After many years of windsurfing, I moved to a shallow, light wind spot so I decided to learn how to kiteboard. I thought that in lighter winds I'd be able to get out more often than on a windsurfer.
The reality was that I needed about the same amount of wind to get out on my 8m sail and wide board as I needed to comfortably kite upwind on my 12m kite.
I could have gotten a bigger kite to lower the wind threshold, but the reality simply didn't match up to my expectations, so after a couple of seasons, I've decided to pick my sailing locations well so I have enough depth of water and switch to Formula and a bigger sail for light winds.
1) When it is below 12knots, I don't see kiting as fun. Sure, you may be able to go on a big kite, but if the wind drops slightly and your big kite drops, chances are you'll be swimming in.
2) If something breaks, your will be swimming in.
3) Easy jumping is not for me. Those guys boosting big air next to the beach don't impress me. Go out to the reef break and carve up some waves and you may get my attention. But, even then, I still think wavesailing and surfing are better sports to watch and participate in.
4) It takes just as long to rig a kite on the beach as it does to rig a sail. The kite takes more space to rig.
The only benefit to kiting, in my humble opinion, is that it is easier to travel with. I'm not going to choose a sport based on what is easier to carry around in my car, or what looks cooler in trunk. I'm going to choose the sport based on what is more fun to do! I wonder how many kiters find an excuse to open the trunk of their car on a first date to show off their gear?
Windsurfing is safer and more fun in heavy wind, in medium wind they are about equal in fun, and in light wind windsurfing may actually be more fun than working the kite and swimming home.
In really light wind, just go surfing!