During most of the year my main sport is windsurfing, but in winter I switch to snowkiting. Windsurfers, usually have wrong impressions about kiting. For example wind gusts and change in wind direction can cause even more problems for kite than for sail, but you can fly kite higher where wind is not so gusty. Wind direction, 15m high can be different then at ground level, which can give you incredible pointing in one direction, compared to the ground wind. Generally, with kite you have to think about wind in three dimensions not only two.
I have 9.3m foil kite with depower and I use it only if wind is less than 25kn. Once I pulled safety too late and safety insert which can take more than 120 kg snapped. Kite in strong wind can develop enormous power, as can you see if you follow this link:
In Luderitz speed challenge, kiters are using 7m kites in 45kn wind, but even the best have accidents:
At the end of this video you can see what can happen in 45kn wind if kite goes out of control:
Kiters have taken world speed record again from Hydroptere and are approximately 6 kn faster than windsurfers. But in Leucate Orange Speed Crossing this year, 12 best windsurfers were racing against 12 best kiters, best kiter was on place 10. Of course we all now who would win if Hydroptere would compete at this race.
Check this links:
Modern kites have better safety and depower, but this works only with kiter, if he makes mistake, even the best kite will not be enough to save him. If kiters are now going out in 30 or 40 kn wind thatís not only because kites are getting better, but also because kiters are getting better.