Sunset Addiction

RRD Addiction 9M Test Review

RRD addiction in Cape Town

Park, ride, sheet and go with a large sweet spot for tapping into massive jumps and hangtime


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The Addiction was new last year and already we’ve seen a swerve in approach for this model. RRD kites have always stood out strongly in our minds for their class leading bottom end performance and this year the Addiction has switched from being a strong wind kite loop oriented kite to become a real player in the big air category for more normal conditions.

Addiction kite Y25POWERFUL…

Along with the Passion (reviewed next issue), this was the most powerful nine metre on test with by far the most low end grunt. Worldwide, 16 to 20 knots are common and, if you’re looking to show-off as often as possible, the Addiction could be your ticket to board-off stardom.

You’ll be ripping on this nine metre when many other riders are still stroking their 11 metres up and down. Delivering real freeride performance in relatively low winds – you won’t just be mowing the lawn and doing transitions. Put the Addiction up, the lines will lift your spreader bar and you’ll have the confidence to get out and play. It’s immediately apparent that the Addiction has been designed to produce as much lift and hangtime as possible. A very large sweet spot overhead is easy to tap into for boosting and when you hit the apex of the jump there’s then bags of float on the way down. For holding your tweaks, doing board-offs and general air-style riding, the steadiness overhead makes the Addiction shine. No flapping and no pinching in the wing-tips and when you’re steering the kite with one hand, the Addiction won’t wander. Reacting less to smaller inputs at the bar means this is a great kite for learning to jump bigger and bigger as well as progressing with complicated board-offs and spins because you have so much extended time in the air.



Now less C-shaped, although not as responsive or quick turning as last year, the Addiction is less snatchy in its power delivery and generally easier to use. What the Addiction lost in turning speed it has made up for in easy jumping and hangtime. You can get really high on this kite in relatively light winds.

The firm steering and immense sheeting power does become quite physical and requires more technical board skills at the kite’s top end, or when you’re wanting to throw the kite around very energetically for quick turns in waves. You’ll need to hold your edge harder to keep line tension and encourage the kite forward into a more depowered position in the window. When some nine metres are only just becoming juicy and fun, the Addiction continues to offer you ever more lift and flow, but beyond that can become a more physical experience.

This isn’t a kite that you can shut off to zero, but by maintaining some power the Addiction really helps smooth out your riding in its low to mid range. If you’re already trying board-offs, or having a hard time getting your timing right but are keen to go big, you’ll really enjoy this kite.


Unlike last year, the Addiction isn’t a natural kite looper because it doesn’t have that whip and acceleration round the bottom of the loop. Taking longer to turn, combined with a lot of bassline power, the Addiction produces big pull, but you need to go high to perform proper kite loops on this. Heli-loops and downloops are different, but there is always a bigger delivery of power in general, whatever you’re doing. In normal freeride conditions this hangs with the best hooked-in big air kites. Move it, sheet in and go. You don’t need to think too much about what you’re doing and, in situations such as when you’re coming back into the beach and trying to speed up to overtake a section of white water, you can just sheet in and it will drive you forward beyond the turbulent water. Then just sheet out and keep going.



Y25 Global bar is available in two sizes, 52 and 48cm (we had the 52 which RRD recommend for most kites). Find more on this bar in the Religion review this issue. Essentially, like the kites this year, it’s beautiful looking, predominantly black and sleek, features all modern conveniences and works exactly as you need it to. There’s a really long trimming tab so everyone can reach it, but it does cause a bit more dangle when you have the kite quite heavily trimmed as a result. You can secure the Velcro loop around your centre line to stop the dangle, but that does slightly impede how much you can trim the kite in one pull. From the bar, to the lines and throughout the kite, RRDs are not the lightest, but are totally built to last.

Overall, RRD have one of the most passionate group of loyal customers, and not just in Italy. There’s definitely something quintessentially different about their products. Now toned down on the bright colours, the Y25 collection is seriously complete for all styles of riding and this Addiction is a highly relevant kite for most European summer situations. Even the bag is very cool, super shiny and doubles as a changing mat or can be fully unzipped to act as a car seat protector. However, like a hot pair of Speedos, has no pockets for your pump!


Park, ride, sheet and go with a large sweet spot for tapping into massive jumps and hangtime. This is now a sporty but more logical and progressive step on from the Passion than it was last year. Now with more low and mid-range lift, easy speed and sheeting power, a 12 and 9 metre Addiction will see you sorted for most summer-time 15 – 25 knot situations. If you’re a smaller rider, you’ll lose no lift performance opting for a 10.5 and eight metre. For all tricks where you’re boosting and hanging under the kite; spinning, doing board-offs, grabs etc., this is a real crowd pleaser and makes what used to be average conditions a lot of jumping fun.

Strong wind, big-air performance delivered in more regular, everyday conditions.

The Addiction is a sheet-and-go / boosting kite. Pro riders can send massive kite loops on it, but if you’re looking to make easy progress on your kite loops, check out the Vision which is more responsive and faster turning.

Build quality: 8.5
Full package: 8
Low end: 9.5
Top end: 7.5
Steering speed: 4.5
Turning circle: 7
Bar pressure: 6.5
Water relaunch: 8
Drift: DT
Boost: 8.5
Hang-time: 9
Unhooked: NO
Crossover: 4
Ease of use: 8

SIZES: 15LW, 13.5LW, 12LW, 10.5, 9, 8 and 7m



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