Visit RRD for more info.
Get full 2014 gear info from 28 brands in the TKB 2014 Buyer’s Guide.
While RRD doesn’t release products on a strict time line, the 2014 product year sees a number of upgrades to the existing 2014 RRD kite models, including a new Vision and a completely redesigned Obsession. Also new for 2014 is a high-end construction method on most of the twin tips. Adam Super answered our questions about the latest products from RRD.
Last year RRD offered both the Vision 1 and Vision 2 kites. This year brings the Vision 3. What changed on the Vision compared to the previous version?
The Vision MKIII is an all terrain kite for multiple disciplines and is the perfect introduction to RRD’s product line. The Vision MKIII maintains the same overall shape as in 2013 but with a number of improvements. The simple three strut design, short leading edge, and compact design give the Vision exceptional relaunch and reliability while adding to its quick turning speed. The Vision MKIII has a new body profile that has been moved forward to increase depower, make the kite fly more upwind in the window, and add stability and control.
This new profile is achieved by a new strut design that increases support for the canopy near the leading edge. In addition to the body profile, the Vision MKIII has a new bridle with different attachment points. The new bridle positioning reduces bar pressure and also increases stability. The new Vision is faster and feels lighter and more responsive. All of the kites in the RRD range now include a large inflate/deflate Boston valve. Some of the construction details include PVC caps on the inflate valve and bridle attachment points, Dacron on the wingtips and trailing edge, and the sewn-in RRD logo to save weight and increase durability.
The Obsession has been a very popular high performance kite for the last few years. How has it changed for 2014?
The Obsession has been a trendsetter in the freestyle discipline and it was a very tough task to make such an incredible kite even better. RRD reanalyzed the whole concept and the Obsession has been completely redesigned for 2014. However, it maintains the same feeling that kiters that fly these kites are obsessed with. The changes include a new leading edge arc that is slightly more closed, making the kite look more like a C-kite with a bridle. The aspect ratio is also higher, increasing the boosting power and hang time of this true flying machine.
The 2014 Obsession has been outfitted with a new body shape profile that was achieved by the new segmented strut design. This profile puts most of the support towards the leading edge and gives the body of the kite a flatter shape towards the trailing edge, allowing the kite to fly further forward in the sky, improving stability by 20%, and increasing upwind ability. It is much more calm and relaxed in gusty or variable wind conditions. The new Obsession has a softer and more progressive feel while still maintaining its incredible low end power. The larger sizes have increased turning speed from the 10.5 to the 15 meter. The Obsession MKVI has a more neutral and constant feel through loops. This kite will take your riding to new heights, literally. It is a true freestyle machine for the serious freestyle enthusiast.
What are the main differences between the Obsession and Obsession Pro?
The Obsession and Obsession Pro carry the same name because they both fit in the freestyle discipline, but these two kites are completely different. The Obsession is a C-shaped SLE and the Obsession Pro is a 5-line C-kite with a mini bridle. The Obsession Pro is for the hardcore freestyler who is focused on unhooked maneuvers. The Obsession Pro will provide the rider with more responsiveness as well as more slack during a handle pass. The Obsession MKVI is for the freestyler who is interested in big airs, freeriding, and a more all-around kite. We expect a brand new Obsession Pro to be announced in Spring 2014.
What features make the Religion a wave-specific kite? How has it been changed for 2014?
The Religion is a super fun surf kite because it is simple and predictable. The Religion will surely change your kitesurfing experience. It is stable, fast, powerful when you need it, and neutral when you don’t. The 2014 Religion MKIV has a thicker diameter leading edge in the small sizes to increase stability in gusty conditions. The larger sizes have gained tremendously in power and stability. The depower is much easier to control in any wind speed or direction and allows the rider to obtain the proper body positioning. Two new sizes have been added to the lineup (10.5 and 12m). Riders who switch to the Religion for wave riding never go back.
Can the Religion be used for other types of riding as well?
Yes, it can be used as a fun all-around kite. You can jump as high as with other kites in the freeride program, but you won’t get the floaty landings that you get with the Obsession. The Religion relaunches extremely fast and is very smooth and predictable. It is designed for the waves so we recommend this kite to any kiter that focuses on waves 70% or more of the time. If the kiter is interested in a kite more suited for all conditions we recommend the Vision MKIII.
Have their been any big changes to the Passion and Addiction? What kind of rider are these kites meant for?
The Passion still positions itself as the preferred freeride kite and is perfect for kiteboarding schools. The two larger sizes have a slightly more open leading edge arc. This year’s Passion comes in a new 3m size, perfect for beginners. The graphics have also been revised this year. The Passion provides the most low end power of all of the RRD kites. The Addiction is the engine that powers the race team. This kite provides constant controllable power on demand and huge range of use.
The Addiction has slightly wider wingtips this year so the kite pivot turns when going downwind and never stalls. The body profile of the kite has been changed to allow the kite to fly more forward in the wind window. The Addiction is a true racing machine, but its high aspect design also makes it a light wind machine and a great boosting kite. It’s ideal for big air competitions!
How are the RRD kite graphics different than most other kite graphics out there?
The RRD kite graphics are not printed on the kite. They are stitched into the canopy. This allows increased durability, lighter weight, and makes these kites really stand out in the sky. Most companies cover their kites with print which adds weight and doesn’t last. RRD’s graphics add strength to the kite through the stitching process and look good for the duration of the kite’s life.
Are there any changes to the bar for 2014?
Yes. The Global V6 bar will be available at the beginning of 2014 and will maintain most of the same features as the V5 bar. The biggest change is the new swivel system on the bar. This allows one attachment point for either suicide or the safety line. It will also keep the industry-leading flying lines with the unique Dyneema single thread design, making them the strongest lines on the market.
What’s new about the construction of the 2014 twin tips? What are the benefits of this type of construction?
This year only the Placebo is made in China. The other boards are made in a Formula-1 and aeronautic factory in Italy using pre-impregnated materials. This reduces excess epoxy and allows for a lightweight and thin board. To bond these fibers together the boards are put in an autoclave, basically a large pressure cooker. It heats the boards while applying pressure to bond the boards and presses out any excess epoxy. No other board on the market is constructed this way. The boards are thin, strong, and have fiber content that is unique to RRD. You can feel the difference with the RRD boards from the first moment you ride them.
What type of rider is each of the twin tip boards made for?
The Placebo is the freeride board. It is made with a CNC wood core and has been in the RRD program for over a decade. The outline and rocker line have changed over the years but these are outstanding boards for beginners and intermediates alike. The Bliss is the ultimate freeride/freestyle board. This board is precise, soulful, comfortable, and performance-oriented. This Bliss is for the more relaxed freestyler and is by far the best all-around performer. The Style V2 is constructed using Dynanotex carbon and a wood core. This board has a relatively flat rocker line with deep concave on the tips.
The Style V2 is for the hardcore freestyle enthusiast that wants the maximum amount of pop and performance. This board is not for the faint of heart. The Style Biax has speed, pop, and freestyle performance. It’s more flexible and forgiving than the Style V2. The BS45 was based on last year’s 10-Knot, but offers slightly more rocker to allow this board to be used in a wider range of conditions. The BS45 Pro has more rocker and is a light wind freestyle board. Because of its large size and rocker line it’s also a great board for larger riders.
What are the differences between the different versions of the Style?
The Style V2 and the Style Biax are the same shape. The difference between the two is that the Style V2 has Dynanotex carbon and the Style Biax is made with biaxal glass. The Style V2 is stiffer and more responsive. The Biax is more forgiving and more useful for a wider range or riders.