Core GTS3 2016 review Kiteworld Magazine issue 80

Core GTS3 9 & 7m 2016

Core GTS3 2016 review Kiteworld Magazine issue 80


Core’s performance all-terrain kite is described as a ‘Future C’. Seeing the kind of riding that Steven Akkersdijk can unleash on it, we were really excited to get our hands on the GTS3.

The evident German quality is of a simple yet highly functional design. Core have their own wide inflation system without need for any nozzle attachments, but the Core valve is ever so slightly different in size to regular hose pump ends. If you have a Core pump it’s incredible. Importantly though, you won’t be left cursing the fact you forgot your pump if you need to borrow one, but the attachment doesn’t lock in quite as well with a none-Core pump.



The stripped down Sensor Pro control system looks fresh. In comparison to how well finished the kite is, perhaps this visibility of the parts isn’t what you might expect, but it’s very, very light weight! Fully featured there’s a below-the-bar line spinner which works well. Sheet down all the way with the bar and the unique centre line system will untwist itself, though you do need to be quite aggressive with it, especially when powered up. The depower trim is a super smooth cleat while the chicken-loop release system is very effective too, releasing with an easy twist. We did however think that the chicken-loop itself is a little on the small side for a kite designed with lots of freestyle ability.

Three rear line attachment points on the kite give you wave, wakestyle and freestyle set-up options – which is interesting as it’s rare to see a kite that can mix responsive handling in waves and rock solid wakestyle predictability.



Our first session on the nine metre was in winds averaging 20 knots. Riding away from the beach, the Core didn’t have the kind of very simple power delivery that you might expect from most intermediate freeride kites. A little more technical, but it accelerated well after a couple of dives and the low end is actually deceptively good. Combined with the kite’s forward drive in the window, the upwind performance is excellent.

Let’s look a little more at that deceptively good low end. When powered in its lower to mid range, the kite is very comfortable but there is a bit of a disconnect between the power in the kite and the delivery at the bar. The handling felt responsive, but the bar pressure is light – to the point that the kite doesn’t feel very powered in your hands, yet you’re moving nice and quickly. Until you’re used to it, this is a little disconcerting when edging and sending the kite for jumps as it feels like there’s a gap in the power delivery between when you edge and when the kite reaches 12 o’clock. While this might be something that intermediate freeriders need some time to tune into, it’s a major bonus when it comes to freestyle as the kite never wanders across the wind window with accidental bar pressure during a handle-pass or landing to blind.



As the wind builds the bar feel doesn’t become overly grunty, but the C-kite feel becomes more apparent. The kite can handle a lot of wind, no doubt, but the throw doesn’t depower to nothing (some power is retained) so you need to edge a lot more.

Although the GTS3 becomes more of a handful when powered, it also offers another level performance to be unlocked. Make the change to the freestyle setting in 30+ knots and the GTS feels like an almost entirely different kite. The disconnect felt in the lower winds disappears. Still sitting very nicely forward in the window, though it needs to be flown with intent in those conditions, experienced riders will find it very controllable and potent. The jumping sweet spot opens up considerably and Bully managed to hit 16.7 metres.

The loop also changed considerably. Even when not fully lit the GTS has a fun, solid pull through the turn, however, when you really turn up the wind dial, the GTS3’s loop becomes something else entirely and the ‘chug’ it delivers is fantastic. There’s a tremendous amount of power right through the turn, with a wide turning circle and immense acceleration through the air when you pull the trigger and you can quickly find yourself level with the kite.


Core GTS3 2016 review Kiteworld Magazine issue 80

Philipp Zachman loops in Maui / PHOTO:


Beyond 30 – 35 knots the seven metre shares many of the characteristics of the nine, also very much coming to life when fully powered. The handling is of course quicker but the sweet spot for jumping is a little harder to find and is more suited to an advanced rider as the power delivery becomes more snatchy in stronger winds. There are easier seven metres to progress your jumping on, but the GTS will make lots of sense to good, aggressive riders.

Switching to the wave setting, how would a kite with quite a lot of power through the turn perform? The steering isn’t as rapid as a dedicated wave kite and we did exit top and bottom turns with a little more power, but you can quickly dial into that. Matt, our biggest test rider, liked the ability to accelerate quickly when he wanted to power into turns. The kite responds well when trimmed too, but although not the quickest wave kite, the GTS3 does drift well and performs as a reliable power source that you could fix in place and just surf the wave, retaining enough latent power on tap to help power you through slower sections when you need it.


An impressive overall package across a range of disciplines, there’s a great deal of high-performance cross-over potential for more advanced riders. In more comfortable conditions, anyone will be able to ride it and feel in control and many people will appreciate its dependable handling for wakestyle / freestyle riding in manageable winds. It’s a uniquely pleasing trait that the kite really steps up to another level at the top end of its wind range, but just be aware that you need to treat that beast like a C-kite. But those true colours are glorious and we loved that side of it.


The Kite Show - Original Kite Candy

For Kiteworld Website. With advertising


Impressive performance in the right hands / conditions with huge freestyle and high wind cross-over potential.


A little more polish at the bar to match the impressive kite and we’d prefer the inflation system to better fit all generic pump hoses.


Build quality: 8
Full package: 8
Low end: 8
Top end: 9
Steering speed: 6
Turning circle: 7
Power through the turn: 6
Bar pressure: 5.5
Water relaunch: 8
Drift: 8
Boost: 8.5
Hang-time: 6.5
Unhooked: 7.5
Cross-over: 8
Ease-of-use: 7

SIZES – 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 & 5m


Here’s the official GTS3 product video by CORE

CORE GTS3 – Radically precise – incredibly versatile from CORE Kiteboarding on Vimeo.


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