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RRD have dabbled with strutless and single-strut kites for several years in the Emotion model, and have produced some classics along the way. The Emotion has now settled on a single-strut design and is pitched as a more versatile option with more of a cross-discipline application than simply being foiling-specific.
The build is the RRD exclusive couture we’re all used to, and many of the luxurious touches you find across the rest of the RRD kite range are present. There is perhaps more of a focus on weight saving on the Emotion, which is important in a single-strut kite. Neat silicon one-pump hoses and custom moldings are present across the board. Steering line bungees whittle the slack out of the rear lines when depowered. The bag is very neat, lightweight and compact, and sports an excellent Velcro pump attachment.
In the air the Emotion feels immediately solid for a smaller kite. At the edge of the wind window, you can try and trip it over by sheeting out and making it overfly, but there is a built-in leeward tendency which keeps it parked slightly in the power. On the water this translates to a firm feeling of security that is sometimes lacking in smaller mono-struts. When used with a foil, this background pull provides a great steady platform and enables some super easy foot switches for learning your tacks and jibes. The turning speed is fairly mellow for a 7m and it generates a steady power stroke through the turn and isn’t too pivotal; this further reinforces the predictable nature of the Emotion and really shines in a smooth, no surprises power delivery. It is a very solid airframe for a single-strut kite, which perhaps extends its wind range further than you would expect, and comfortably into the realms of wave riding. The balanced position and composure that the Emotion holds in the wind window translates to an excellent drift capability. Combining this with decent power on the upstroke makes for an entertaining wave kite.
The Emotion is ideal for the progressive freeride foiler who doesn’t want something too snatchy with regards to power delivery. It retains a much broader spectrum of use in terms of both wind range and discipline than most mono-struts, performs well as a wave kite, and is solid enough to load up with a twintip. It harbors all the early flying advantages of most single strutters with a more robust feel and will make for a compact and versatile travel companion.