I have not liked any of Mr. Chiu's previous offerings, although I have not flown the Soul standard. But, overall, I did like the Vented Soul.
8 pictures start with the hyperlinked photo below:
I flew the kite on a couple of different occasions, with winds ranging from about 8-20mph and bumpier than a teenager's face the night before prom. Flew on 75 foot lines and 110 foot lines.
Protected bridle line in rub areas
Fold-in standoffs for nicer packing
Nice nose work and attention to snag areas
Nice tensioning of the leading edge
Chamfered edges of spars
Bag actually protects the kite with inherent stiffness
The dual yoyo stoppers can be turned out of the way when flying team.
Kite Hanger Rod (really)
Shorter Interchangeable Standoffs a little too short
Kite Bag Just A Touch Too Short (maybe it's just me)
Stitchwork on keel and nose area (kite tattoo sort of)
Bag needs a pocket for all the stuff.
Bag takes up a lot of room in a kite bag.
Kind of pricey (Wow, I could have had a BMK).
The yoyo stoppers turn out of the way too easily.
The kite tracks quite well and is set from the factory for a medium rate turn. No spin stalls or cool tail dragging corkscrews with this one. The kite picks up speed very quickly up above say 12 mph. There are 8 openings, but only one on each side is closable and I found little difference with that flap in or out. The frame started shaking a bit around 15 mph in the power zone. Maybe that's what Dynamic 15 rods mean, which is what the matching text (really, only us anal types will even notice) on the LS says. I would say the kite's useful range is 8-15 mph with a sweet spot around 10-12 mph. I would think of this kite more like a fast, heavy standard than a vented. The leech line is useless. The kite is silent and fast whether the leech is on or off. Must be all that reinforcement.
If you've seen my VF entries, you know I'm a hacker so I'll give you my hacker thoughts. I felt the best tricks were the pitch based moves, without being overly prone to falling over on its back like a 4 bit prostitute. I could flic-flac the kite in 12 mph winds, while only losing very little altitude and walking forward slowly. Very nice. Yoyos in wind were there for me from an over-rotated JL move. I even got that forward yoyo rollup twice (and I totally suck at those tricks (don't even know what they're called)). Two-pop cascades looked pretty snappy in strong wind. Spin tricks looked weaker than I would like, but we are talking winds over 10 mph. Backspins are of the modern barrel-roll variety. The right yoyo stoppers kept rotating backward way too easily during regular flying and the shorter outer standoffs would pop out of the LS connectors on a regular basis. I much preferred the longer outer standoffs, which look like they are a match for the inner standoffs.
CONCLUSION: I liked the kite within it's rather narrow wind range. For winds in the 10-14 range, tricks and tracks are there for the taking. But, this is a fast kite at those speeds, so for me, the tricks were at the edge or coming in from the center down. I had trouble killing the speed. The frame vibration surprised me considering the beefiness of the frame. Oh, I also liked how it looked.
More later, if something else hits me.