The Obsession is the only SLE kite in RRD's line for 2010. Solid proven performance, solid power, "silly" manoeuvrability and perfect to ride unhooked. The Obsession 2010 is based on the fantastic success of the 2009 model with a revised shape, tipwidth, profile and outline design. The result is an even more stable kite, faster in the big sizes and slower in the small ones, with an incredible amount of power as well as ease when ridden unhooked. The new trendsetter in speed and progressive smooth power in all areas of the flying window.Perfect for kite loops and power moves as well as being great for every serious kiteboarder. A reference in the market today.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
At the time of testing, the 2010 bar hadn't been released so we were riding the '09 model. RRD bars are always consistently good; never too fussy but are comfortable and have every safety and setting option you could want - oh shit handles on each side, mini fifth line and an independent metal loop to suicide leash onto (you can clip onto both the suicide loop and fifth line loop, and when unhooked, you get suicide chickenloop line depower, but if you have to eject from the chickenloop by pulling the release you are leashed onto the fifth line safety that runs halfway up the kite as with most four line kites). There is loads of range in the bar; amazing low end power and good depower at the top end, too. The trimming cleat system on the '09 bar is above the bar and nice and easy to use, although we didn't really have to touch it all session, such was the range and balance of the kite.
There's a nice, straight-forward one pump and the kite is well-built without feeling overly heavy. The leading edge was fairly chunky on this 12 metre, but we know it's very narrow on the smaller sizes; the shape being maintained through the bridle rather than the rigidity of the leading edge, so the kites are very quick around the sky, especially with the narrow struts. It's slightly lower aspect than last year and slightly more C shaped. This 12 metre is grunty looking and manly; mid-aspect but modern and with fantastic light wind performance. The conditions we were riding in averaged probably 14 – 16 knots and we had more than enough power.
The biggest kite RRD make in this range is a 13.5 metre; you don't need a bigger kite than that. The turning for a 12 metre was lively with very quick speed through the air. On a big kite you can never get away from the fact that it has so much kite area, but this is rapid and it's the special connection with the kite and how the power is delivered that's so nice. For a hybrid kite it's very smooth and progressive at the bar. There's no wham in the power delivery pulling you over the front of your board; this led you in gently. It's a lovely kite to ride that instils confidence. Sent jumps are easy, you get loads of hang-time, can spot your landing and know exactly when you're going to land. The bottom end has improved from last year, which is great on a 12 metre, but the main difference is the kite's unhooked performance. The on/off power is much smoother and you get a lot more feedback through the bar. Bar pressure is light without being so light that you don't know where the kite is and you never get tired arms during a session. As it's lower aspect you get much more freestyl performance and better kite loops with a happy balance between pivotal an powered loops, which is good for most riders. For wave riding it doesn't stall but sits back nicely following you down-the-line as well as having loads of manoeuvrability for more onshore conditions. Unhooked it's incredibly stable with very little trimming required, if any, and will sit there, pull and you can just pop. It's even happy if you just want to go cruising hookedin and relaunches very well to boot.
A superbly rounded product, from the simple bridle to the nononsense functionality and performance. There are no compromises or short cuts anywhere, from the safety system, to the bridle and kite, to the build quality and the performance throughout. Finally a 12 metre that can be your biggest kite – the light wind performance is incredible on this, but the kite's got range, too. If you're around 85 kilos, this will see you good up to around 25 knots. Beginner or expert, this kite will do everything.
KW LIKED: Supreme and easy performance straight out of the bag.
KW WOULD CHANGE: Weak donkey dick on the '09 bar, but should be improved on the 2010 model.
SIZES: 13.5, 12, 10.5, 9, 7, 5m