RRD Obsession MK9, Global Bar V7 review
I tested the RRD Obsession MK9 9m and 12m sizes for a long time now in Hungary, preseason (28th Feruary – 28th April). I’m a 95 kgs, 195 cms, advanced rider.
RRD Obsession MK9
I would say it is almost the same good design as the MK8. A strong kite to pull you up high with a good all terrain abilities.
The kite is strong, so if the wind drops maybe you will be the last who have to come out and change for bigger sized kite. But also the trim is amazing so in gusty conditions you can still take the power of the kite and can focus on your tricks.
I think there is a big difference between the 2 sizes (9m and 12m). The 12m is a really strong stable kite for rolls, free-style, long airtimes. The 9m is a fast moving big air kite, even for kiteloops.
The kite is even more stable than the MK8 was. The 9m has amazing upwind performance. As I know this year the RRD team didn’t make a dedicated race kite. I think it is a very good pick for racing. The 12m is definitely sits more back in the wind window. So there you will need more power if you want to edge hard to go upwind, but still goes up well.
The kite is stable in any kind of gusts. With the bar length and trim abilities I would easily decide to go for a 5 hour tour. Also good on choppy conditions, the kite will stay stable.
In the air
I would say that this kite is for big air. Takes you really high. In the air you can easily play with the kite, decide whether it should pull you downwind more, or should me a super high jump.
The 12m is stable, giving you a long airtime. Easy to perform triple rolls, board offs. Also pulling a kiteloop during a backroll, or darkslide gives you the perfect strength pull (enough to land your trick, not too much to hurt yourself). The loop is also giving a very constant pull – which is very easy to handle.
The 9m is really fast, and that is the kite I can use to jump the highest. In the air it is easy to use it as a moving pendulum (I can decide in the middle of a jump whether it should be a transition or a regular jump – thank to it’s fast steering speed). I would say, this size is perfect for megaloops. Pulls you up. You can decide about the size of the loop. Only thing you will have to focus is to push the bar out when you are looking for the pull out. Otherwise the kite could be a bit slow, and you can’t avoid an impact with fast speed.
Definitely stronger than the MK8 on unhooked moves. Also the kite is more stable during unhooking. I could easily “wakeboard” with it. It means I just unhooked and I was freeriding like that.
The kites work best during unhooking if you give some trim on it (it is hard to adjust them in gusty conditions). With the 9m you must add a 5-6cm trim at least to prevent the kite stall back in the wind window.
After a pop mostly the 12m pull you a bit strong, and it’s kind of scary in the air. Anyway it is good enough to perform handle passes. If you are looking forward to become a professional freestyle rider you will need for example the Obsession Pro (more C shape).
Despite the big pull of the 12m I said above, I prefer to perform new-school freestyle more with the 12m than the 9m, because it is a slower kite, so easier to keep the kite in a position during power-jums. Also the unhooked kiteloops pull more, since the kite’s turning speed is lower, so the loop is bigger.
Never used it on waves. But the smaller size must be very good for it since the MK8 was good on waves.
- Very good quality. Hit the water with powered loops. The kite survived easily.
- It’s multi functional kite bag still rocks.
Good kite for perfect and bad conditions also. Very high end big air kite. Also you can reach high advanced level in all terrains with this toy.
RRD Global Bar V7
The bar had some changes since the last one (V6) but basically it is still a simple, safe, well usable bar.
General changes – safety and closer Y
The basic changes effected the safety system of the kite and the Y came closer to the rider.
I really like that the Y came closer. I guess that the kite is flying more stable. It is also easier to track the twistings of the front lines. Also if the kite will ever turn inside out (never happened to me with RRD Obsession since I use them – April 2016) I can easily solve the solution (only if there are safe conditions)
As the Y came down they had to add an extra safety line to system. So when you apply the release system, the kite will have 100% depower. Actually this kind of safety works even better then the previous one (that was also very safe). This case the kite will truly fly on on line and the attachment point will help the kite to go into a safe position (with previous bar it could fly up – still be depowered)
The bar got a stopper solution. The bar’s central lines and safety system (middle ropes on a bar) are running in a rubber tube. I really like it.
- It makes it look more simple.
- Better protection for the ropes.
- Ropes never scratch your fingers when you hold the bar with one hand int the middle of the bar.
This rubber tube made it impossible to add a stopper to the RRD bars until now. The team added a stopper to it with this edition. It strains to the rubber tube, so you have to force it to move from one position to an other.
- The stopper has a big size, so it is easy to grab.
- If you just push the bar hard you will push the stopper away (safe solution)
- When it’s dry it is hard to move it
- When it’s wet, in strong wind, the bar force can auto release it (on 12m)
Still not the solution to perform deadman style jumps. In gusty wind, strong wind it doesn’t work well (but you may not use a stopper ball there). It could be a good solution for riders with short arms in nice thermal wind places.
Same system as on the previous RRD bar they just made small adjustments to make it more perfect.
The handle is longer, so it is easier to grab it in rush situation. Problem with it is when you add a lot of trimming (which is a very good ability of the kite) you will have an even longer piece of rope hanging on your bar.
They added an extra feature to the trim system. You can loop the handle to the front lines. This way it won’t hang there (above problem). It works well when you just use your trim system to set up the perfect pull in stable wind. But when you have to make a lot of adjustments on the trim in gusty wind (like in Hungary) it is not the safest way to use.
It happens sometimes that the gust makes the wind from 28 knots to 35 knots strong. In a situation like that you may want to add all the trim to your kite fast. If the rope attached it is not the safest way to perform it.
Other adjustment was added to the cleat. It is better design. Stronger material. Hold the trim rope better. (Specially me had no problem with the previous one). In this case it happened to me that due to gusty winds the rope stuck into the cleat, and I had to use two hands to release it.
Very good trim system. Easy to use in every problematic situation, so I would say it is very safe. Also has some abilities to make it more comfortable, that basically works in safe conditions.
The chicken loop is small, that is a pro for short armed riders. And could be a problem for unhooking.
The safety is ending in the middle of the chicken loop. It is possible to put the leash on suicide mode. The safety still works very well but I had a little problem here.
When I use some trimming on the kite this safety ending gets loose. And it can hang a bit. The leash’s carabiner will hold it close to your harness’s hook. Problem happens when you perform unhooked tricks.
After unhooking the carabiner will prevent the the chicken loop to hook back. I had to aim the side of the chicken loop to the hook, so the carabiner wont stuck between the chicken loop and the harness’s hook.
My solution for this would be to use some magnetic materials. So the ending of the safety will stay close to the release system.
If you release the bar during an unhooked trick the power of the kite will be on the the carabiner so it will force the end of the safety rope to remove from the magnetic part, but it will be really easy to attach it back.
The quality of the rigid thread lines is maybe the best on the market. Very durable. As I know if you are looking for lines for racing, you can also ask for them.
I like the idea of giving a bar holder bag. It can protect your lines from sharp tools (specially when you are packing in your car in a rush). I would have used some material that let’s the bar to breath thru it’s bag, so it won’t stay wet for days. Also the bag is a bit small, difficult to put the bar inside (this way many people will just leave the bag at home)
Clean, safe bar for everybody. If you want to be a professional new-school freestyle rider you may think about the Obsession Pro with the V7 5 lines freestyle bar.