sheeted all the way in the kite would start to drop back in the window and lose power. To compensate I would have to squat out a bit so as to hold edge but get the bar further away. With the Razor I can put all my weight right back and push my hips further forward for maximum edging power. With the bar right tight to the loop it holds form and still flies beautifully. Now I can lean back far enough to literally kiss the chop.
I found on the factory setting the kite was a bit (and this is mostly comparing it to the 8m 2011 Razor) slow to initiate the turn from neutral. However once the kite had traction and movement in it, it became extremely responsive and quick. Low end definitely seems pretty good. Although the high end isn’t what you get with the Rise, I was surprised at how easily the kite depowered and how much I could dump just through sheeting. I think the 2012 may have more top end than the 2011, but have no firm opinion on that as of now.
I changed to the ‘fast’ turning setting the 2nd day. It made the 10m feel nearly as fast as the 8m Razor, and compared to the 10m Rise, it looped seemingly twice as fast (and smooth). You definitely do lose some of that loft and glide from the Rise (which I absolutely love for a nuking day). But after some practice the Razor really jumps fantastically. I thought having to work the kite a bit while in the air would scare me a bit, but it has been less of an adjustment than I anticipated, and with the power delivery so smooth, continuing to learn to downloop landings on bigger jumps is going to be more fun.
This kite loops and turns so quickly when set this way that in some cases it was actually holding me back. Learning tricks that require big ‘truck driver’ loops of constant pull is a bit tricky with such a spunky kite. I am thrilled with the smooth power for such tricks, but am still adjusting to how to slow this sucker down through the loops. However this is mostly just something I’ll need to practice more. I prefer having the super speedy loops available and having to master slower ones, as opposed to previously not having the option of such quick and smooth loops.
Absolutely loving the 10m. I also think Brent has a good point:
The 10 is practically a one kite quiver for me, but I just cant sleep nights without having a small kite at the ready!
I think if I can swing it I will switch out my old 8m Rise for a new Razor. My only hesitation is whether to add a 6m Razor for the nuking days, or stick with a 6 or 7m Rise or equivalent SLE for those high and gusty winter winds. Just not quite sure how it will handle the really gnarly conditions. If it’s that windy I may not want be looping my kite twice a tack anyway, but we’ll see!
Like most of you, I’m amazed at how OR (and honestly, all good kite companies) manage to produce better and better kites every year. You’d think there would be a limit to performance gains on a tarp on some strings, but they just keep getting better, and not just tiny improvements, but quite considerable ones!