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2013 Buyer’s Guide: RRD

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For 2013 RRD is offering a number of refinements on it’s extensive kiteboarding product line. In a unique move, RRD is offering two versions of the popular Vision kite. The board lines have also seen improvements and a new kitesurf board, the Chiatta has been added. RRD’s Adam Super and Brian Wennersten answered our questions about what we can all expect from RRD in 2013.

2013 RRD KITES
Kite Name Sizes Stock Line Length Target Date Available
Vision I 5, 7, 9, 10.5, 12, 13.5m 23m All-terrain Nov. 2012
Vision II 5, 7, 9, 10.5, 12, 13.5, 15m 23m All-around Nov. 2012
Obsession MK V 5, 6, 7, 9, 10.5, 12, 13.5, 15m 23m Freestyle Nov. 2012
Obsession Pro MK IV 5, 6, 7, 9, 10.5, 12, 13.5, 15m 23m Freestyle pro Nov. 2012
Religion MK III 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.5m 23m Waves Nov. 2012
Passion MK V 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13m 23m Freeride Nov. 2012
Addiction MK IV 7, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18m 23m Race, big air, upwind machine Feb. 2013

What are some of the major changes for the 2013 RRD Kite line?

RRD is always pushing to create perfection on the water by creating the best gear possible. The brand has always worked to incorporate the most advanced technology into the gear. This year many slight refinements have been made, however there were no major changes to the lineup. RRD specializes in making the right tool for the job at hand and is very focused on making the best equipment out there to help further each rider’s experience on the water to help them excel in their desired discipline.

The Passion V has a new design for 2013 with the same angle of attack but it is a more closed kite. The bridle has also been adjusted, giving the kite less bar pressure. It has better upwind performance and great first jumps. The Passion also got an incredible increase in low end power. This kite has more power than any other kite in the RRD line, even more than the Obsession!

The Vision was a new addition in 2012. This kite is very maneuverable, responsive, and comfortable making it the most versatile and widely usable kite for all terrains and riders. The Vision I will continue to be offered this year with no changes, but we are also offering the Vision II.

The difference between these two kites is bar pressure and power. The Vision II has a slightly longer leading edge and the bridle points are more towards the center. This gives this kite added stability and slightly more bar pressure. The wing tips are also more swept back and are also flatter which will aid its amazing relaunchability and give the kite more momentum to slide to the other side of the wind window. The Vision II profile shape has been modified to allow the kite to sit back on its shoulders more. This will add in the stability as well as the ability to drift further back into the window when the lines are slacked.

RRD Vision II

This feature is excellent while in the surf. As is true for the Vision I the Vision II still maintains its impressive maneuverability, stability, and responsiveness. This kite has added durability with a Dacron trailing edge and insignia tape on critical parts of both the inside and outside of the leading edge.

The new Vision II will give the rider more feedback and power while using the kite. This is a feature that some would prefer over the lighter, more airy Vision I. Both versions will provide riders with the most usable kite in the line and allow them to have one kite for all conditions and disciplines.

The Obsession is for the freestyle-driven kiteboarder. If the rider is looking for the ultimate experience in performance, the new MK V is the kite of choice. Each year the kite is refined only slightly to add to its incredible freestyle performance. The new Obsession MK V has slightly longer wingtips which add even more stability.

The arc is more C-shaped this year. By closing the arc, the kite now turns and behaves more uniformly. The designer worked a lot on the balance between wingspan and depth to get the ultimate kite balance. The Obsession Pro has become the relied-upon tool of the top RRD riders in the world. In the extreme conditions and pressure of the PKRA tour the RRD riders required a reliable kite that takes everything to the max.

Huge pop and massive kite loops are what this kite is about. In competition consistency is king. This kite is carried through with the same design as 2012.

RRD Obsession MKV

The Religion is Roberto’s favorite kite. The LE is longer and the shape on the middle strut has been pushed a bit further back to make the kite a bit more full. There are new attachment points for the bridle and we were able to get rid of the adjustments on the front bridle. The 10m and 11.5m have been improved tremendously. They are faster, more responsive, and a lot more fun.

