RRD 2010 Obsession Analyze This Kite Review
Originally Published in the December 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine
Type of kite: SLE
Sizes available: 5, 7, 9, 10.5, 12, and 15m
From the Manufacturer
The only SLE kite in our lineup, we consider the Obsession to be a freestyle kite out of the “4-line C-shape box.” The KWPT world tour 2007 winner Seb Garat from an initial scepticism on the type 9, has found the perfect tool to express himself at the highest level of freedom and performance in freestyling. The Obsession 2010 is based on the type 9 2009 with revised shape, tips width and outline design. The result is an even more stable kite, faster in the big sizes and slower in the small ones, with an incredible amount of power and easiness to ride “unhooked.” The new trendsetter in speed and progressive smooth power in all areas of the flying window. Perfect for kiteloops and waveriding.
THE KITEBOARDER REPORT
We first viewed the RRD 2010 Obsession back in Oregon at the AWSI Demo Event. With its unique SLE shape, the Obsession inspires both skepticism and curiosity upon first glance. We received the Obsession and it sat in our office during a week of no wind. There is no doubt people will see you coming with this kite – we couldn’t help but be attracted to the colorful graphics of the kite and bag. Upon setting up the Obsession, one of the most noticeable things we found was its long bridle, however, it seems to work perfectly with this kite design. We crashed this kite a lot to test it out and never had a wingtip wrap or problems of any kind relaunching. The overall construction of the Obsession is very nice and well put together.
The control system that came with the kite was the 2009 setup but was very straightforward with a below the bar center line kill which is designed to work like a 5th line. Also below the bar you can find a second point to hook your leash up to for a straight suicide leash connection. In the sky, the Obsession proved to be a very stable kite generating solid power throughout the range. Quite honestly, we were surprised at how much power this kite could generate! The SLE design turns very fast and pivots on a wingtip but also provides consistent power throughout the turns. This was very useful during fast transitions. When it came to jumping, the Obsession had great lift and hang time. It took us a while to get the kite dialed in for jumps, but once we got the timing down and could hit that sweet spot in the kite it took our session to a whole other high. The unhooked riders liked the medium bar pressure and stability of the Obsession, but it did need a bit of tuning to get it just right for some.
With one year under their belt, the RRD Obsession is the next evolution of SLE kites with a refined package from the 2009 model. RRD makes solid kites and they claim the Obsession is geared for beginners to advanced riders. We can definitely say that beginners will enjoy the Obsession, but the reality is that intermediate and advanced riders will truly appreciate the performance of this kite the most.
- Inflation System: One pump SPS inflation system Excellent
- Control bar: Great grip and comfortable to grab Above Average
- Control bar accessories: Above the bar depower with a below the bar leash and QR Above Average
- Safety system: Two below the bar connection points for a leash with a QR Excellent
- Bridle: Long bridle with attachments for replacing worn out parts Above Average
- Stability: Very solid stability Excellent
- Power: Really good low end power Excellent
- Turning: Fast but pivots around the wingtips a bit Above Average
- Pop: Great pop good for freestyle Excellent
- Bar pressure: Medium with good feedback through the bar Medium
- Depower: Depower cleat above the bar with full depower in chicken loop Excellent
- Relaunch: Simple and very quick to relaunch Excellent
- Durability: Super solid build Excellent
- Kitebag: Great bag with plenty of room for all of you needs and equipment Excellent
- Be sure to check the outside power adjustments under the bar float as they are easy to miss.
- To suit your riding style RRD incorporated two safety leash attachment points below the bar.
CONSUMER FEEDBACK: j1finnn1, www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=2360060&p=617370
I’ve tried the 10.5 and 13.5. The 10.5 is a good bit faster, but just as stable. Also, it generates more power even though it has a shorter leading edge this year. I think this is because it flies faster. I definitely felt like I was going faster on the water. Jumping is good, unhooked is great, kiteloops are punchy and predictable. The 13.5 is right on the cusp of a big kite in terms of feel. It still gets the small guys upwind and has tons of power. I have an instructor down here (Southern California) who won’t let go of my demo! Bar pressure is lighter than last year, but bar feel is still excellent and the kites have more of an axial turn than a pivot around the center kind of turn. This is what lends them punch in a kite loop. Also, the people who try them are hanging on to them, which is a great sign.