2018 marked significant changes to RRD’s product lineup and their R&D crew was just as busy getting its 2019 collection ready. With incremental changes to all kites, an entire new surfboard line introducing four new construction techniques, a new look for all twin tips and more foils for kiting, SUP and surf, RRD’s marketing team fills us in on the details.
RRD RECONFIGURED ITS ENTIRE KITE LINEUP LAST YEAR, REALLY TARGETING EACH MODEL TO MATCH A RIDER’S ‘EMOTIONS’ AND STYLE WHEN RIDING. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN 2019?
Expectations remain high for our Y24 (24th year of business) 2019 line up. Our kites continue to be some of the strongest and well-constructed kites on the market while remaining true to RRD’s style and our signature Italian design. The continued specificity of the line allows us to connect more deeply to those emotions created between our riders and our products. Increasing the amount of those memorable moments and unforgettable sessions is the reason we continue to create highly technical, innovative products, mixed with beauty and a constant focus on our customers’ experience.
The changes to this year’s line are again quite significant. The Religion is a must have for any serious wave rider. We didn’t hold back in making this an extremely specific wave machine. It’s incredible! The Obsession is now a 4-line only kite while still maintaining its awesome lift, loops, and tons of slack for those who are seriously dedicated to the freestyle discipline. The Vision has been redesigned to fit more of the freeride discipline while the Passion has been tuned up to become a higher performer in all disciplines. It’s our do-it-all kite. The Emotion has undergone tunes and tweaks to slightly improve its characteristics but this remains our freeride/light wind/travel necessity kite. Another huge announcement is that the Addiction will be reintroduced back into the line as our big air/all-around freestyle kite! The Addiction will be focused on creating tons of lift and smooth, predictable handling that is geared towards those freestylers that want to do it all, hooked or unhooked.
THE OTHER BIG NEWS FOR RRD 2019 IS SURFBOARD TECH. TELL US ABOUT THE FOUR NEW CONSTRUCTION OPTIONS FOR WAVE AND STRAPLESS RIDERS.
The 2019 RRD Surfboard line is all new. The surfboard tech allows us to provide the highly sought after features that kiters have been seeking for years. That is a kiteboard that feels like a surfboard, yet it can withstand 40-foot airs and be ridden in every type of condition. As the years go by and the technology and knowledge advances, those benefits are now much more of a reality than in the past. But our new tech is just one sweet piece of the pie that allows us to achieve these amazing products. The boards’ shape, the non-stop R&D, the feedback from our customers, and the advanced technology is what completes the full circle and is why these boards truly stand out.
The four constructions RRD brings to the market are as follows. BLKRBN (Black Ribbon), UC (United Cores of RRD), Classic PU (The Real Surf Feeling), LTE (Built Tough, Lasts Long). The BLKRBN is taking light and strong kitesurf boards to an entirely new level. They are the first line of kitesurf boards made with aersospace technology. Although durable and light, these boards still maintain a significant amount of flex.
The UC is our updated and improved version of the LTD construction. This construction allowed us to construct extremely high performance surf shapes that are also very light and strong. We focused on taking the UC one step further in the direction of longevity. Our UC Boards are built to last with added reinforcements, such as a waterproof band around the rails to protect the board if damaged.
The Classic PU provides that pure surfboard feel. Like in the other constructions, weight and strength were a primary focus—the new 2019 line features improvement in these areas while maintaining the lowest fiber and foam memory, which provides that smooth surfboard feel.
The LTE is insanely durable. The core is so strong that it could be used on the water without any laminate! The full glass layup allows it to also be super flexible while maintaining unmatched durability.
With five shapes, four constructions and 26 boards to choose from, RRD’s dedication to providing the best possible experience on the water in any condition becomes quite evident. We truly have something for everyone, no matter where you are in the world.
THE H-FLIGHT HYDROFOIL, YOUR FIRST, WAS INTRODUCED TO THE MARKET IN 2017. WHERE DOES RRD FEEL THE FOIL MARKET IS GOING AND WHAT’S IN THE LINEUP FOR 2019?
In 2019 RRD has introduced the SH Flight and Squid along with the H-flight and Dolphin which have excelled in there space and are really getting high marks and a positive response from our customers, team riders, and testers. Because RRD believes in making changes when necessary, and not for the sake of having something ‘new,’ these products will continue to service the freeride foil market.
The Squid is a new member of the foil family and is a multifunctional option. The Squid can be used as both a skimboard and a hydrofoil board. It has thin profile, low volume, and full EVA deck. Light wind sessions and travel will not be an issue with this new shape!
RRD creates not only kiteboarding products, but also windsurfing, SUP and surf products. Because foils are showing up in all forms of watersports, we are now producing foils for all of these disciplines as well. And because there is now a shift towards thicker, wider, larger, lower aspect foils, RRD is now proud to present the SH Flight Hydrofoil. This has an 82cm PU and carbon front wing, moderately long aluminum fuselage, 52cm rear carbon wing, a 60cm aluminum mast, and 4-hole base plate. The SH Flight will be an awesome addition to your quiver for the surf pump foil discipline.
MAJOR CHANGES WERE MADE TO RRD’S GLOBAL V8 BAR CONTROL SYSTEM LAST YEAR. WHAT MAKES YOUR BAR STANDOUT FROM ITS COMPETITORS AND WERE ANY CHANGES MADE TO THE BAR FOR 2019?
The Global bar has always been regarded as one of the cleanest, and simplest bars. We believe in simplicity and functionality, especially when it comes to safety. The V8 bar will continue to be our choice bar for all of the kites in our range for 2019. This year will be the first that a new size will be available. The Global V8.2 will now include a smaller 48cm bar. In the past, there was only a 55cm bar. The new Global V8.2 will still maintain its award-winning diameter, swivel, simple and safe QR, with a single line flagging system, and of course, the rigid thread flying lines. These lines can only be found on RRD Global bars and are second to none in regards to stretch. Our lines don’t stretch and because of the unidirectional inner core and wrapped out core, less salt and sand penetrate the lines making them last forever!