RRD RELIGION 6 & 7M
We had the opportunity of testing two sizes of the Religion, a kite that we were very much looking forward to having reviewed for the last couple of seasons and have enjoyed its involving handling. For starters, the RRD is very well made. The colours may not be to everyone's taste, but you can be sure that if you drop the Religion in decent sized waves and it gets washed all the way back to the beach, it's still going to be in tact and ready for another session when you get back to it. RRD have also employed a good wide inflation system on their kites this year and other than that, in terms of looks and functionality, much has remained the same. At the bar there is a small change in the leash attachment point that runs through the middle of the chicken-loop and now runs free allowing you to untwist the front lines without affecting the leash. Still the same is the big push-away tab quick release which is a super simple operation and very easy to reset with a folding pin under the collar. The collar self keys into the bar presenting the nicely sized chicken-loop back to you when unhooked. The RRD bar has nice firm grip and there are no grooves on top. The centre lines are nicely covered so there's no rubbing of rope on your fingers and the RRD cleat and rope work very nicely, with a little bungy in the rope to minimise the dangle when heavily trimmed. The bar isn't trying to be bling and flashy and works well.
There is quite a difference even in just a small size difference between the six and seven metres. The six is noticeably quicker and more athletic. Both produce good power for their size and are probably the best suited to the bigger aggressive rider. The Religion is very responsive but it responds best when you give the bar a good work out. You can't be timid with the Religion, it likes to be man handled through the sky. Too light on the steering and the resulting turning arc is fairly wide and the flat section in the middle of the Religion actually creates quite a lot of drive. It likes to be sternly directed, instructed firmly to spin sharply and then advances forward in the window. Although being a modern wave kite it has lots of depower at the bar and you can get an injection of power with a quick sheet in at the bar, it does retain the most pull when fully sheeted out and is another reason why bigger riders are going to really enjoy it, and is then also why smaller riders can opt for smaller sizes in their quiver, which is always nice in waves.
We were interested to note how popular the Religion has also become with schools and freeriders for its ease of use, strength and ample power at the bar. We've often thought that all the great qualities in the handling and power delivery of a wave kite is also perfect for the freerider and it seems that RRD have adapted the Religion to further suit that group a bit more, which it no doubt will.
The Religion's build strength across the canopy, impressive low end and juice at the bar when you need it.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
We'd like a bit more of a progressive feel through the steering and on the throw. But heavier, stronger riders will like the fact that they can really man handle this kite without it running away from them.
RELIGION BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 8
Full package: 8
Low end: 8.5
Top end: 7.5
Steering speed: 6.5
Turning circle: 7.5
Bar pressure: 7
Water relaunch: 8
Ease of use: 7.5
SIZES: 12, 10.5, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4m