RRD Obsession MK10, Global Bar V8 review
As every year I’m going to write down my opinion on the newest freestyle orientated kite of RRD, the RRD Obesession MK10. If you are interested in previous year’s models check out my reviews:
It’s been 7 month that I have been using the new Obsessions with the RRD Global Bar V8. I’ve tested it on water (lightwind, strong wind), snow and even on ice. So I believe I have a clear vision about these kites. Please also note that I’m a big fan of RRD, so I may be partiality on these kites side.
I’m a 95 kg rider. Mostly testing the kites in Hungary (gusty wind). If you are interested in the level of my riding, check out the videos you can find on this website, or directly on our Vimeo channel.
RRD Obsession MK10
This year RRD decided to merge Obsession MK9 and Obsession Pro MK3 to RRD Obession MK10. The old RRD and the passion was merged into the new Passion. So lets say that now they have just 2 different kites instead of 3. I felt that the Obsession MK9 was a perfect kite for riders with level from beginning to advanced, but lately I have been looking for some more radical kite. I would say the new obsession is perfect. It is more like the Obsession Pro MK3, I wish I started to use that kite earlier.
I always tried to keep distance from full freestyle kites (like Obsession Pro). The C shape has some bad rumors:
- bad wind range,
- sensitive for gusts,
- difficult to handle.
I can assure you this kite is totally different (maybe all new generation C kites are like this, but this one definitely is). I have always been looking for a kite with good all-round performance. I’m a rider who mostly rides in the Hungarian gusty winds. It often happens, that the wind is super gusty. The wind can drop easily and you don’t want the kite to fall down, otherwise you’ll have to cross fields of bulrushes to escape the lakes. I was using the RRD Obsession MK10 with 4 lines and it really had a good all-round performance and it left that extra smiley on my face after sessions with kiteloops and new-school freestyle.
Freeride – general feeling
First impression when you try a new kite is the response you feel in the bar. For me it is very important. I don’t prefer kites with too light bar pressure, otherwise you won’t feel the kite during difficult jumps. I didn’t really feel the difference from the previous model, which was perfect. The kite can be easily steered without looking.
Upwind performance is quite good, I didn’t expect it this good. If you are looking for a real freeride kite take the RRD Passion MK9, it really goes upwind with any effort. Also provides a great lift.
The high end of the kite is awesome. The low end is not as good as the previous model’s (RRD Obsession MK9) low end. I used to have Obsession MK9 in sizes of 9m and 12m. First I tried the 9m size of the RRD Obsession MK10. I could only use it in strong winds and I felt I’ll need bigger sizes. The vertical projection of the kite is much less than the vertical projection of the delta shape of the RRD Obsession MK9. So my bigger kite is 13.5m now. (Also the 5 struts design enforces this)
Despite it I had a good experience with the light end of the kite. One day my friend Balala was riding an Ozone Cathalyst 8m while I was riding RRD Obsession MK10 9m. He is a 70-75 kgs rider and we had to end the session right at the same time as the wind was slowly dropping.
Read more about the high end below.
In the air
You often hear that it is difficult to land with a C kite, or they don’t offer as much hangtime. I can assure you that the new RRD Obsession MK10 offers you everything you need. With 4 lines and standard setup it provides a great hangtime. Actually it is easier to reach longer hangtime for beginners also, since the kite can go to the edge of the wind window easier (thanks to the shape). You don’t have to play as much with the pull&release of the bar to make the kite fly right above you. This way the kite will be right above your head in most of the time, and that is what gives you plenty of time even for board-offs.
Once the previous model was right above you, it holded you very well, but once you started to steer it the area of its vertical projection became smaller due to the small wingtips. During a kiteloop it dropped you faster. The super-square design of the RRD Obsession MK10 provides the feel of extra lift when steering the kite in air. It may won’t take you to a higher amplitude but it will hold you longer close to the peak.
Reaching super heights
When I started kitesurfing I was always into height. I remember my first glides and jumps, beautiful ladies on the shore were pointing to me. For me still the style of King Of The Air is the king discipline of this sport. Huge jumps varied with tricks. So lets say it didn’t really changed. Also in 2017 we had an all season long Woo competition in Hungary that created an urge for huge jumps for us. I don’t want to write down the whole story, you can read the results in an other article. One thing I want to mention is: The competition was pretty close until October:
- for me best 2 jumps 17.3m, 15.9m
- for Bazsi: 17.1m, 16.3m
After a strong wind session with the RRD Obsession MK10 my new scores were 20.6m and 18.8m.
I have an other aritcle about how I reached these heights in choppy conditions without kickers but here I provide a short story:
Problem with the previous model was that in winds around 40 knots the 9m was a bit small. The 10.5m was too powerfull. Once you start to send the kite back it pulls you strong downwind and really difficult to edge. You can reach 14-15m high jumps in a bit lighter winds also, but definitely you will feel the high end of the kite.
On 23rd October a 45-50 knots wind came I already tested the Obsession MK10 in light wind, but this time I wanted to use the MK9 9m since I got used to it. In that strong wind it was not a good idea. The wind was too strong for that kite I had to put it down since the kite was not even holding its shape.
So I pumped up the RRD Obsession MK10 9m. It could handle the gusts well, and took me high, really high. I would say if you jump 20+ meter high with a kite you just use the 2nd time (1st time in strong wind) that is boss for high jumps.
