Home / Gear Reviews / 2011 Reviews / RRD 2011 Vision Analyze This Kite Review

RRD 2011 Vision Analyze This Kite Review

RRD Vision

TESTED: 9m
AVAILABLE SIZES: 5, 7, 9, 10.5, 12, 13.5m
TESTED IN: La Ventana 21-25 knots, large chop

FROM THE MANUFACTURER:

Superior versatility, exceptionally balanced. The VISION Kite is amazing fun and accessible from the minute you hit the water. Easy turns with super smooth power and acceleration. Perfect handling in gusty conditions, water relaunchable on the spot! Usable by the largest variety of kiters in the water today, there are no limits for the rider’s progression with the Vision Kite in any conditions.

THE KITEBOARDER REPORT:

Out of the Box: The Vision is a brand new kite from RRD and we were able to get our hands on the first Visions to land in North America at the 2011 La Ventana Classic. According to RRD, the Vision is supposed to fill the gap between the RRD Obsession (freestyle) and the Religion (waves). The Vision is a three-strut one pump kite that is finished very cleanly. It looks and feels lighter than the RRD Obsession we recently tested. The bridle features one pulley per side and the rear lines connect directly to the kite. The rear lines are adjustable to change the turning speed of the kite. Once inflated, the Vision felt especially rigid.

The 2011 RRD Global Bar is much improved compared to last year’s version. The hanging leash attachment we complained about in 2010 is gone and this new bar features an above bar depower cleat, a clean and simple push-away release, and a unique center line. Both the safety line and the main depower line pass through a plastic cover that has an internal divider to keep the lines separate. One bar size (adjustable from 50-55 cm) is used on all RRD kites. The bar comes with the RRD exclusive low-stretch Rigid Flying lines. We found the depower throw on the Global Bar to be a little long, especially considering that there is no adjustable stopper.

On the Water: The first thing we noticed about the RRD Vision is its stability and smooth handling. It sits back in the window a little bit and is incredibly stable no matter where you put it. Even when very depowered, the kite remained stable and it hardly ever fluttered while we were testing it. Power delivery is smooth throughout the window and turning is quick, but not lightning fast. To initiate turns, it takes a fair amount of input from the bar, but then responds quickly once turning. While riding, the Vision is very easy to keep in the same place as it is very forgiving to small movements of the bar. With the Vision jumps are easy and predictable with a lot of hang time. The Vision remained stable when carving downwind in the large La Ventana chop, which led us to believe this kite will work well for wave riding. Bar pressure is in the much-liked light-medium range and we found it to be very easy to relaunch.

PROS:

  • Very stable canopy that never seems to flutter.
  • The Vision is a very smooth and precise handling kite.

CONS:

  • The depower throw on the bar is very long and there is no stopper, which may frustrate some riders with short arms.
  • The bar is only available in one size (50-55 cm) and feels a little large for the smaller kite sizes.

THE VERDICT:

RRD is marketing the Vision as an all-terrain kite, and we agree with that. RRD used the same materials on it that is found on other RRD kites but the Vision has an attractive lower price point as it comes in a simple stuff sack versus a standard kite bag with straps and pockets. This is a smooth and predictable kite that will easily handle cruising, freestyle, and wave riding. Simply put, the Vision is a pleasure to fly and we think a wide range of riders will be drawn to it. If you want the best in jumping and upwind performance, have a look at the RRD Obsession. If you want a well-behaved all-around kite that will easily tackle a wide range of conditions and riding styles, the Vision is definitely worth a close look.

TIPS:

  • We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, make sure you pump the kite up hard to get the most performance and to make relaunching easier.
  • Use the slow settings for the rear lines if you want the kite to turn slower. This is useful for unhooked moves when you want the kite to stay put.

TESTER COMMENT:

“The Vision is one of the best RRD kites I have ever ridden. It’s an excellent kite for freestyle, surf kiting, and just blasting around. Solid!” –Gary Martin, 170 lbs., Surf Kiter

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