Nothing wrong with backing down when it falls apart!! Just try holding it as long as you can each time, when it falls apart, step forward and let it land! You'll find it easier to hold as you do it more!! Try adding a slide to keep it interesting!!
No bridles?? You trying to fly an Indoor, outdoor? Every outdoor Rev that I know has a bridle, unless removed! You would be well served to meet up with other fliers, let them check out your equipment, make suggestions, maybe let you fly some of their kites to compare! Good luck!
I can give you one exercise to practice recovering your field - take 1 stake and mark your starting point. Go upwind about 30-40' and put in another stake. Try to stay within the stakes, not just keep backing up! Get to the back stake, take the kite to the top, invert, and walk forward as much as you can. If you get back to the first stake - good! If not, take the kite up and do it again! You should, after a bit, find it very easy to stay within the stakes! 1 goal made!! Enjoy the ride!!
DVDs are nice, but not much takes the place of just going out and making it happen! Part of the learning process is figuring out what works (for you) in any wind range! The variety of frames, different sails, weight lines, size of handles, all play into the equation! In the end it's all about what works for YOU! Here on the Rev forum, Kitelife forum, or GWTW forum, you get ideas, but then you have to translate that into info that works for you! Only "time on lines" can do that! Even watching the DVD can only provide you with so much, the rest is up to you!
Don't worry - you're not alone!! Many anticipate only to be disappointed!! Keep hanging in there!!
Have you tried new longer top leaders on your handles? Most of us have them! We use them to adjust the sail's angle of attack into the wind! We shoot for a "neutral" a setting as the day's condition allows! There's info on them in other threads on the forum!
Equalize your lines!!! Take some time to check this!! Make all 4 lines as equal as possible to eliminate having the kite steer itself! Nothing more frustrating than thinking you're doing everything right and have the kite do something on it's own!!
Advise on crashing - If your gonna crash, despite your best efforts, GIVE TO THE KITE!!! DON'T PULL!!! Pulling just drives the kite into the ground that much harder, risking breakage! We want to see flying, not broken kites!!
Remember to breathe and enjoy a life long adventure!!
Seeing as how you have the EXP and it is a full sail (std), I'd go with the mid! Your call, with Race Rods a full vent will go low enough to overlap the EXP's wind range!! Remember all 1.5 frames interchange and your EXP = 3 wraps! Most go with some sort of full sail and full vented to get both ends of the wind range!
You got the idea - now to find your sweet spot! As REVflyer said, there is no one absolute setting that works for everyone! Fly and over time you find what works for you!! If you can meet up with other fliers, you can really shorten up the learning curve, but that doesn't mean you can't learn alone!! There is no substitute for "time on lines", the more you fly, the more you understand how the kite works!!
I'm agreeing with Steven - Mine look a lot as he described!! I keep wanting to get the kite flatter, but haven't come up with a reliable solution - yet!! So I understand the basics of the move. still working on getting it to look good!!