RRD Religion 9m 2018 Kitesurfing Review

RRD Religion 9m 2018

Reviews / Kites

RRD 19,866

At A Glance

The Religion is the dedicated wave kite from RRD, used by the pro team and lots of adoring fans around the world it has proved to be a formidable weapon over the years. For the MK8 version the team totally redesigned the kite and it is almost unrecognisable from the previous MK7 incarnation. The kite features a new shape, with wider wing tips and less of a sweep than the previous version. The bridles have been shortened and the aspect ratio has been increased too, the goal was to make the kite faster with even better drifting ability.

The construction is second to none and this year the unique “RRD” pattern features integrated Dacron patches into the design. This Dacron creates an exceedingly tough frame, which increases the durability of the kite. The canopy consists of 40% Dacron mixed with 60% Double Ripstop D2 Technoforce material making it one of the strongest out there. If you drop this kite in the waves you can be confident it will come up smelling of roses.

The wind range of the kite and also the turning speed and characteristics were areas the design team wanted to improve this year. Improved low and high end with a great range overall was the goal and also to increase the turning speed, and improve power delivery while keeping the light bar pressure.

It’s still a three-strut kite, but that is about where the similarities end with the previous version. We’ve always been fans of the Religion, but with these new design characteristics and a radically different shape we were keen to see how it would perform!

The Bar

Your connection to the kite is arguably the most important aspect of kiteboarding; you need a great bar to get the most out of a kite. RRD launched their updated Global Bar V8 for this year, and it is a thing of beauty. There are no fancy click depower systems, just a simple and achingly good-looking bar designed to provide total functionality.

At the heart of the bar is a CNC milled and anodised aluminium piece with an oversized central recess for the depower rope to slide through. The depower PVC houses a dual chamber that contains the safety, and the depower line, this makes the set up incredibly durable as the ropes cannot wear out. Moulded and integrated EVA bar ends add grip and look stunning, not too bulky but also offering enough space to wind up your lines at the end of a session.

Talking of lines, the Rigid Thread Lines from RRD might just about be the best thing since the BOW kite, or sliced bread at least. RRD are unique in using these lines, something they created with a manufacturer of fishing lines over eight years ago. They have been refining them ever since. If you imagine a traditional line it is woven, the weave allows for stretching and shrinkage, even when it is pre-stretched.

RRD’s Rigid Thread Lines feature uni-directional fibres that run all the way to the kite; these fibres are bunched together for added strength and then sleeved in a protective outer layer. The result is an incredibly durable, strong kite line that cannot stretch or shrink. Lines are important as they transfer all the energy from the bar to the kite. Imagine putting an accelerator cable into a sports car that was made out of elastic, it would be awful; put a rigid connection in there and you have instant response.

There is also a new chicken loop with a very well-thought-out safety release system. A new head on top of the chicken loop allows you to rotate the lines after tricks, meaning you will never have tangles. A simple Clam Cleat and rope set up allows you to depower the kite with ease and there is also a “stopper ball” system for old-school tricks.

All the kites this year fly on the same bar, one size fits all if you like, and all of last year’s kites are compatible too.

In The Air

We tested the Religion in a variety of conditions and in a wide range of waves. From over-powered to underpowered and everything in between we really gave it a good going over. Every time we came off the water we were smiling, which says a lot. In our opinion RRD have really hit the nail on the head with the MK8, it’s everything you would expect from a wave kite and more.

When we rode it in Mauritius it delivered, whether at Manawa, Little Reef or One Eye. From cross-on to cross-off (we had some funky conditions during the week) it behaved impeccably. First up, the kite is very easy to fly, it’s got plug and play characteristics to it with no nasty surprises. The kite doesn’t back stall at critical moments or at the bottom of the wave and it does what you expect it to, which allows you to concentrate on your riding and not the kite.

The low end is really impressive too, we had a 7m out when others were on 10.5m kites and were cruising back and forth and pulling into waves with no issues. Top end is equally impressive, although you will need to trim the bar accordingly, the depower throw on the Global Bar is shorter than some so you might find it hard to dump power on a fast powerful wave unless the bar is trimmed correctly. Once you have that dialled, the top end is impressive.

