RRD – Roberto Ricci Designs – was born in 1989 between Maui Island (Hawaii) and Tuscany (Italy). In the very beginning, the brand was registered as RRD Roberto Ricci Designs in both Italy and Hawaii as proof of the direct connection between the Hawaiian surfing traditions and Italian creativity and the design typical of Roberto Ricci and his team. The core business at that stage was strictly technical oriented. Roberto was a professional windsurfer and was designing and building custom boards only for professional windsurfers looking for the best boards to win contests in both the wave and racing disciplines. Everything was devoted to the pursuit of performance.
Then, in 1993, there was a turning point. From Roberto’s passion and know-how began a new project and a new brand based in Grosseto (Italy). 1994 saw the first RRD windsurfing production boards coming out on the market, it was the YEAR 0 collection. At the same time Montecristo srl was founded, a new company in charge of producing and distributing RRD Clothing and focused on a new concept of lifestyle called “perf-romance”, a marriage between pure sportive performance and romance, passion and feelings. Year-after-year the brand has kept growing and now, after 21 years, RRD develops and produces a full range of kites, kiteboards, windsurfing boards, sails and rig components, SUP boards and surfboards – as well as wetsuits, clothing, bags and other accessories! At its heart is Roberto’s technical skill and ability in managing a very experienced team that is non-stop busy with research and development with the sole aim of building the very best gear. It is this that has led RRD to become one of watersport’s market leaders.
RRD HQ is in Grosseto, Toscane, Italy. But Roberto Ricci moves to his house in Scarborough, Cape Town from December until March every year, together with his team riders, to do testing, R&D, photo and video shoots. Those are the spots where most of the work is done, but RRD are working year round on their R&D, and makes sure that all the gear gets tested globally in different conditions by their team riders, shapers and designers.
Non-stop research and development: RRD has lots of new things in the pipeline! There is a lot of development at the moment in the kiteboarding department. RRD doesn’t work with a standard new yearly product line, they bring out new products as soon as a model has been improved upon, or they have come up with a totally new products
The most recent development is the Global Bar V7 which was recently released and is one bar for all their kites – simple, functional, safe and durable. And with RRD’s exclusive ‘rigid thread’ lines. Then there is the all new Fifty/Fifty split board for the easy travelling. Then RRD are generally trying to expand their range of different boards, both in twin tips as in surfboards, and there is also a hydrofoil on the horizon. So it is fair to say that it is busy times for Roberto and the rest of the team at RRD!
BRAND GUIDE 2016 // RRD KITES
The RRD Religion is a kite synonymous with waveriding. A bullet proof construction, mixing the body construction between 40% heavy duty Dacron fabrics and 60% lightweight canopy, creates superior crash resistance and a huge lifetime. The new MK6 design also allows a bigger range of use with an improved high and low end. There is also more power, better lift during jumps and an enormous, progressive de-power that will stop the kite’s power exactly when you need it. It is a throttle in your hands, gearing up your rides when you need power and completely releasing it when you use the speed of the wave. A perfect kite both in onshore and offshore conditions and tested thoroughly all over the world.
The Passion V8 is fantastic kite for all-round freestyle and big air with its pure and easy to handle power and amazing stability. It is also stable enough to practice your freestyle surf moves… The MK8 has been re-designed with improved durability and the number of struts has been reduced from 5 to 3… This has made the kite significantly lighter and has improved the low-end considerably. So the new Passion has improved performance and stability, but still maintains that distinctive ‘Passion’ feeling that has made it such a popular kite in the RRD range.
RRD’s iconic big air kite has been completely re-designed this year. After long consideration on how to achieve an even lighter, faster, more powerful yet easy to de-powered and stable kite, their design team has come up with a very simple yet very refined design concept. Taking out 2 struts from the previous versions and making the Obsession a full 3 struts kite has been the base of this new concept. Then the foil profile has also been changed, achieving a new kite that floats better in the air and brings a more direct type of feeling on the bar. Thanks to a new profile and a tighter leech tension The RRD Obsession MK8 now also achieves better hang time, more stability and a greater range of use.
BRAND GUIDE 2016 // RRD TWIN TIPS
The RRD Bliss V3 has a completely new shape. It’s well conceived as a freeride all-round board, able to perform at its best in all kinds of water and wind, granting a fantastic sensation of security while riding. It is not just for cruising though, the surprise appears once you really push this board freestyling. There is an good amount of pop due to the medium flex, which also creates a perfect recipe for easy landings. Deep bottom channels also increase grip and stability of riding, allowing the Bliss to go fast and really track upwind before you load up and boost some serious air…
This kiteboarding format is getting more and more popular for those who travel often by plane, or for those who want to have a short bike trip to the beach in total comfort. The shape is specifically designed along the middle split of the board that is naturally stiffer than a conventional board. Then slightly wider tips and a very thin rail profile create a great combo for pure freestyle sessions or exhilarating freeriding in both light and strong winds. The RRD Fifty Fifty split system is extremely simple and the board can be assembled by screwing in the carry handle as this works as the ‘connecting part’.
BRAND GUIDE 2016 // RRD SURFBOARDS
The RRD POP Ltd is a remarkable board employing all of the very latest technologies to create an incredibly light and durable board. This is the perfect stick to use when conditions are not quite “ideal world” and you want to ride strapless and practice those new freestyle tricks on flat water or small surf. It’s a pleasure to ride the POP with light winds when you need some meat under your feet to get going. Landing jumps on this board is easy with the soft rails and wide outline, and the POP Ltd makes any conditions fun and still allows you to ride in small surf with speed and with great potential for above the lip maneuvers.
The RRD Maquina is the classic thruster. It is the board you want to be riding when you want to have a totally reliable shape that will never let you down. Designed to be ridden hard and to be used in all conditions, the shape is ‘classic surf’ and it has many years of surfboard evolution that it has been able to draw on. Construction is with a PU Core with a lightweight stringer covered with Silmar™ polyester resin for layup and Reichold™ resin for finishing, with E and S X-cel® glass bottom and deck layup. So this is top end construction for top-end surfing.