Jun 9, 2011
Author: SBC Test Team
The Obsession MKIII is the freestyle focused SLE of the specialized four-model lineup of RRD kites. RRD promises improved turning speed, increased low-end power and better unhooked riding over its predecessor to better suit it to the unhooked, wakestyle discipline.
• Smooth pull and quick-turning SLE kite
• Big boosting kite for high altitude freestyle
• Positive bar feedback and good stability
On the Water
The RRD Obsession MKIII has freestyle performance that the advanced and unhooked riders look for. The Obsession scored high marks for quick direct steering, and fast pivotal turning. For unhooked pop, the Obsession shines as it sits back in the window but pulls smoothly off the front lines giving way to some powerful but controlled pop. There is also good, grunty low-end power from this kite as it delivers more power than the traditional C-kite of the test without giving up much in unhooked pop or control categories. The kite boosts easily and the pivotal turns can be rocket fast or with less aggressive bar input you can slow down the pivot for more power through the Loop. The positional feedback is light but enough to keep you informed and the overall nimble feel of this kite inspires confidence to try new manoeuvres. No problems with water relaunch and no tuning quirks to report for this kite. The MKIII is versatile enough to take into a wide range of conditions from freeride to freestyle and right into the waves. The good depower and smooth working trim system lets you keep the power tuned for varied conditions and disciplines. Fast smooth turning, and nimble flying character keep you dialed and ready to launch any trick in your bag.
Positional feedback was not as positive as some of the C-kite riders might prefer.
With the streamlined bar system and some small refinements to the kite’s power delivery, low-end grunt and overall control, the RRD Obsession MK III is a force to be reckoned with in the freestyle realm. It has easy-to-access performance that suited to a wide range of disciplines and can inspire riders to try harder manoeuvres every session and all day long.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
The all new Global Bar has some great improvements and some industry exclusive features that are definitely worth noting. The five-piece carbon bar has a smooth EVA grip and the bar ends have inside and outside attachment points for changing the virtual length of the bar. The new PVC centre line houses the depower line and also enables untwisting of the front lines. The centre line safety attaches at the apex of the chicken loop and flags the kite off of a single front line for 100 per cent depower. The push-away trim loop is easy to engage and features a pin-in-sheath system forged in a durable, solid aluminum casting. This system is nicely streamlined with smooth sheeting through the PVC tube and trim loop remains centered whilst unhooked. The clam cleat trimming system is easy to adjust and depower trim line is also bungeed at the cleat so when the kite is fully trimmed the excess rope isn’t in your way. Double flagging handles on both steering lines gives the RRD bar top marks for extra safety. Great safety features with solid streamlined functionality put the RRD bar ahead of the game in 2011.