The Addiction mkII was developed throughout the whole 2010 racing season and finalised at the end of this year. A full 18 months testing time went into making a kite with all the latest flying characteristics needed to distinguish it from other kites on the market. Today it represents pure blooded performance on a very solid, comfortable and controllable flying base. Performance is nothing without control.
The seven strut design forms the base for a stable and powerful profile. The moderate/high aspect ratio of the kite allows a powerful, yet very progressive pull on the bar. The kites keeps its behaviour of stability and constant power/depower even when completely sheeted out. The manoeuvrability the kite retains when heading deep downwind is incredible. The kite turns on itself and will keeps pulling you far into the window. Upwind the kite sits just where it needs to be. Efficient and powerful it's very predictable in its behaviour.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
What a good looking kite this is. That orange and black is so striking. Look at it – it looks fantastic! Roberto Ricci's products are always clean cut and very well featured. There's loads of nice detailing in the kite, which is well made and the Global bar system is beautifully smooth, simple and yet very robust with an easy cleat trimming system.
The kite doesn't just look good in the sky, it has a nice, swept back shape and the Addiction is as powerful as you would expect from such characteristics. For all its power, the Addiction has a huge amount of depower on the throw as well. This kite certainly has range and, as well as getting you going in stupidly light winds – this one is a real sub-ten knot machine and you can use the depower to hold on when conditions start to liven up. Make no mistake, the Addiction is like a bull, grunting and snarling its way around the sky, tugging you upwind and leading your downwind. Dig your edge in, sheet out and you'll fly upwind. Also holding good speed for a 16, the kite turns consistently and quickly, making it nimble enough to loop with a progressive, steady pull throughout.
The Addiction comes on slightly longer lines, closer to 28 metres, so the power stroke on the kite is even more effective. The extra line length do make the jumps have more of a swinging pendulum quality than you might be used to. Certainly exciting to jump, you load up and send the kite and then you're off on a journey. The lift isn't really up high and then a drift back down, instead after take-off you'll be more like a long range bomber, flying fast and far. As the lines are quite long, the bar needs a good, early tug to get the kite dipping back down when you come into land. But it's certainly an adventure and, again, you're never left looking for more power.
If you're looking to progress with your unhooked tricks, you'd be better looking elsewhere. Everything about this kite is about power generation. It's a beast and it doesn't like that slack line element with unhooked kiting. For riding hooked-in and going very fast, you'll like the Addiction.
Beautifully made and styled, the Addiction also packs a large, powerful engine under its attractive bonnet. If you're a bigger rider and want to go charging, never be short on power and earn yourself some air miles, the Addiction will be a good option. We didn't get to try it on a raceboard, but the forward drive, handling and speed all seem to be there to make it competitive on the race course.
Superb power generation in an easy-to-use package. There's actually nothing tricky about the flying nature of this kite, so the less experienced, bigger riders would also enjoy this.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Athletic, freestyle riders will want to trade some grunt in for some more unhooked refinement.
16, 13 and 11m
This test is in issue #52