This is the fourth version of RRD's 'adrenaline driven kite. RRD highlight the MKIV as the most advanced yet user-friendly kite in their range. Thanks to a new leading edge arch on the small sizes they have also upgraded the kite in important areas, such as improved turning speed in the big sizes and more neutral pull on kite loops, which makes for an even more stable kite with 5% more power and improved ease of riding unhooked. It's the new trendsetter in speed and progressively smooth power in all areas of the wind window. Perfect for kite loops and power moves, it's ideal for every serious kiteboarder.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
After riding the first Obsession a few years ago, this is a test we've looked forward to each year since. As far as we're concerned, this range has a certain pedigree and is right up our street. The Obsession comes in a nice backpack that's easy to get the kite in and out of and, although the kite isn't constructed super heavily, it's well manufactured with lots of
little bits of attention to detail, such as reflective end sections, grab handles and more. The bar system is very solid and just super simple. Really clean in front of you, the trimming system works on a smooth cleat, the chicken-loop self rights itself in the bar when you unhook, the chicken-loop itself is solid and a good size for unhooking and the moulded plastic push away release works very easily. It's simply a good package.
Performance wise the kite has always been good, pushing the fastest kites on the market to pull their socks up. This model is perhaps even quicker, it's an absolute screamer. A couple of years ago the Obsession was a bit more of a kite loop machine, now not so much, unless you are more measured and precise with your handling, but it does have feeling throughout the wind window. The power doesn't shut off when it starts turning.
The 2012 model is so fast and responsive, reacting instantly to bar input. Medium bar pressure, it's fast but has a comfortable side to it's character too, with a lovely low-end grunt that will happily pull you along without any fuss. The connection you have with the kite is just stunning which, combined with its boosty nature, makes piloting the kite during jumps a lot of fun. You can go huge on this and also really throw it about the sky for some really aggressive riding. If you're an experienced rider, pair this up with a fast twin-tip and you will have a lot of fun. We didn't test it in waves, but it's definitely quick enough, drives forward and has loads of depower.
Five stars for this kite – it's absolutely brilliant. Intermediates will be fine on it, they'll just have to adjust quicker than normal to a faster kite, but the better you are the more you'll enjoy this. It's just so eager to please with seemingly endless energy. If it had a tail it would permanently be wagging.
If you had a tail you'd be wagging it while you're riding this. Roberto Ricci would probably prefer an Aston Martin analogy after seeing his most recent video, but we're more from the two wheeled school. Like a super sport 600cc motorcycle, this is an absolute weapon, fast, fun and with scalpel-like precision for all forms of freestyle.
Incredibly responsive handling and unhooked stability mixed with great boosting.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
If anything the kite loops are a bit fast now for really experienced kite loopers, but it would be good for getting to grips with looping.
15, 13.5, 12, 10.5, 9, 7, 6 and 5m
RRD Global V4 bar (VIDEO)
This test is inissue #53