Sizes Available: 13.5, 15, 17m
Sizes Tested: 15m
The Passion MK9 is the benchmark of a high performance, 3 strut, Freeride, Wave and Big Air kite, impressing everyone from entry level riders to experts.
The MK9 still delivers pure, predictable power, paired with amazing stability. This ‘new best thing’ is a fantastic kite for all-round freeride, wave, big air, and freestyle progression that provides a perfect blend of turning speed, handling, and jumping ability.
One of the important differences between most of the classic freeride kites on the market is that the Passion MK9 has 3 struts instead of five. The reduction of two struts translates into a lighter kite with more maneuverability and an increased low-end.
Expect increased performance and all-round use from this kite due to the changes made to the MK9. This year we have lowered the aspect ratio, shortened the bridles, and removed all four of the pulleys that were on the MK8; that’s a total of zero! This kite will respond immediately to input and provides direct feedback throughout the more rounded, faster turns.
The MK9 is re-designed, refined, and has redefined the durability of its predecessor, the Passion MK8. The bar pressure is now lighter, it flies more on the front lines and the kite has slightly less grunt, which is compensated by the increased speed.
At RRD, we pride ourselves in providing the highest quality product without cutting corners. Every individual kite size has a customised leading edge diameter. For the smaller sizes, we accomplished maximum rigidity to handle extreme conditions whereas the larger sizes are focused on a LE diameter that has the perfect balance between weight, stiffness, and air penetration.
But wait, there’s more! Relaunching is easier, even in low wind conditions. It is extremely predictable because the gradually changing power while sheeting is coupled with consistent bar pressure. And due to the increased speed and stability, the MK9 provides an abundance of addicting lift that will generate some huge airs!
If there is one kite that will transcend the boundaries from beginner to expert, this is our solution towards excellence through your Passion.
Visit for more info: www.robertoriccidesigns.com/equipment/kite/kites/passion-mk9
For our Light wind Test we tested a 15m Passion with a medium aspect 3-strut canopy that is slightly lower aspect than the single-strut RRD Emotion that we also tested. The Passion uses a large diameter bayonet style inflation valve that requires no nozzle on the end of your standard pump hose for a quick and easy pump up. The Passion offers two settings on the wingtip (stock was in rear position) and the leading edge is supported by a set it and forget it single setting fixed bridle that doesn’t use a pulley to change the angle of attack. The center lines end in a loop and the outside lines end in a knot. The first thing we noticed when we pulled the Passion out of its bag is the really solid build structure which features both quality material and design that give it a really rigid airframe. After riding the single-strut Emotion, we swapped to the Passion and immediately noticed the canopy stability that comes with a 3-strut air frame. The Passion essentially gives you the performance feel and bar feedback of a standard freeride kite, just in a size that is usable for extremely light wind. The steering response was fairly crisp, a bit tighter than the Emotion, and the turning speed was also equally impressive. The 15m Passion doesn’t have the low-end of the 17m Emotion, but it can make up for it with more agile steering and kite placement in the window. One of the biggest things we noticed was how the bar’s sheeting over the course of testing feels progressive as you sheet in and the response is a little more crisp than that of the single strut but at 15 meters, we had to steer the kite a little bit harder to get the power out of it. This kite tends to sit deeper in the window and generates good power for its size. At 15 meters, it’s definitely not the most grunty kite but certainly holds its own in a higher wind range. Overall, it’s a fairly comfortable kite to fly. It’s intuitive in terms of sheeting power delivery and it’s a little bit more progressive than the Emotion but that’s most likely because of its struts. Note that the sail plan shares roughly the same leading edge profile but has a little less canopy and is ideally for someone who is a twin tip or directional rider looking for a kite that has a little crisper steering and the performance of a sized-up version of their typically sized smaller freeride kites.
The Passion came with RRD’s Global V8 bar which is a fixed length bar available in a single length of 55cm with 22m lines. The Global features loops at the end of the center lines and knots at the end of the outside lines for connecting to the kite. While the lines do not offer the option for extensions, the bar features a single center line safety depower system and a low V with above the bar tuning cleat and Velcro on the depower strap. The trim loop opens and can be wrapped around the center line to keep the toggle in place if adjustment on the fly is not desired. The Global bar features a static length plastic-coated throw/depower line with a sliding stopper that came in super handy for longer tacks on the bigger size kites. The safety line runs up the center keeping the bar very simple, uncluttered and clean. The Global bar features an easy to use push away quick release, a QR shield and a below the bar hand swivel. The floats are integrated into the padded bar ends, (line lengths not tunable) and the bar bungees are not retractable. At first use, the bar diameter falls on the narrow side, but the grip is fairly cushy with big padded bar ends that have sufficient space to wind lines. Our freeride testers commented on the high quality of the flying lines which were both smooth and durable feeling. RRD has clearly put some time into the development of this bar which offers a sold mix between tech, function and simplicity.
For more info on the bar visit: http://www.robertoriccidesigns.com/equipment/global-bar-v8