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The kite line up at RRD is generally in a low-level state of ‘flux’, with kites moving slightly in one direction or another as the demands of the sport change and evolve. With a relatively large kite line up they can afford to shift kites around so ensure they have a kite to meet every rider’s need. The Vision is a prime example of this – it began life as a pure ‘beginner’ kite geared towards schools and new riders but the sport has changed and the ‘performance freeride’ sector has become one of the biggest in the market. With this in mind, the Addiction has stepped into the range to meet the needs of this sector which has enabled the Vision to turn the performance up a notch and become more of an all-round freeride kite. So for riders looking for a top performing kite, but probably not looking to do megaloops. The most noticeable change to make this transition is in the tips which have lost the more swept profile and now have a more serious ‘boxier’ shape and the LE profile has been tweaked as well. Struts are skinny and in the air it looks like there is a whole lot of canopy for the wind to connect to!
So, onto the water… And the first impression is the incredibly smooth power delivery – it’s very much ‘sheet and go’ but with a super-satisfying amount of power on tap. The ‘smooth’ vibe continues as you push the Vision harder, it is a kite that really helps you to build your confidence and the more you ride it the more you realize that it is a kite that really wants to work with you. There are no surprises when you turn it, and it is completely unflappable in gusty conditions which it sucks up beautifully. For sending, there is plenty of lift and you can direct it quickly. You won’t get as much out of it as the Addiction but if you want to boost then there is plenty there, and for unhooked tricks there is enough slack to get your turn in and it recovers immediately as soon as there is tension back in the lines. Turning is tight, but not pivotal, so in onshore surf there is a steady power delivery but you need to keep moving with the kite. What impressed the test team the most though was its accessibility – when we’re riding new kites it often takes some time to ‘tune in’, but the Vision was so well-tuned that we were all enjoying it within a couple of runs. A definite ‘smiler’ of a kite.
In a sentence: The Vision provides excellent levels of freeride performance and is easily one of the most well-balanced kites we have tested this year.