The Addiction MK IV is the RRD racing engine. Incidentally what’s good for racing ends up being great for big air, huge hang time jumps, and air style. This year there are no pulleys on the bridal to give the kite a direct feeling. The kite still offers the same smooth depower offered in last year’s kite.

The great range will get you the best average board speed even in very gusty conditions. The 5-strut design offers good stability and wind window penetration for incredible speed angles upwind.

Both the V1 and V2 versions of the Vision be offered in 2013. Why offer both versions?

The lighter V1 appeals to some riders and it comes at a better price point. The massive positive response we got with the kite has caused us to continue offering it. Roberto has improved the kite in some areas with the V2 making it more durable and more stable with slightly heavier bar pressure.

Who are the target riders for each of the 2013 kites?

RRD has a vast Line up. There are seven kites this year covering the needs of each discipline specifically. There’s something perfect for every rider. The Passion is beginner friendly. It offers great low end – for riders in light wind areas the larger sizes will be great. The Vision is the all terrain kite. Waves, flat water freestyle, or snow are no problem for the Vision. It has incredible turning speed and stability.

The Addiction is the performance-driven race kite. It is also a great kite for the air styler or someone looking for upwind performance and maximum hang time. The Obsession is freestyle at the core. It’s at home going huge, kite looping, or unhooking yet with the forgiving depower and relaunch of a bridled kite. The Obsession Pro is for those looking to push the limits. Competition freestyle-driven, this kite pops huge and doesn’t let back. It’s not for the faint at heart.

RRD Addiction

Is the Addiction a race-only kite? Will any riders other than racers enjoy riding it?

The addiction is designed to win races. It has done that well, but the high-aspect powerful design is what has been sought after by those that like to get massive hang time. So no, it’s certainly not a race-only kite, though there has been no compromise in race performance. The air styler or big air fanatic will be equally at home with this kite.

RRD Religion MKIII

What features of the Religion make it a wave-specific kite?

The Religion is designed so that you can focus more on your surfing and less on the kite while you’re going down the line. The kite sits deep in the wind window so you can ride towards it without it falling out of the sky. It’s stable so it’s going to sit there until the moment when you need the kite to react and even with the kite lines slack the Religion has amazing turning speed.

In heavy side shore or side off conditions the Religion is at home. With the most Dacron of any of our kites the Religion can survive what the ocean throws at it.

What’s special about the graphics this year?

The graphics in 2013 are stitched in to the canopy like last year. Each kite size has a different pattern so the logo is scaled to the kite. The RRD logo spanning the entire kite canopy looks sick and there are all-new bright colors this year.

Any changes for the bar for 2013?

The bar is now one-piece aluminum. It still offers the same adjustable bar ends as last year. You can fly almost the entire kite line on the same bar. RRD dropped the above-bar swivel on the center lines but incorporated self-lubricating washers in the chicken loop. This allows you to unspin the center lines at will and removes a point where lines often get tangled.

RRD Passion MKV

What type of rider is each of the twin tip boards designed for?

The Placebo is an easy to use board for beginners. Its shape helps you plane early with less kite power and makes those first upwind tacks a distant memory. The 10knots is the light wind board. Full carbon with a PVC core, this board is super light and gets going it equally light wind. If your normal board isn’t cutting it for the summer doldrums or if you have a light wind board you never ride because it’s so big, heavy, and hard to maneuver the 10knots is for you.

The Poison LTD V2 is the extension of the RRD icon of the last five years. It remains to be a board almost anyone can be comfortable on yet its performance goes far beyond just cruising. If jumping, freestyle, or new school is your thing the poison is also for you. Many riders fall in love with this board because it’s something they know they can grow into as their riding advances.

At half the weight of some other twin tips, everyone is impressed with the Style. If you looking to get the pop needed for advanced freestyle or you want a board that drives hard upwind with speed and is incredibly light, consider the Style.