Interesting thing that I still didn’t even feel that the kite was too powerful. I just used the depower during the 30% of the session.
Other experience is when we were riding in a wind when the peak was 73 knots. Of course during our ride the maximum was around 60 knots but still it was really strong. I could handle the kite with depower and I had jumps about 15m (it was gusty so I couldn’t go higher due to the lack of constant lift).
After this experience I was already fell in love with this kite. I decided to order 10.5m and 13.5m sizes since it is really rare that the wind is so strong in Hungary like I mentioned. I said I’ll be able to handle the 10.5m in every condition.
More about high ends
Once the selected kites arrived I had the pleasure to test the 10.5m in Nin (Croatia) on a Bora. Wind was around 45-50 knots again. I could handle it with a little depower, I could jump 16 meters. But it didn’t feel comfortable I knew I’ll have to order also a 9m for these nasty conditions.
Next day the wind was weaker so the 10.5m was perfect. It feels like a small kite (super fast turning) providing enough lift (9m may not take you as high) and looping like a king. I can say I will have my best sessions with a 9m but most often the 10.5m will provide me good sessions since the wind is rarely enough for 9m here.
High end of the 13.5m:
Note that I’m a 95kg rider but I could still handle this kite in every conditions (maybe ~30 knots – when others were using 9m)
This is my favorite discipline and I have never had such good feeling like with this kite. I cannot write down the feeling, it’s just awesome.
One note: I often jump kiteloops in gusty conditions to. When the gust comes on the jump you will feel like the adrenaline is directly injected into your veins. When the wind drops during the loop it can still finish the loop and prevent a crash.
Definitely a good choice if you want to open up to this direction. The kite won’t stall without depowering. Providing awesome pops and slacks. If you looking for a really wake-style kite you may try it with 5 lines. For me the feeling of the unhooked kiteloop was one of the best feelings with the kite. It not just pulls you strong, but also softens the landing more since kite goes to the direction of the edge once it finishes the loop. Good thing that all sized are great in this 9m, 10.5m, 13.5m.
I didn’t really ride waves and we don’t have waves in Hungary. I would say if you are wave rider you will buy a wave kite like religion but if there are waves out on the spot you are visiting, go for it. It can drift, you will feel the kite’s position. Use it with 4 lines definitely.
Quality, package, others
- They introduced the double rip stop (I guess it is better)
- Kite bag got extra pocket (store keys easily)
- I like the new pumping system:
I guess the idea is coming from Core. You just use the pump without any adapter. This provides the widest available diameter for pumping and it will be compatible with all type of pumps. One thing I noticed is that the cap of the valve can have manufacturer problems. I used 4 different kites of these Obsession MK10. Two of them had a cap that was working fluently. One of them could stuck occasionally and it was difficult to remove. One of them is always difficult to remove. I guess it can be some inaccuracy during the manufacturing.
- Providing different setups. Also the 5th line setup’s ‘V shape bridle’ is included.
- The pink color is awesome
Great kite for all riders. Don’t be afraid if you think you are not advanced enough for this kite. You got a good all-round feeling with chance to improve your jump height, kiteloops and wave-style. Definitely the kite I will use on the GKA Air Games in 2018.
Each year I say something I would improve, this year I could really say anything, I just love this kite. I would be glad if the diameter of the main tube of the 10.5m was a little smaller. It may have technical reasons why it is not thinner, but that would definitely offer lower megaloops.
RRD Global Bar V8 (4 lines)
As RRD released a new kite they are also offering the newest version of their great bar the RRD Global Bar.
From V6 the V7 brought down the fork of the power lines. But they had to provide a short 5th line for 100% depower. I didn’t like it since it made more complicated the whole bar. Also the friction was more in the lines after rolls. This time the fork is down, no 5th line, and it provides 100% depower.
Other great feature is that it can rotate easily. Once you perform rolls or loops to just one direction you can simply twirl the lines and the kite lines will be clear again.
After unhooking it was easier to hook back without grabbing the chicken loop with the previous models. The chicken loop had the auto position device on it. The new one can rotate 90 degrees in that case it will be mandatory to grab the chicken loop for hooking back. But as I know most of the riders are hooking back like that. Also the grabbing the chickenloop is more convenient since it is a round round shaped
The first release system also reformed. Unfortunately it happened to me twice that I activated it unintentionally. I didn’t really feel how I pushed it away, but one moment to the other my kite was already on just one line. Good thing is that both times I could recover the kite (one of the two times I had to go out asap so I could untangle my lines, but the kite was still flying).
They introduced short and long leash. Both of them lacks a carabiner from the side that you hook to your harness. They replaced it with strong rope. I like it since before one of my carabiners opened so I had to use tape to fix them. Also my weight could inflect the carabiner after missing dangle passes. The rope is much stronger.
In my previous review I already mentioned that I love the idea of the bar bag. I mentioned that I had some problems with the size. The new bag is perfect. Big enough and the bar can get some air.
For me it was a positive impression when RRD found some safety problems with the bar and they decided to change all of them. For free they gave us V8.1 (basically the same, with a little reinforcement)
Try it, you will love it. I’m still surprised why other manufacturers don’t copy it.