The Obsession Pro – only for hardcore freestylers. It's about time that you come up with a new four line C shape kite! How many times have we heard that phrase! Now everyone is catered for. RRD came up with a completely new design that will redefine the C shape freestyle kites. Easy, fast, stable and just what you want to ride in a full hardcore style – full power! The Obsession Pro is a full C shape design with a four line attachment set up as well as a fifth line option with the special Global freestyle bar setting for medium bar pressure and full neutral pull on kite loops.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
We tested the Obsession Pro in five line and are not commenting on the four line set-up. What a stunning kite this is, it's a serious piece of kit and beautifully stitched together with each graphic being part of the overall structure of the kite. It's very cleverly done and strong. The bar is very well made and nice, simple and very clean. The rubber on the bar is completely smooth with no ridges but is still very grippy and comfortable, feeling soft in the hands. Above the floats there are oh shit handles on each side for added security. The RRD safety system is very clean, easy and unfussy. The locking key works very well and is very nice unhooked. Very easy push-away red cap safety above the chicken-loop and the chicken-loop is very rigid for unhooking, is a good size and the floppy chicken-finger rotates out of the way. The main safety system runs through the chicken-loop safety system, through the plastic coated chicken-loop line and out the top of the cleat and runs up to the fifth line. The sheeting line is covered in plastic, reassuringly chunky and above that connects to a trim system that connects to a very smooth cleat and pulley. There's a little potential for flapping when completely depowered, but what's important is that it's not wrapping around anything else. Quality flying lines, too. The suicide system on first impressions seems quite ingenious but doesn't do anything more than if you attach to the chicken-loop. It pulls through the bottom of the chicken-loop but runs only to the normal throw length depower. The second loop is the safety line and you're much better off clipping to that and the chicken-loop, so you're on suicide, but if you do need to pull your release you can and you're still on the safety line.
The Obsession Pro's shape is more high-aspect than deep and grunty. The wing-tips are slightly swept back and there's a very small bridle with just one pulley. The projected area (usable area) of the kite in the centre is quite big, unlike a traditional C kite shape, so the power comes from the projected area rather than the low aspect-ratio as of deeper C kites. When we first took it out we had it in its default fast setting and it's really very fast. The Obsession has always been a fast and athletic kite, turning very quickly, but the Obsession Pro turns even quicker. It's the fastest kite we've got here on test, no doubt. Turning super fast and without any hint of stalling, it does drop power in the turn in this fast setting and is quite pivotal. Unusual characteristics for a C kite. On the second setting it doesn't really slow the steering down, but it requires more of an effort to initiate the turn, making it a much more stable platform for performing unhooked tricks. The turn is still not the most powerful on test and quite pivotal rather than taking a wider turning radius of most C kites, and of all these kites would also be the most suitable in waves, with plenty of depower, too.
The Obsession is one of our favourite kites for going big on, with incredible lift and hang-time. The Obsession Pro is less about that aerial nature of riding, but it is very punchy, so you can wang it backwards and it will take you up nicely, but it's obviously not the jumping machine the Obsession is, and isn't supposed to be. The Pro is much happier sitting down in the window and feels beautiful off the hook. There's no coughing and it gives you just the right tension at the bar giving you a lot of confidence and balance. Loads of pop and when you've edged and taken off it delivers the right amount of power without chugging you off downwind. Powerful and responsive, it has lots of beans and is a really fun kite for riding around nice and fast on, rather than being all about slow and steady wake-style only. It's fast and stacked with modern freestyle performance.
The Obsession Pro really is a pro riding handle-pass kite. If you're wanting to go big and do a bit of everything, the Obsession is still the choice for the average rider. But the Obsession has a tendency to haul you unhooked. If modern, unhooked freestyle is more your thing, the Obsession Pro is the choice.
Incredible feel in the kite riding unhooked.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Dedicated wake-stylers will want a slower kite.
12, 10.5, 9, 7, 6 and 5m
RRD Global V4 bar (VIDEO)
This test is in issue #56