Build quality: absolutely stunning quality as usual for Core.
Big one pump valve is excellent for fill and deflate. Easiest one pump to deflate which is a huge improvent for one pump. Inflate is always great with one pump but the dreaded deflate is no longer dreaded with this system as struts deflate easily as well. Awesome!!!!
Bridles: all sleeved bridle for long lasting line and a line guide rather than pulley on primary bridle. Great safety and long lasting durability.
In Flight with front line attached on front pick off for direct handling and more pop.
Rear pick off on stock middle setting and on 3rd knot closest to kite, full power.
1st off bar pressure is absolutely the best combo of light/ med with excellent bar feedback and intuitive connection to kite. Standing on land in 20mph turn and sheet in and get your first paraglide session. Amazing lift and float from a stand still.
Kite turning: Wow! Really fast kite with quick response and precise, no lag when cranking a turn . The ability to control turn speed for kite loops is brilliant. Good traction through the turn for powered turns and even pull through the kite loop. Turning improvement on this model is very noticeably improved!!! I personally think it is just right. I tried the back line rear setting for fastest turning on middle knot and found the kite to have noticeably less bar pressure and less traction in the turn perfect for quick turning on a wave without pulling you off your board. Great wave setting. But not an all around setting I think for all around the middle rear attachment on middle knot is totally perfect for freestyle/freeride and wave. The kite feedback and intuitive connection is better on the middle back line connection and top/3rd knot fully powered in light or heavy wind.
Low end power: I flew the GT for 3 years the riot xr for 1year and now the GTS for a season. The Xr2 is a beautiful change from the xr1. And feels like totally different kite. Higher aspect, more open canopy, and more precise, fast accurate steering and noticeable difference on kite settings. Not the same low grunty tug you feel with GT and XR1, but quick power build in light wind from fast apparent wind development with an better upwind pull in light wind. 12 knot low end at 185lb is no problem and once your moving no need to sign the kite except if you want to speed up and park again. Very impressive sustained apparent wind once speed is developed over the water. 15mph and jumping with good float and nice light wind freestyle/kiteloops. At 20mph Jumps huge and best float of all core kites. So easy to jump!!! Like any core kite is, but this one is so easy to jump and control your hangtime.
Anyone will feel comfortable strait away on this kite super stable, tunable, fun kite that really does everything well. The 10m is a one kite quiver for me with shinn monk 135x42 and spleen zone 159x43. Getting started at 12kts no problem, fun jumps starting at 15kts, and hanging on at 35 kts was quit fun. Second time on kite it was gusting to 30k-35kts and others were going in on a 9m this kite was brilliant and easy to control, but definately overpowered at 35kts
Please respond if you have any questions.
BTW: not affiliated with Core, just a diehard core kite fan. This is the # 1 brand in Germany. If you haven't heard of Core, you won't be disappointed if you try.
Last edited by jb8431 on Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Thanks for the great review. I have a Core XR Riot 11m (2010 model) and love it. It is by far my most often used kite and if I had to go with a one kite quiver that would be the one. Good from 14 kts to around 28 kts, I probably use his kite 60+% of the time - even though I have 5m, 7.5m, 9.5m, 11.5m, 15m kites in my quiver which aren't getting used much at all.
fyi: I'm glad I didn't get a 12m, but also glad I didn't get a 10m...I'm 160# and ride mostly directionals (small Zone, Firewire Taj 5/11, Aviso Lost 5/8) but I can ride in pretty light wind (12-14) on a Spleene 139 session on those rare occasions.
I always felt that the 11m Core Riot XR felt more like a 10m kite in some other brands (like a 10m Switchblade for example)...but who really knows what exact kite measurements are? but I was wondering if you can comment on the sizing choices of the Riot XR models compared to the XR-2 kites?.
I rather like a "grunty" kite, especially for riding in waves in side-on/on shore wind. One big questions for you is: how well does the kite "float" when you ride toward the kite on a wave? My Riot XR behaves beautifully in those situations and it never stalls forward or backward when I surf toward it.
I agree - great quality and reliability with the Core products. I'm using the ESP bar. I have not had one problem in over 2 years of hard riding with this kite & bar - hoping they will sort the Sensor bar issues soon.
Your question about sizing and wave riding on the XR2 is a good one.
First off Wave and wakestyle is not going to be the high point of this kite that would definately be the GTS. However the GTS is going to feel different to your XR1 for sure, it is more C-shaped and lower aspect and has a consistant power rather than sheet in and go like the GT and XR1 which can turn power on and off much quicker.
The higher aspect design of the XR2 makes it float down the line differently and it likes to come to the edge of the window to create pull again. it is not the type of kite you can ride directly at and expect it to float down wind like a lower aspect kite will. Plus if you need power to get you out of trouble or pick up speed it needs to be coaxed to the edge of the window to start pulling. I don't think it would be a problem in nuking winds, but light to med wind you probably won't find it floating like a lower aspect more c shaped kite will. the fast turning speed and quick response is great, but I think the float may be different for you. you should try the GTS and XR2 and compare for yourself.
