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This is the 13th edition of the Passion, RRD’s high performance freeride / freestyle kite aimed to celebrate the freeriding spirit of kiting and allowing you to push your limits. We tested the 12m Passion with the Global Bar Y27. The Passion is a mid-aspect ratio, three-strut kite with a pretty flat arc designed for stability and smooth power delivery. What is noticeable in the kite is attention to detailed reinforcements on the leading edge and struts; the kite looks really solid but doesn't feel heavy, and the Passion comes this year with a new Diamond Grid technology for their double ripstop canopy oriented to best balance the load and hold the kite's shape in versatile conditions. As with most RRD products the design of the Passion is elegant and refined and it’s a real ‘looker’ in the air. So does it offer the performance to match?
Getting on the water and the Passion feels like a friendly freeride kite with fantastic stability in the air and is almost impossible to stall no matter the wind. An elastic rear line connection of the steering lines makes the RRD model really steady in the gusty wind with a pleasant medium pressure on the bar that always ensures you feel in control without ripping your arms off. This, in conjunction with the smooth Global Bar and RRD’s unique Rigid Stretch Lines, give an exceptionally connected feel to the kite. Everything works smoothly without feeling that there is a lack of tension on the steering lines or that the kite is not listening to the rider. While riding, you know exactly where the kite is, but you don't feel every small change of the wind. The Passion holds the gusts very well, and cruising around in gusty winds feels more like driving on the highway than a bumpy offroad road. We tested kites in conditions oscillating between the low and top end of the kites' wind range. This kite delivered power smoothly despite gusty conditions and was very predictable and easy ‘to drive’.
In the air, the 12m Passion powers you upwind while providing predictable power delivery as a twintip-focused kite. For a 12m kite, maneuverability and speed were just on point, never feeling too slow. With a flatter arch, the kite lifts quite well and provides a slow and enjoyable flight, which is closer to a Big Air five-strut kite than a standard all-arounder. This shape also ensures that the Passion drifts well, and we really struggled to stall the kite at all.
The new version of the RRD Passion is the definition of a stable and dependable kite and shows how smooth control and predictable drive can bring a lot of joy to a freeride session. Kite versatility and ease of use are its strong points next to its exceptional stability, making the kite a friendly progressive machine.