Gust handling is good, the bar throw is quite short so you get a lot of control at your finger tips. Drift is amazing, we got totally slack lines at times in light winds and the kite hangs in the air. This surprised us a little as the kite uses a lot of Dacron, however it is well placed and keeps the kite balanced rather than being front or trailing edge heavy which is a killer for drift abilities.

The turning speed is the other area where the Religion excels, bar response is immediate, helped by the ingenious bungee on the rear line which takes up slack when the kite is depowered giving you a faster reacting kite. If you like your wave kites to be fast and dynamic you won’t be disappointed here. Relaunch, if you do crash it, is quick and easy, a simple tug on a rear line has the kite back into the sky in no time.

It feels as if I am throwing superlatives around about this kite, for me as an avid wave fanatic a wave kite is an important tool. There is nothing worse than dropping into the bomb of the day only to find the kite holds you back. We’ve had “test sessions” spoiled in the past by sluggish wave kites that have taken some time to get dialled into. The Religion MK8 is none of those things, it genuinely impressed us, and coupled with the Global Bar it is a formidable package.

If you’ve never considered the Religion before, now is the time to get a demo and see what all the fuss is about. It’s a superb kite that has got even better.


Well built, fast and dynamic with impeccable handling, we really enjoyed flying this kite; it’s intuitive and easy to fly and packed with performance. Upwind and relaunch is excellent, as you would expect.


This is a small niggle (and there is a hack), but we’d love to see a wave version of the Global Bar, having one bar for all riders and kites is great, but it does mean compromise and the wave riders will feel it most. The depower throw is quite short, meaning bar trim is pretty critical. You can increase the depower throw by around 5cm by removing the stopper ball unit, and this is how Abel Lago rides his. It makes a big difference and is a worthy hack if you are into waves and won’t use the bar for freeride tricks.


Genuinely impressed would be two words we would use to describe this kite and we don’t say that often, especially where waves are concerned. It’s fast, furious and great fun to fly. Most of all though, it won’t hold you back and will tow you into anything you have the balls for!

A superb kite that has got even better.

Do you enjoy reading IKSURFMAG, using our App and website? We now need your support to keep IKSURFMAG going. Support IKSURFMAG from as little as £2 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you!


This review was in Issue 65 of IKSURFMAG.

For more information visit RRD




Kitesurfing Reviews - RRD Bliss V5 Wood 136 x 40cm 2018
Kitesurfing Reviews - RRD Bliss V5 Wood 136 x 40cm 2018
RRD Bliss V5 Wood

The Bliss has been in the RRD line up for many years now, and 2018 sees it get an update. Don’t panic though, if you are a huge fan of this board already, and there are plenty of those around the world, the updates are subtle and designed to improve the performance. There is a new LTD version in Carbon…

Kitesurfing Reviews - RRD Passion V9 10.5 2018
Kitesurfing Reviews - RRD Passion V9 10.5 2018
RRD Passion V9

RRD are unique in the kite industry; they were the first brand to adopt a “don’t change it until it’s ready” launch program. While many brands scramble to “change” their product by the deadline, usually in August, so they can be the first to market with an entirely new range of product, RRD have adopted a different approach. They are…

Kitesurfing Reviews - RRD Poison V5 LTD 138 x 42cm 2018
Kitesurfing Reviews - RRD Poison V5 LTD 138 x 42cm 2018
RRD Poison V5 LTD

The Poison V5 LTD from RRD is aimed at the high-end freestyle and freeride market. Riders looking for a high-performance board with plenty of speed and pop should have this on their shopping list. New for 2018 the board has been made thinner and lighter, 20% lighter in fact. LTD stands for the Limited construction that utilises Biax Carbon layers…

By Rou Chater
Rou 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!

Tried this? What did you think?


Subscribe it's Free!

Win a Re Solve Split Kiteboard From Kitelement this issue in our FREE subscriber prize draw.

By subscribing you will not only be first to read the mag but automatically entered into the prize draw every issue!

Draw closes on Wed 10th Apr, 2019
First name is required.

