CORE GTS 5 10 and 8m Review

Kiteworld Review Core GTS 5


Core’s Mighty GTS 5 – 10 & 8m

This test first appeared in KW #97 in February 2019




The GTS has built a serious reputation thanks to the insane moves that the Core team riders do on these kites, including some immense Woo scores. In the past, that might have been a bit off- putting for those who saw it as a kite loop machine for pros!

The kite bag still has ‘Kite Loop Machine’ boldly written across it, but compared to previous models the GTS5 is an incredibly high-performing beast, but now far more user-friendly. We freakin’ love it.

The controlled sensation and transmission of power is gorgeous. A name that comes from car analogy is perfect because the engine is geared for instant performance; great grip in the tyres for laying down power and very little wheel spin around corners. Having spent a lot of time on Core kites, we were once again pleased to feel the progressive and incremental sheeting range that we’ve enjoyed in the last couple of years.

The first GTS we tested, however, was the GTS3 and its power delivery was more open and close, (off and on). The sheeting range at the bar felt almost too big for the kite (although this was useful in really strong wind when you wanted to be able to dump a lot of power quickly). On the GTS3 we really had to experiment with the settings to get comfortable. Through evolution, the GTS package is now much simpler, but still as exciting, and therefore all the better for it. Out of the bag on the middle ‘all-round’ setting it’s now perfect for uncomplicated plug-and-play ease-of-use.


Kiteworld Review Core GTS 5


It’s the way the GTS5 moves through the window that sets it apart in this competitive three strut hybrid market, though. However hard you’re turning the kite it never falters. In lighter wind there’s a little more of a delay in the turn initiation (good for unhooked freestyle as a result), but that allows for the GTS5 to wind-up to offer pretty much perfect strong wind high- performance poise and reaction. You feel comfortable and confident. The constancy is unaffected wherever it is in the window; never losing its eager forward drive and feel.

When it comes to kite loops, the GTS5 goes nice and deep every time; no hiccups and always delivery a good, smooth hoik. We’re still only talking about the kite on the all-round setting. You can move it one setting further on the front bridle and slow it down more on the back line to turn it into a truly filthy piece of equipment. Even on the all-round setting, the way the turn initiates is fairly wide from the outset because the kite maintains forward drive. When you send the kite from 12 around a loop (if we’re going clockwise) it goes wide out to 3 o’clock to give itself a really good run-up before powering a beautifully smooth arc around the bottom of the window, from 3 to 9 o’clock. It’s that bottom half of the window that riders who enjoy the feel and hoik of a kite loop will love thanks to its clean reliability. Yes, it has power, but so often the scary thing about kite loops are the reliability around that bottom half of the window as they drop power. The GTS5 comes alive there.

The response and agility combines with fantastic jumping performance. No doubt you can go absolutely huge on the GTS5 with comparative ease and enjoy uncomplicated natural hang-time. We’re not advising this at all, but to give you an idea of the GTS5’s poise and top end range, Bully rode the ten metre relatively comfortably in 35 knots when Storm Diana hit the UK. Just two years ago there’s no way you could have expected that from a ten. The storms intensified on the run up to Christmas and he was able to ride out 45 knot gusts on the eight that saw others dredging their backsides in the water, hanging on for life.



Core have turned the GTS5’s dial down, removing the wild edges, which makes it a fun freeride kite in stronger winds, even if you’re not yet going massive and throwing dirty loops like Steven Akkersdjik. The depower and powering up are smooth and progressive. Two years ago the GTS3 felt like a hot rod, now it’s more like an Aston Martin with a very tuned feel.

There are other kites that offer a little more oomph lower in their range (the Core XR5 and Nexus), but the GTS5 has immense comfort at the bar, so will appeal to a range of riders. Whatever the wind is doing, you can throw it around the window without getting your arms pulled off in the gusts. Although it takes more technique to eek out light wind performance, kite loops and downloops out of transitions are still fun in lighter conditions because the movement around the window is always so constant. 18 knots and above the GTS5 ten metre is a dream and as quick as other nines.

The XR5 and Nexus both have a better low end, are generally more simple to use and will therefore suit intermediates better. The GTS was originally the naughty child in the family, for the guys who were munching testosterone in the morning and hitting ramps in the afternoon to do filthy things with. The GTS5 however has become highly accessible, but still can’t be touched when it comes to throwing KW cover-grabbing kite loops!



All that performance is underlined with Core’s phenomenal build quality and the carbon Sensor 2 bar, which is simple, clean and very functional. We’ve seen these bars in schools getting worked hard all summer and they stand up to the punishment and still look new. Core also have their own excellent wide inflation system which sees the kite pumped rock solid very quickly.

SUMMARY: The GTS5 is one of the most tuned, high-performance kites on the market and yet Core have managed to evolve the design so it can be ridden by a really broad spectrum of aspiring riders. There’s a rare combination of access to lots of lift and then the most sensational arc around a kite loop that also mixes with comfortable depower. The GTS5 will work in waves, but it scores less in that cross-over department than some other all-rounders. It’s an absolute joy on a twin-tip, though.

KW LIKED: Insane performance ability and mind-blowing mega loop performance somehow mixes with masses of comfort and an easy enough way-in for less experienced riders.

KW WOULD CHANGE: There are other kites in Core’s range that are more truly all-round and have a better low end for intermediates. So Core: don’t change a thing!






TOP END: 9.5





BOOST: 8.5






SIZES: 13.5, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5m / LW (light wind) 17 and 15m


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