At A Glance
RRD have a wealth of experience in the water sports industry and their products have always been highly regarded. They have had some popular kites over the years with the Type series and the Obsession first made an appearance last year in 2009. Billed as an all round machine to replace the very popular Type 9 it featured an SLE style set up with regards to the bar and bridle. The kite was very popular and those of you who loved it will be pleased to hear that this year it has been tweaked rather than revamped. The chord depth has been reduced slightly and it is a slightly higher aspect design than the previous year. A new panel layout ensures there is plenty of strength where you need it and the profile has changed slightly too. The kite is still finished to the usual exceptional standards with some fantastic detailing that really sets the RRD apart in the looks department. There are also plenty of reinforcements at all the major wear points.
All RRD kites work off the same bar, so you can just buy one bar for your entire quiver. It is a neat idea. A new 2010 bar is still in development so we were riding with the bar from 2009. It comes packed full of features including an excellent above bar clam cleat depower strap. The bar itself is made from carbon fibre and the centre hole features an aluminium block that has been polished to reduce friction on the depower rope. There are also O’Shit handles for added safety and the bar ends are covered in a softer material so they are easy on your hands and non-slip for kite loops.
In the Air
Power and poise would be two words that sum up the Obsession, for a 12m kite it has a fantastic low end, but it also feels perfectly balanced in the sky and is very predictable in its behaviour. The bar pressure isn’t too heavy and delivers enough feedback for the rider to know where the kite is at all times without wearing out your arms over a long session. The higher aspect outline also helps the kite to fly upwind, something that is really handy for whatever style of riding you are doing, and if you like kiteloops then you’ll be wanting this feature! The Obsession is quite surprising when you first send it back round the window. We got caught out a couple of times when we first tried looping it. It delivers a hell of a tug, even in lighter airs! The jumping performance is also really good, the speed of the kite, even for a 12m, enables the Obsession to be quickly powered back over your head developing great lift and hangtime. Unhooked the kite has improved greatly and now feels much more balanced, you will need to pull in on the depower strap though otherwise it has a tendency to back stall. With the strap trimmed correctly it is perfectly well behaved. There are a lot of riders out there that will get a great deal from this kite; intermediate to advanced free riders as well as freestylers will enjoy its versatility. Wave riders will like the fast responsive turns and no doubt everyone will love the easy forgiving nature of the kite.
Great detailing and finish on the kite. Impressive performance and very versatile. The Obsession will help a lot of riders improve their skills.
The Chicken loop feels a little dated, especially on such a well polished bar. It is perfectly functional, but we are keen to see if it will get an upgrade on a future bar.
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A fantastic kite with some great improvements over last year’s popular design, a huge wind range, fantastic handling and lots of power when you need it makes the Obsession a real contender.
This review was in Issue 16 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit RRD
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By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!