By subscribing you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy

Subscribe Another
Re Solve Split Kiteboard From Kitelement

Issue 72 Wed 6th Feb, 2019

Compact Series Surfboard from ODO Kiteboarding


Issue 71 Fri 7th Dec, 2018

A 2019 Mercury 6/4 Freezip and Vex Harness from Prolimit


Issue 70 Mon 8th Oct, 2018

CrazyFly Raptor LTD Neon Board


Issue 69 Tue 7th Aug, 2018

GoPro Hero 6 Black Action Camera


Issue 68 Tue 12th Jun, 2018

GoPro Hero 6 Black Action Camera


Issue 67 Wed 11th Apr, 2018

Mystic Majestic X Harness


Issue 66 Fri 9th Feb, 2018

6m Flysurfer Stoke


Issue 65 Tue 12th Dec, 2017

7m Cabrinha Drifter + Fireball Bar Set Up


Issue 64 Wed 18th Oct, 2017

Board You Desire From Shinn


Issue 63 Tue 8th Aug, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 62 Sat 10th Jun, 2017

CrazyFly 2017 Sculp 9m and Sick Bar


Issue 61 Mon 10th Apr, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 60 Sun 5th Feb, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 59 Mon 5th Dec, 2016

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 58 Thu 13th Oct, 2016

Fireball Set Up with an Apollo Kite from Cabrinha


Issue 57 Tue 11th Oct, 2016

Blade Trigger 10m Kite


Issue 56 Sun 12th Jun, 2016

Board and Boot Set Up from Liquid Force


Issue 55 Sat 9th Apr, 2016

Nobile NHP Split Kiteboard


Issue 54 Sat 6th Feb, 2016

Wetsuit and Harness from Manera


Issue 53 Tue 10th Feb, 2015

Ride Engine Harness!


Issue 52 Wed 7th Oct, 2015

Prize Pack from TSHOTSH

Guy, Vince

Issue 51 Thu 13th Aug, 2015

Wainman Hawaii ManiaC Kite


Issue 50 Thu 4th Jun, 2015

Liquid Force Legacy Board


Issue 49 Fri 10th Apr, 2015

Slingshot Vision Board


Issue 48 Fri 30th Jan, 2015

Blade Mist Kite and Bar


Issue 47 Mon 8th Dec, 2014

2015 Core GTS3 8m Kite and Bar


Issue 46 Wed 8th Oct, 2014

Ozone Reo Wave Kite


Issue 45 Mon 4th Aug, 2014

Brunotti Board and a Pair of Sunglasses


Issue 44 Mon 9th Jun, 2014

Dakine Harness and Travel Bag


Issue 43 Wed 2nd Apr, 2014

Manera EXO Harness and Goodies!


Issue 42 Thu 30th Jan, 2014

North Gonzales Kite Board!


Issue 41 Mon 2nd Dec, 2013

Best Spark Plug Kite Board


Issue 40 Wed 9th Oct, 2013

Kiteloose Fatty Surfboard


Issue 39 Fri 2nd Aug, 2013

GoPro HD Hero 3 Silver Edition


Issue 38 Sun 2nd Jun, 2013

CrazyFly Sculp 9m Kite and Sick Bar System


Issue 37 Mon 1st Apr, 2013

Kitesurf Holiday Experience with Kirsty Jones


Issue 36 Sat 2nd Feb, 2013

2013 F-One Bandit 6 9m Kite


Issue 35 Mon 3rd Dec, 2012

Soul Drysuit by Ocean Rodeo


Issue 34 Mon 1st Oct, 2012

2013 Mystic Wetsuit and Harness


Issue 33 Sun 5th Aug, 2012

Wainman Joke Kitesurfing Board


  1. The Promotion is organised by IKSURFMAG and the participating brand stated on the subscribe page. You are providing your information to IKSURFMAG, not the participating brand. The information you provide will only be used for the purpose of facilitating the Promotion and notifying you when new issues of our totally free magazine are released. We will never sell or supply your details to any 3rd parties.
  2. You can opt out of any future emails by clicking the unsubscribe link within the footer of the email at any time.
  3. The winner will be notified by email shortly after the closing date shown. Previous winners will not be eligible to win again until at least three new Promotions have run.
  4. Winners must reply to our email within two weeks or a new winner will be drawn. Please check all spam folders to avoid loosing out.
  5. Participants only need to enter once in order to be eligible for all future prize draws.

Share - RRD Religion 9m 2018