In Both kites whether GTS or XR2 you will need to go 1 size up for same low end compared to the GT and XR1. all previous versions of Core kites were low end power monsters. the new kites have good low end and still better than most, but power is more refined and less tractor like pull.
If you like the power of the 11m XR1.... I would go 12m xr2 or 12m GTS. My XR2 10m turns much faster than the 11m GTS so I would wager to say the 12m XR2 is faster turning than than the 12m GTS. The GTS is the supremel stable powerful kite with very comfy bar pressure but it builds power more like a C kite than a hybrid/sle which can sheet in and go. you need to try before you buy.
that's just the sort of detailed response I was looking for.
very useful and good to know.
cheers for that
ps...while it's always good to see improvements from year to year...sometimes I wish they would retain a few models that were proven winners...e.g. I just sold a 2008 10m Royal that was an awesome kite and now wondering why I sold it
Yes, I do agree with you regarding new model kites. Fortunately Core is a 2 year duty cycle kite and generally you can buy a model brand new for a good 3 years. This concept of 2 year cycle I think would be much better for other companies to follow suit, which of course some do like Genetrix, probably Switch will keep developing, but won't be hasty about changing design too fast and maybe some others.
And forget the bling graphics, keep it simple and cost effective for the end user.
The GT is such a great core kite and the most real all around kite on the planet. Of course I am exagerating because I haven't tried all kites, but it could still stay in their line up of kites and be a great selling kite. the only thing I wish Core would do is redesign the GT wing tip to turn quicker and respond a little faster with less bar effort to turn. Otherwise the general shape, power, wind range, absolute powerful kite that it is remains unrivaled to other kites i have tried. Plus the GT lasted me 3 years before I nicked the canopy and blew out the whole canopy.... not worth fixing. Love the GT and still have a whole quiver I will never sell because they absolutely never disapoint.
If you have a kite that you really like and works really well for you, chances are you will be satisfied just sticking with it. If the new kite doesn't make you a better rider you just wasted your money.
Realistically you need 2 kite designs to cover freeride/ freestyle and then another that covers wakestyle and wave. Core has made 2 all around kites that each have their own specialty. So if you know your more freeride big air easy rider you get the xr2, if your a guy who spends more time in the surf and unhooks you get the GTS. But either way they both jump like Rockets and they are very fun freeride kites. they each take a little different technique to dial in, so pick the one that fits or get both to cover all areas really well.
I wonder if GTS in small sizes (up to 10m) and then XR2 in 11m+ for an optimized quiver? Again, I ask from a wave kiting performance perspective. I think you can mow the lawn with any kite with the right board combo.
I would agree with above, GTS in smaller sizes 10m for high wind in the surf and for unhook riding. And riot xr2 10m and above for all around freeride/old school/wave in lighter wind.
the jumping in lighter wind is much better on the 10m xr2 than the 11m GTS. In lighter wind you need more apparent wind with the GTS for vertical lift. I have both kites 11m GTS and 10m xr2 and much prefer GTS in strong winds in the surf. Boosting off the kickers is insane on the GTS. the kite stays so stable and powered floating in the perfect spot on a wave with easy handing and quick turning. The kite has the right tuning so when you fully sheet in it actually slows the kite and redirects nicely. With the GTS when jumping don't fully sheet in after take off the kite likes to breath for apparent wind and better float. These kites feel a lot different from one another. The GTS is a little more technical to ride as a freeride kite it is very powerful and on the high you need to slow the kite down and edge more for depower because it stays more powered like a C kite. It still has a great top end, but you will be lit on the top end. My biggest jumps ever in the waves on the 11m GTS. Incredible birds eye view of the California coast line:):)
Just an update on the core XR 2. I have spent some solid time on this kite and still feel that I am evolving on it. It has such great performance and the tuning options really give this kite a variety of feelings. If you like heavier bar pressure this kite can be tuned for that and never cause back stall within it's wind range.
If you like light bar pressure easy riding, the tuning points really enhance the feel your looking for.
Setting guide for experimentation:
1. Front setting all the way forward and back lines on middle on the top #3 knot.
This is my 20mph setting. Medium bar pressure, perfect feedback, and fully powered with good power even when depowered. I don't like to turn power off so this high power setting is my all around everything setting so I have lots of grunt and control. As wind gets heavy come down 1 knot to reduce power.
2. Same front setting but back lines on rear setting fast turning #2 knot. This is super comfy ride for hours turn quick...the kite also turns super quick on#1 setting, but with more feedback and more bar pressure.
On rear setting with less induced angle of attack, the wing has a higher angle to wind in order to maximize upwind performance. Great wave setting very quick reaction to turn input, one hand flying for hours, and great upwind to bolt outside. For more lowend, choke up to 3rd top rear knot. This will give more power, more bar pressure, and slighlty lowers up wind angle as it causes kite to move back in wind window without any stall.
Last edited by jb8431 on Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.