At A Glance
Back again, the Obsession MK9 is a long-standing kite in the RRD line up. A big update in last years MK8 means this years MK9 has had a few tweaks to create an exceedingly polished product.
The Obsession MK9 is a three strut bridled kite with an emphasis on freestyle, and wave riding in the smaller (10.5m and below) models. The shape of the MK9 remains the same, while the Bridle and Pigtails have been under scrutiny and altered to add stability to the kite.
The kite is built well, with reinforcements in key areas without going overboard. There is an interesting attachment for the back lines with an extra flap of material between the bungeed pigtail and Leading Edge to keep things neat and reduce drag. One pump inflation comes as standard, and a larger size inflate/deflate valve makes setting up quick and easy.
Sizes: 5, 6, 7, 9, 10.5, 12, 13.5, 15m
The Obsession MK9 is designed to be used with the Global Bar V7 which is very well thought out, with integrated chunky bar ends, and a coated centre line. The depower uses an efficient cleat system, with a large tag to hold onto, especially useful for those with shorter arms. That said, we could reach the depower easily even with the kite at 12 o’clock, so no problems there.
The chicken loop is of a good size and solid construction, and the donkey dick is easy to shift to the side should you wish to unhook. The Global Bar’s quick release uses the industry standard push away method and is of a very high quality. An ergonomic design positions your hand in the best spot to easily deploy the release, and reconnecting is incredibly quick and straightforward.
RRD have spent considerable time developing their ‘Rigid Thread Lines’. The unidirectional structure of these lines, unlike conventional lines, provides a fibre memory, which is more efficient through the sky. There is a large stopper ball, which is very effective, and again is well designed and easy to move around.
In The Air
We have really enjoyed having the Obsession MK9 on test. Not only for the great freestyle ability, but also the sheer amount of fun the kite is to fly. The slight Delta shape of the kite allows the rider to get out firstly in those more marginal winds. The kite drives well through the window and the turn, generating a steady, smooth pull to get you moving.
The Obsession MK9 flies fast and out to the edge of the window with ease. The bar pressure is positive but by no means too much lets you know where the kite is and allows you to concentrate on your board for those excellent upwind angles and super fast speeds.
The trim of the bar works well, is smooth and effortless with a large range being achieved.
Moving on to the exciting stuff, the jumping capabilities of the kite are excellent. More speed will add to your height campaign and will keep you hanging for quite some time with excellent forward flow.
For those with kiteloop tendencies, the Obsession MK9 will get you going well on your way to the larger sized mega loops. Not quite as progressive as some kites, but a great option for those who are starting on their looping journey.
Now, with a freestyle focus, we were keen to get going with some unhooked tricks. The bar is incredibly soft on the hands and grippy too, something essential for hanging on!
Light on the bar, the kite stays steady and stable. It does drive forward, this due to the more delta shape, but still, produces some excellent powered pull.
“Excellent upwind angles and super fast speeds.”
Though the Obsession has been designed with an emphasis on freestyle, its Delta shape with driving pull actually lends itself very well to the freeride spectre. The unhooking ability is good but does not ‘slack’ quite as much as others in this category. However, it is here the Obsession Pro overtakes for sweet freestyle moves.
After the inevitable crash when throwing unhooked moves, the relaunch is super simple. Perhaps thanks to the new pigtail configuration, a simple pull on the back line will have you back rocking in no time.
The Obsession MK9 has been designed in the smaller sizes for wave riding. The quick turn and superb drift capabilities of the kite make it a winner in the surf. You do need to be slightly more powered than a dedicated down the line style kite, but the versatility of the kite more than makes up for this, and due to the great range even on the throw of the bar it is not overly noticeable.
The RRD Obsession MK9 has great construction. The Trailing Edge reinforcements and excellent all-over construction ensure the longevity of the kite.
The kite is quick and nimble, making it fun for a range of styles and abilities.
As we mentioned it lacks a little slack during unhooked moves to be a true freestyle kite, but if it’s a pure unhooked kite you want, get the Obsession Pro!
The RRD Obsession MK9 is a lot of fun. For throwing some radical moves, big boosts or screaming along the shoreline. The kite is fast, direct and ticks all the right boxes for a classic three strut do it all machine.
This review was in Issue 62 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit RRD