Silky smooth, plug and play performance for easy freeride progression
THIS TEST FIRST APPEARED IN ISSUE #98 IN MARCH 2019
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Brand new and just released – wow! The Vision is now such a good freeride kite, with just the right added performance to make everything comfortable and predictable and yet not boring. Spritely and keen, it’s not too fast and not too slow – always holding a nice amount of power.
On first runs out the Vision’s silky smooth feel is obvious, but did make us think that it would be a bit boring when we sent it for a jump off a kicker – but not at all! The Vision delivers enough of the fun performance that anyone will appreciate in kitesurfing, but with lots of intuitive handling, smoothness and pace.
That’s really the key thing here: it does everything at the same pace.
The Vision inspired trying long lost tricks again, like back roll kite loops because it’s comfortable and also loops nice and consistently without threatening to haul you if you get something wrong. Whether you’re just starting kite loops, or happy to throw them for fun, there’s a bit of a chug but really the highlight is that the Vision always goes round smoothly. Mixing back rolls and kite loops, even if you don’t get your take-off quite right, you can pull on the bar a bit more and the Vision will pivot round tightly, again without stalling – which can sometimes happen when you get a big yank from a kite. When riding the Vision however, you can just continue to apply pressure at the bar and it’ll whip round overhead.
The Vision really does have enough performance to be an excellent kite for improving intermediate riders. The RRD range for 2019 is now very inter-connected and well thought out for all riders, but the Vision in particular is good for 80% of the market. Sure, people want to go for Rebels and XRs for power and big jumps, but this Vision is a more all-round work horse for all situations.
Tester Chris in particular – who usually loves a gritty and powerful kite – was having the time of his life, trying board-offs and spins… and just generally having a great time. Never overpowered, good range and never having to edge too hard. Similar to the Naish Triad this issue, the Vision steers very nicely and doesn’t bite.
Also on test this issue, the RRD Addiction is much more geared towards the classic, fast RRD steering that we’ve enjoyed since the beginning, and it definitely turns the performance heat up a few notches, whereas the Vision is just so smooth and easy. And like we always say; first and foremost, an easy kite makes you a better rider. The Vision’s not spongey or heavy and feels sharper then the Passion that we tested last season.
We didn’t test the Vision in super strong winds, but it was proper nine metre weather nonetheless and also of note is that the low end is very respectable and makes riding fun. The depower doesn’t completely shut off – the Vision always holds a little bit of power (more than the Triad), but that can also help smooth your riding and the kite’s position in the window is so forgiving and comfortable, so there’s never too much feeling of torque at the bar.
We could give this to any early intermediate as well as anyone above that level, and they’d really improve and have a good time. We can’t overstate the plug and play nature of this kite.
The Vision isn’t as beefed up in terms of total canopy reinforcement as other high-performance models in the RRD range, but there’s enough and that lighter flying weight definitely helps make the Vision feel so beautiful – budding foilers are you listening? Equipped with Quick Air flow valve, RRD’s anti-tangle bridle device and more technical assets that you can read about on their site. Plus the RRD Global V8.2 bar is, as usual, clean, strong and features all the essential modern handling requirements – such line swivel, plastic covered sheeting line etc. etc…
Watch the Vision in action here:
Pure plug and play freeride that’s light feeling, super easy and yet capable of great performance for advanced riders who could also have good fun on this. It’s even got application in waves given the good shut-off, forward flight and lovely steering feel. RRD have done a really good job here for a big sector of the market who know that they just want a kite that’s going to make their sessions uncomplicated but still really enjoyable and progressive. If you’re looking to share a quiver with your partner perhaps, the Vision is a good option.
Send it, turn it, launch it, loop it, boost it and shut it down: confidence-inspiring feel.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
If we’re being picky then heavier riders will want a bit more obvious drive, but the Vision does have acceptable sheet and go power for most people.
VISION BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 8
Full package: 8.5
Low end: 7.5
Top end: 7.5
Steering speed: 7
Turning circle: 4.5
Bar pressure: 5.5
Water relaunch: 8
Ease of use: 9.5
SIZES: 15, 13.5, 12, 10.5, 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5m