Core GTS4 9M – 2017

Core GTS4 - 2017 review Kiteworld Magazine issue 82


The KW review of Core’s record setting big-air machine


The GTS 3 provided a really interesting test in Cape Town earlier this year. Talking differently to different styles of riders it was wildly different in its different settings (and in our opinion you needed to make use of these different settings to really get what you specifically wanted from the kite), it took our test team several sessions to really dial into the kite. Although it could be all things to all riders, in the end, once we’d fully tested it in a range of conditions we became big fans, but did think that it could have been a bit more seamless in its transition between different styles of riding.

Reading the specs on the GTS 4 kite before this test, it seemed that there had only been subtle changes in terms of geometry shape, among which are a slightly increased aspect ratio and a slightly shorter, more compact, two pulley bridle, but the basic credentials of the ‘Future-C’ kite shape have remained the same. But oh what a difference the refinements have made.


Core GTS4 - 2017 review Kiteworld Magazine issue 82



What initially had us questioning the GTS 3’s set-up on our first session in Cape Town was that there seemed to be some gaps in feel in windy conditions. When powered in its lower to mid-range, the GTS 3 was very comfortable, but there was 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 was light – to the point that the kite didn’t feel very powered in your hands, yet you were moving nice and quickly. It took some time to tune into, but had benefits for unhooked freestyle and then of course the kite really came into its own as a kite looper in really strong winds.

The power band on the GTS 4 is now beautifully linear, very progressive and there are no gaps. It feels more mature; more sure of itself. The bar feel in the kite’s standard setting is now so much more complete. Pull down on the bar and you’re delivered plenty of power and then sheet out for lots of depower, but all in a beautifully smooth way.

Mixing the power when you sheet in with the full but progressive depower when you sheet out, the GTS 4 can really change your session in an instant. The application of this kite, especially as that middle setting that it comes set on out of the bag, works so well for everything: waves, jumping, looping, hang-time and unhooking. The cross-over performance on those middle settings is incredible – and from there of course you can get more specialised according to your personal tastes as there are plenty of set-up options.

There are now no severe leaks and spikes in power. The GTS 4 is much more refined than version 3. That’s not to say it’s dull – it’s just that all the quirkiness has been removed. There’s lots of power and lots of depower and it’s all delivered in a very refined, smooth and intuitive way. It’s class. The absolute climbing boost performance isn’t as emphatic as some kites like the Bandit were last year – the Bandit got us so high in good winds because it has that ability to go from 0 – 100 really quickly for example. The GTS 4 is all about smoother, all-round performance. It doesn’t have as powerful a low end as some kites, especially compared to Core’s new freeride kite, the Free. The GTS 4 also flies well forward in the window, so doesn’t have that delta torque and sharp injection of power. Instead, the whole experience is about consistency. The boost and hang-time are still excellent, but if you’re a dedicated hooked-in power crazy booster and like that raw surge in power overhead, you may find more juice elsewhere. There’s still huge amounts of hang-time and boost performance in the GTS 4 because the power is so nicely managed – for transitions it’s beautiful, leaving you with lots of time to look around and laugh at your mates.


Core GTS4 Kiteworld Magazine 2016



One of the standout features from last year that we’re thankful hasn’t been sacrificed this year, is the kite loop, getting low and deep into the window. Holding lots of power and a naturally consistent turning arc through the loop, beginners and lower intermediate riders will find the kite too quick and aggressive in that respect. But wow, what a complete all-rounder for so many progressive riders.

There’s absolutely no fat in the design, which is evidence of why the kite feels so clean in the air. The canopy is super-taut and crispy with no wrinkles at all. When you pull the kite out of the bag it absolutely exudes quality with its triple Coretex cloth. It’s easily among the ranks of the best made kites we’ve seen and with lots of unique design touches, in terms of reinforcements, fixtures and settings, the GTS 4 also features Core’s own wide-inflation pump system that requires no nozzles and forms a super tight seal when pumping up. The Sensor 2 bar has also been upgraded. Yes, it was super clean last year, but this year the visible knots have been removed (or hidden) and the whole system is incredibly neat. A four line bar set up, the splitter is reasonably high and you’re never left thinking about the twists in your lines. There’s lots of room for line twisting, but also Core have two options to untwist your lines, with a swivel above the chicken-loop, or through simply sheeting in the bar, which automatically does it for you. The required bar pressure to sheet down to untwist the lines is nice and light too, and Bully found himself even doing it mid-flight. Lovely, quality, well-finished and fun.


If you want to up your game and step away from a delta kite, but don’t want to lose any easy jumping performance and really want to increase your freestyle or your wave riding (with good shut-off power), then the Core GTS 4 gives you an incredibly refined, intuitive riding experience. Very applicable for any rider of a good intermediate level and above, the accessible performance on offer really makes sense and there’s very little chance you’ll ever grow out of this. If you’re a heavier rider, you’ll probably want to increase your quiver by a single size if you’re coming from a powerful delta-style kite. If you’re a beginner this will probably be a bit quick and a bit too powered through the turn. For everyone else, it just makes so much sense.


Gets more and more exciting the more skills you have and the more you can throw at it; wind-wise, wave-wise, trick-wise – whatever!


This year – very little. It’s polished now throughout.


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

SIZES: 13.5 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 & 5m

(Light wind versions in 17 and 15m)

Here’s the official GTS4 product video from CORE

CORE GTS4 – Freestyle Ninja. Megaloop Machine. And more. from CORE Kiteboarding on Vimeo.

For More information on the GTS4 and Core product range visit


This test appeared in Issue #84 of the magazine. Subscribe to Kiteworld for the most comprehensive tests out there!

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