So a summary of ways to handle gusty variable wind conditions would include:
- Dynamic parasite drag to control speedup during gusts using a buzzing TE
- Bendy frame (LE) that lets the sail dump excess wind
- Small or variable vents to take the edge off the gusts
- Screens to slow the gusts and/or the kite
- Longer heavier lines
- Bridle and standoff tweaks
- Waiting for better conditions
- Finding a better field
- Having a beer instead
The best approach would depend on your purpose. Competition ballet or pairs would put a premium on speed control.
For me I want to be able to fly my favorite kites is as broad range of conditions as possible. Vents, screens, standoff tweaks, and perhaps a bridle tweak gets me through most higher wind and gusty days. As mentioned my kites have fairly stiff frames, Icarex sails, and taut TEs. I find bendy frames tend to chatter in higher winds. I like quiet kites though certainly see the value in dynamic drag. YMMV certainly applies.
Other ideas out there?