I recently got a chance to fly these two kites back to back. Here in FL we are always on the search for the best light wind kite. For the last few years the Turbine has been the light wind king in these parts, but we have been very interested since we heard that there was a 19m kite that has been said to perform very well. I'll break this review up into a few different categorizes.
Just to remind every, these are just my thoughts, not bashing anyone, besides these are two awesome kites. I'm 5'7. 140lbs, so take my thoughts with a little grain of salt
Kite- The Turbine is definitely a lower aspect that the Core 19. In the sky you can see the entire kite spread out, with the core you can see the wingtips scoop towards you, so it looks like the Turbine has more surface area directly exposed to the wind. I wouldn't mention this but my other instructor made the same comment.
Bar- If i had to pick one, the Core bar is definitely the winner. Simple, comfortable, and it works. The QL is a twist, not a push or pull. In an emergency I think it is something you would have to think about, but as far as simplicity and ease to put back together its great. Would definitely be hard to activate by accident. The bare is smaller but everything is adjustable, even the depower cleat can be moved up and down the centerline. The nicest feature is how you untwist the lines. All you do is sheet in all the way and the bare untwist them. Very innovative and still simple.
The Slingshot bar has not changed in a while. It works, is simple. Some people don't care for the below the bar depower, but if your not unhooking I don't think its a big deal. Plastic on the bar is a little harder, so the core bar feels better in the hands, but a few bigger riders who tried both said that the core bar was a little too small of a diameter for their liking.
Speed- I have to say for a 19m the core kite is fast. I would say it turns faster than the Turbine. The Core kite also has adjustments for kite speed and bar pressure. The 2013 Turbine does have an adjustment on the wingtip, one for light wind and one for heavy wind. I left the Core on its base settings.
Bar Pressure- I always find it hard to comment, as i started on 2:1 bars so most kites i fly have little bar pressure compared to those, but i would have to say that the core has less than the turbine.
Power and light wind (8-10mph)- This was a very close race for me. I flew both kite back to back several times. Honestly I think the Turbine had a little better low end grunt, but I am really having to nitpick on this one. Now I did have a few of my local riders who were +200, and they agreed the Turbine pulls a little harder.
Upwind- Once again for me this was hard, being 140 on a bigger kite the kite wants to usually pull me downwind more. That being said I did get upwind a little better on the Turbine.
Jumping- Now for this one I have to say something. I have been flying the turbine for a few years, so I'm used to this kite more. When jumping I hand more lofty jumps with the Turbine, and higher jumps with the Core. This was light wind but I like the lofty jumps more so in light wind I have to give it to the Turbine
Higher winds (15mph)- I have to say when the winds picked up i had a blast on the core. Backrolls, frontrolls, hand rake kiteloops. I was able to depower the 19m on the fly and just kept riding. Definitely had a blast. For the turbine i would have had to adjust the wingtip to compare, but by that time the wind backed off, so i couldn't do a back to back here.
Relaunch- The turbine is the king here until it is dethroned. The core does relaunch well, but I have seen the Turbine relaunch in about 4mph, and we had the core out the same time and no dice.
Overall Opinion- If you want a light wind kite that's going to get you up and riding, the Turbine is still the choice. Personally for someone my size its a toss up, but the feedback from my 200lbs+ riders is that the turbine is better in light winds. The Core 19m is just a smidgen behind, but as a lighter rider I will say I am having more fun when the wind picks up on the Core. Add than and the bar and you can't go wrong with the Core either. I would suggest that bigger riders in lighter winds (8-12mph) may like the Turbine better. All other may want to look at the Core 19m.
P.S.- I have not flown an epic infinity so I cannot compare it, nor do I want to compare. So lets hope this doesn't turn into another 100 page post that goes on for ever, just me giving an honest opinion about 2 really good kites.