I have the 12 & 16 and they are absolutely superb! Very quick and responsive to turn producing massive lift for jumps. In fact the 16 seems to produce much more power for jumps than the 11.8 Airblast which is the same size !
The Bar supplied is also very Nutty, manufactured from Carbon Fibre and gives a nice feel. The turning forces involved are very small, you can turn these babies with one finger !
Only Criticism is the bag, it is absolute crap! It is impossible to fold the kite up so that it fits into these tiny bags without removing the carbon battens!
Obviously RRD have put more thought into the design of the kites than the bag!
Overall a very well constucted and high performance kite, I'm sure that you will enjoy them!!!!
No I only have the old type 4's, 8.9 11.9 14.9 18.9. Found the larger ones to be very slow and cumbersome in the air, in fact the 14.9 can generate far more poor for weight ratio than the 18.9
In fact I am looking to replace the 18.9 with a new kite for light wind cruising, if possible 6 to 12 knots. Can you recommend a kite that might do the job?
Also, have you tried the supertypes, I would be interested to hear what you think of them. They are difficult to fly and do seem to collapse if brought into the centre of the window in light winds. Could this be caused by the back lines being to tight?
Having said that, if you fly it the way it needs to be flyed, it delivers the results!
I also have a RRD 4, 14.9, I completely agree with you, even if I'm still a beginner and I could not enjoy all the tech aspects of this kite. Anyway I can't understand why the RRD kites have no stop-air-valeves and such a uncomfortable bag!
I would ask you another think. My kite has 20m lines and a very short pre-lines, surely less than 2m. Should I get the lines longer?
for all it's short-comings the 14.9 is a great kite and very well built, but the bag does seem to be something of an after thought. I have to say that I find 20m lines way too short, the kite rails out (hits the edge of the window) way too quickly and it feels like a bit of a battle when going up wind. Also the hang time is noticibly less with the shorther lines because when you bring the kite back the arc is shorter, It's like a slingshot effect.
The one advantage to having shorter lines is that you can generate more power when 'working' the kite as it reacts quicker. It's well worth playing around with line lengths, but I find 25m with a 2m leader about the right compromise.
Incedently, I had 25m lines supplied with the 14.9, maybe you should query that with your shop.
Anyway, persevere with it, I have managed to get some great big floaty jumps with my 14.9 and have learnt to love it. I think that one of the major factors with this sport is that you must learn how to handle your kit. Many people are overcome by the manufactureres advertising machine and keep buying new kites because they are told that they are bigger, better, and faster!! At the end of the day it's what you do with the kite that matters!
one more time I completely agree with you. I'm coming from years of windsurfing (like most kiters) and I found here a new way of reaction with the surf stuff. I mean, in the kitesurfing we can try to modify the kite-settings quickly as we can check the reactions. I spend a lot of time on the beach to move the line/depower settings and to see what can happen to the kite in the air or to the bar as well. It give us a new level of freedom to move away from the advertising machine that is continuously pushing us to change our stuff. I'm sure the kitesurfing is quickly changing year by year, but I'm also sure there is a strong component of business behind it.
Have a good storm.
selling the latest stuff is one side but on the other the kite development goes so quick like windsurfing's development over 25 years compressed into 4 years.
Nowadays they have computer for design and simulations combined with the latest materials. For example the shipments: many companies change their kites in between two shipments, since they had little improvements.
The RRD is ok, but for sure they improved their 2002 model a lot, since the 2001 model was their first(!) kite. Therefore ok, but too heavy at the leading edges and too slow.
The 2002 models have been tested very well and can compete with most 2002 models.
Interesting will be the X2, since Naish has many innovations and improvements. If it will be a difference to other kites, we will see. Naish's marketing is the best on the market, but would you reply on your marketing or on the performance of your kites? Both must be correct. So if the X2 doesn't perform the way we expect it to, Naish lost his name and position on the market.
We will see...