The new Religion has mind-blowing performance for any serious wave rider. For onshore conditions you need a fast turning kite that flies slightly lower in the wind window, allowing you to ride waves without stalling, but the problem happens when you start riding in proper cross or cross-offshore winds. The kite has to be stable, powerful and locked in the centre of the wind window. The Religion MK111 is the perfect kite for both worlds. Thanks to a new redesigned profile, featuring a longer leading edge, flatter tip design and slightly longer, wider tips, the Religion is now 20% more stable, and with so much more power locked in when you need. However, the same neutrality of the kite swinging in front of you is still there when you release the bar and ask for control and to not be blown out of the water. Riding waves with control has never been easier. Concentrate on reading waves, create your tracks and forget about your kite. Love this sport, it is a gift from heaven and only those who ride waves on a kite know the feeling!
TEST TEAM NOTES:
This third generation of Religion is packed with details. The bar is very simple and clean but functional. The chicken-loop push away tab on top of the loop works very simply and shouldn't get clogged up with sand, the chicken-loop itself is a good size, self rights when unhooked and has a flexible chicken-finger that's easy to get in and out of your hook. The bar itself is of medium grip, feels nice and thin in your hands and the trimming cleat system is slightly different to others as it uses an elastic line, so retracts out of the way even when you have the kite depowered ? not that it needs much trimming! The central lines run up through a large central hole in the bar enabling turning when sheeted out and no wear to the lines. We'd like to also mention that the RRD lines are cord, rather than plaited, making them feel super strong, easy to unwind and long lasting. As you'd expect from the Religion, super bright colours, although this year they're even more full on. No one is going to miss you on this. The kite itself is very strong indeed. The logo is actually worked into the panels of the kite, working with it to add strength in the canopy. It looks like a lot of work, but if the kite's as tough as it looks and feels, it's surely worth it. The wing-tips are a little more swept back than last year and the kite has a wider span, but is also lower in aspect.
Big tips add to the stability of the kite and are also where the fantastic turning speed comes from. The Religion has always been quick and this one doesn't let the side down, and retains a lovely smoothness throughout the turns. There's nothing jerky and you can tighten the loop up nicely. The power delivery is lovely on the Religion, it's an exciting band of power that feels really high revving once you pull the bar right in. There is juice available at the bar; a nice bit of power for those times when you need it through sheeting in. The top end is superb and the speed of the kite's handling can help you generate more power at its bottom end. Plus, you can pull in on that bar as much as you like and it won't over sheet. Although the steering is quite pivotal the Religion does create some power when you smash it across the window; for averagely sized people and above it's just right and there's feeling all over the window.
There is a lovely involvement with the Religion. The bar feels very connected to the kite and very in tune with what you're doing. The input is somewhere in the middle ? not heavy but not super light. The feedback isn't jolty but poised and set nicely for optimum performance. It's happy being fired across the window or left to drift with you ? it doesn't need to be kept busy all the time. It sits just in the middle of these two characteristics, but will jump into action in a second and then you can shut it all off in a second as there's so much depower at the bar.
The Religion is at the performance end of this wave kite review. It's fast, but not the most lightening fast but just handles all conditions beautifully, whether you want it to sit and drift, depower in an instant or link quick turns down-the-line.
A super taught feeling in a kite that is very well primed and ready for wave action, be it drifting or being fired around the window.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Very light riders might feel there's a bit much power through the turn occasionally when really firing it around, but they could probably drop down a size as the Religion generates really good power through movement.
SIZES: 11.5, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4m
KITE BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality ? 9
Full package ? 8
Low end ? 7.5
Top end - 9
Steering speed - 8
Turning circle ? 4.5
Bar pressure ? 4
Drift ? 7.5
Water relaunch ? 8.5
Jumping / hang-time ? N/A
Unhooked ? 8.5
Easy of use ? 8