Just came back from a week in Cocos Keeling Islands. Really great spot. Mainly used my 10 Nitro5, 12 Nitro 3 (leaking strut) and the one morning had 12-18kts wind and put up the new Helium 18m2 for the first time since buying it about 2 months ago.
Only the one session but really nice spongy ride. Borrowed my buddy's 14 Nitro 4 a few sessions and the 18 has the same steering as the 14. Did a few kiteloops and she turns very fast for such a big kite. Really enjoyed this kite on its maiden voyage. Only had a 3 hour session with the Helium but I am stoked.
On longevity...both my 8 and 12 Nitro 3s have issues with the bladders where they delaminate on the strut valve. Also noted that the Bridle lines on the leading edge are very frayed on the 12. Bit of a bummer since the 12 is the go-to kite at Cocos but luckily my buddy shared his 14 which led to a few interesting overpowered sessions.
Reckon its time for a new 12, Switch of course