2013 RRD BOARDS
Board Name Sizes Type Target Date Available
Joystick 134, 135, 136cm Twin Freestyle/park Nov. 2012
Bliss 133, 135, 137, 139cm Twin Freeride/freestyle Nov. 2012
Placebo 132, 133, 134, 136, 140, 142, 145cm Twin Freeride Nov. 2012
10Knots 146cm Twin Light wind Nov. 2012
10Knots LTD 146cm Twin Light wind Nov. 2012
Broad Spectrum 145cm Twin Light wind freestyle Nov. 2012
Easy Kite 148cm Twin Schools Nov. 2012
Park 135, 138cm Twin Park Nov. 2012
Poison LTD 137, 138, 139, 140, 141cm Twin High performance freestyle Nov. 2012
Style LTD 136, 137, 138, 139, 140cm Twin Ultra-light high performance freestyle Nov. 2012
Milk 123cm Skim Skimboarding Nov. 2012
Salerosa 5’8”, 5’10”, 6’0”, 6’2” Surf Side-on/strapless wave riding Nov. 2012
Maquina 5’9”, 5’11”, 6’1” Surf All-around wave riding Nov. 2012
Gitana 5’11”, 6’1”, 6’3” Surf Sideshore wave riding Nov. 2012
Pescado 5’9” Surf Small waves Nov. 2012
Magonda 5’6” Surf Strapless riding Nov. 2012
Asso Pigliatutto K 5’8” Surf Convertable surf/kite Nov. 2012
Chiatta 5’8” Surf All-around wave riding Nov. 2012
Domingo 5’8” Surf Freeride, waves Nov. 2012
K-Free 180cm Freeride, free race Free race, slalom, light wind all-around Nov. 2012
K-Rapida 190cm Race Pro race Nov. 2012

What’s special about the construction of the 10knots LTD and the Style?

They are built in a factory in Italy that produces Formula One race car parts. They use the same construction technology as multi-million dollar racing machines. Is that special enough for you? It’s more than just where they made, though. The materials are of the highest quality. The best carbon fiber is used then cured in an autoclave process.

Both boards are incredibly strong and light. The 10knots has a PVC core for the most weight savings possible. The Style employs a CNC wood core for more strength and flex response. They’re the only boards on the market made with this technology

Any major changes for the surfboards for 2013? What are some of the standout construction features of the RRD kite surfboards?

RRD has a new surfboard this year called the Chiatta. This board comes from the standard RRD surfboard line and has been adapted for kiting. This board is a maneuverable board for small surf. The shape of the board with its wide outline and oversize tail area helps you to throw some spray in the smallest mushiest surf around.

Not only that, but it allows you to get aerials with extraordinary easiness and speed. RRD’s kitesurf line uses PU construction for that classic surf feel. With bamboo decks and carbon stringers a RRD board takes kite abuse with no problems. They can be ridden strapped or strapless and look exquisite. Also, RRD has just announced the upcoming K-Pro line of kitesurf boards. These are high-performance pro model surfboards built for kitesurfing. Stay tuned to http://robertoriccidesigns.com for more info on these boards soon.

What type of rider is the K-Free designed for? Is there a huge difference between this board and the K-Race?

The K-Free can take a rider below eight knots, rip upwind, and offers race-like speed all in a package any rider with directional experience would find easy to use. The board is quite different from the K-Race. It has a different shape and different fins and offers much of what the K-Race does but doesn’t require as much pressure to control.

For ultimate race-winning performance, go for the K-Race. For a fast but easy to maneuver board, go for the K-Free. It’s a great, fun, and easy to ride board. Go try it and smile while everyone else is still sitting on the beach.

RRD K-Rapida

Will there be a new K-Race for 2013?

RRD has already completed and registered its new racing bullet, the RRD K-Rapida. Julien Kerneur has already raced the K-Rapida in the 2012 World Championship finishing third overall. Together with the RRD Addiction and the RRD K-Rapida, RRD is the only company on the world’s podium with both racing kite and board, an amazing accomplishment compared to the competition. Stay tuned for the most competitive kite and board combination on the market today.

Want 185 pages of 2013 kiteboarding gear info on 28 brands? Check out the TKB 2013 Buyer’s Guide.

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