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Review RRD Obsession 2011

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Riding type: Freeride/New School
Year: 2011
Brand: RRD
Size: 05m, 06m, 07m, 09m, 10.5m, 12m, 13.5m, 15m
Type: SLE
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Kite

Freestyle 4 line SLE performance kite by RRD

Designer Goals

RRD designers claim to have increased the power the Obsession can generate 10% - 15% more power than the 2010 model.  Power, stability and more feedback for example during kite loops.  These are the key points of the 2011 obsession.
RRD designed the different sizes to have the same timing in the 7, 9 and 10.5 M kites for freestyle riders. According to the designers the Obsession should also suit big-air lovers.
More power, more feedback and more performance!

Details:

Riding type: Freeride/New School
Year: 2011
Brand: RRD
Size: 05m, 06m, 07m, 09m, 10.5m, 12m, 13.5m, 15m
Type: SLE
One pump: Yes
Bridles: Yes
Number of struts: 5
Colours: Various
Line length: 22m to 25m
Bar length: 55cm
Bar: 4 lines
Depower: Clamcleat
Safety: Pull
Swivel: Yes
Variable bar length: Yes
Oh shit handles: Yes

Who is the kite for?

This is a performance kite for freestylers and big-air lovers.
RRD designers claim to have increased the power the Obsession can generate 10% - 15% more power than the 2010 model.  Power, stability and more feedback for example during kite loops.  These are the key points of the 2011 obsession.
RRD designed the different sizes to have the same timing in the 7, 9 and 10.5 M kites for freestyle riders. According to the designers the Obsession should also suit big-air lovers.
More power, more feedback and more performance!

Off water

When unpacking the 2011 Obsession two things catch your eye. First of all, the unconventional back side of the kite. The middle strut is shorter than the ones next to it, this results in a canopy which looks like it has a bit missing in the middle.
The second thing you notice is the extra fabric next to the tip struts. In the clip (specifications) Roberto Ricci explains that this improves the feedback of the obsession by moving the center of pressure more forward. This extra fabric also allows the designers to tune the kites to maintain the same characteristics throughout the size range.
The Obsession has two pulleys. The top pulley (see picture below) is the most important pulley, it allows the kite to trim itself in gusts.  The Obsession looks nice and has a good finish.  The panels are close to each other which increase durability. The Obsession has reflective materials incorporated on the tips, for the people who like optical features!

RRD onsession 2011 briddlesRRD obsession 2011 tipRRD obsession 2011 unpacked

On water

Once you launch the Obsession you immediately feel the pull the kite generates. This pull is easily compensated by the available depower.  The depower is short (short depower range) but allows for full depower.  Depowered the control tends to decrease, so ensure you keep the kite somewhat powered! The Obsession scores good points on the stability and wind range, the freestyler can start performing trick quite soon due to the good low-end. In its high end the Obsession transforms into a big-air kite, a lot of lift and good feedback in the glide phase. There is quite a bit of bar pressure which only increases in the high-end, a feature you either like or dislike; but I know riders who like the feedback. The good feedback through the lines and the total depower make the Obsession a safe kite that will challenge a performance rider. It feels dependable.
The safety system is somewhat outdated, but performs fine!

Conclusion

RRD markets the Obsession as a performance freestyle/big air kite. Even though this sounds like a somewhat unlikely combination, it is exactly what the kite is. In the low-end a quick kite with good pop and boost. Once you get more wind the characteristics of the Obsession change and you get a kite with more bar pressure, more lift and good feedback. Great characteristics for the big-air freaks.

Basics

Safety system

Difficult Easy

Kite re-launch

Difficult Easy

Total depower

Still pressure Total depower

Windrange

Limited Wide

Kite stability

Unstable Stable

Oldskool

Lift

Gradual Explosive

Glide phase

Short Long

In the high end +18 kts

Low-end

Small range Large range

High-end

Small range Large range

Wave

Steering with low line tension

Not so good Good

Feedback at edge of wind window

Minimal Great

Turning circle

Large radius Small radius

Reaction to steering action

Slow Fast

Race

Going upwind

Hard Easy

Maximum speed

Difficult Easy

Kiteposition in wind-window

Middle Edge

Acceleration

Slow Fast

There are 4 reviews on this product:

RRD Obsession 2011
Name:
stef 
kitefinder.com - 02.03.2011 at 10:21 hour
Comments:
Hi Joe,

I did tested the 9m. I think the best way to find out if the 10.5 or 12m RRD in the local RRD shop.

I am 95 kg and tested the 9m in 15-22 knots. 
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RRD Obsession 2011
Name:
joe 
kitefinder.com - 01.03.2011 at 08:19 hour
Comments:
Very Nice review. I'm looking to pick up this kite but can't decide on a 10.5 or the 12m. I weigh around 80 kg. I typically get variable conditions around 15-20 knots give or take. I prefer big air riding over wakestyle (for now) and am coming from a three kite quiver of 2008 Royal Era kites of 6, 10 and 14m. After flying this kite do you feel a 12m has enough depower and high end range to handle a little over 20 knots without getting yanked around, yet is a fast turning kite that doesn't feel too big in the air around 15-18 knots. Thanks so much for any advice you can provide. 
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RRD Obsession 2011
Name:
stef 
kitefinder.com - 19.01.2011 at 00:54 hour
Comments:
Hi Mostafa,

Thanks!
The V3 bar. I see we did write about it on the RRD Passion 2011 review. But is not translated yet.

http://www.kitemobile.nl/nl/kites/946/rrd-passion-20 11

It will come up soon! 
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RRD Obsession 2011
Name:
Mostafa Al Hussaini 
kitefinder.com - 18.01.2011 at 07:30 hour
Comments:
Which bar have you tested ? the v2 or the v3 .

I see that you have not commented at the rigid thread lines that rrd are exclusive with ?

good review

cheers 
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