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- Model Year Note: The RRD Religion was a mid-season 2010 release and the kite is unchanged for 2011. The RRD control bar received major changes for 2011. This test was done with the 2010 bar.
AVAILABLE SIZES: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.5m
TESTED IN: Zuma Beach, CA, 20-25 knots, sideshore 4-8 ft. choppy surf
FROM THE MANUFACTURER:
RRD was the first brand to build a specific kite for waves. Since our Type Wave launched in 2002, we have kept always an eye on designing a specific kite that would excel in the waves. After the introduction of bow and D-shaped kites and new innovative bridle designs, this kite puts together a super-short leading edge to maximize turning speed with a bullet proof Dacron body construction specifically positioned on the hi-tension areas of the kite to prevent breakage in the surf. The Religion will be the right answer for those needing a new path to follow!
THE KITEBOARDER REPORT:
Out of the Box: The Religion is RRD’s surf-specific kite, and its construction details show that it’s meant to take a beating. The trailing edge, rib attachment areas, leading edge, and canopy are all heavily reinforced with Dacron. The Religion is a three-strut kite and features a clean one-pump system and an adjustable bridle that has different settings for riding waves in sideshore or onshore wind. Once inflated, the shape of the Religion is very boxy with wide wingtips.
The bar features a push-away release and swivel, above-bar depower cleat, and is adjustable so you can use one bar with kites of different sizes. The lines feel very different compared to those from other manufacturers and, according to RRD, reduce stretch by 85% when compared to other lines. The bar also has a mini-fifth line attachment for your leash that can be rigged to depower the kite onto one or both of the front lines. The main depower line is relatively long, so people with shorter arms may have trouble reaching the depower strap.
On the Water: The Religion’s stability was immediately apparent as soon as we put the kite in the sky. It is very well behaved at the edge of the window and takes very little attention from the rider to fly. Bar pressure is very light and steering is very direct and predictable. The Religion’s turning speed is very fast and the kite holds power through turns, delivering smooth power even when cranking the kite through turns. The Religion depowers very well, but does not have great low-end power.
Riding in the surf is what the Religion was built for, and it works very well for that purpose. In the waves, the Religion remained very stable and never gave us the impression that it was going to stall during hard turns on the face of the wave. Jumping performance on the Religion is decent but it’s not a huge booster. Unhooked, the Religion remains very stable and predictable and takes very little input from the rider to keep it in the right spot when going down the line. Relaunch is almost effortless with the Religion, which is a very useful feature to have when that next set is approaching your downed kite.
- Very fast turning and great stability and predictability make the Religion a great kite for riding waves.
- Bomber construction that uses a lot of Dacron material should help the Religion survive beatings in the surf.
- The Religion does not have great low-end power. You may need to ride one size larger than you would otherwise ride to have the same amount of power.
- The mini-fifth line (the leash attachment point) has a little bit of slop and dangled away from the bar slightly.
Great depower, rock-solid stability, easy relaunch, and fast turning speed make the Religion a great kite for riding in the surf. If all you want to do is ride waves, this may be the kite for you. You can still jump on this kite, but it’s definitely not a top-performer in that area. If you are looking for a freestyle kite, you may want to check out the RRD Obsession. Some riders may not like the very light bar pressure, while others will love it. The liberal use of Dacron reinforcements on the Religion means that it should be able to survive multiple trips through the surf.
- The Religion flies further upwind with the bridle on the onshore setting, which helps when trying to get back upwind after riding a wave.
- Consider using a kite one size larger than you would normally ride if you want to be well powered, but remember that you shouldn’t have to be lit if you want to properly ride waves.
“The Religion turns when you want it to without a delayed response. It holds steady while riding the wave without stalling into the wind window,” Alexis Rovira, 168 lbs., Surf Kiter.
“Construction of the kite is excellent. Strong stitching and reinforcements throughout critical stress points enhance the durability of the kite,” Kurt Friedmann, 180 lbs., Surf Kiter.