CORE Kiteboarding GTS3 9m 2015 Kitesurfing Review

CORE Kiteboarding GTS3 9m 2015

Reviews / Kites

CORE Kiteboarding 62,313

At A Glance

The GTS3 from Core is a new kite in their line up based around the popular GTS2 kite from last year. It’s billed as what Core call a “Future C Shape” and you should think of this kite as a C style with a short bridle. There are some major differences this year however; this is definitely not a slight tweak affair. First up. the kite has three struts rather than five, that’s a new departure for the Core designers.

Three struts makes the kite faster in the turn and more responsive. The wing tips have also been redesigned to help optimize the three-strut design. The bridle has been radically shortened and redesigned for 2015 again this is to make the kite more responsive to rider input. Build quality is as stunning as ever, CoreTex has been used for the canopy material, this is a triple rip-stop material that is hard wearing and long lasting, in addition HF Dacron has been used in the high wear areas. The HF stands for Hard Finish, meaning the material is stronger and less resistant to scratches and scrapes on the beach.

All this is topped off with their Speed Valve 2 inflation system that enables you to be on the water first, and a new Grintex abrasion resitant material has been used on all the possible contact points so you can self launch without worrying about damaging the kite.

The Bar

The Sensor2 Bar has been updated quite a bit from last year, with the aim being to make it lighter, and they have used a titanium core to get the weight down to a mere 230grams. The depower trim is an above-the-bar cleat that is easy to reach and simple to use. There are bar floats on either side and the bar itself has a clever untwisting system so that when you sheet in, you take out any twists on the front lines. The Rotor-Quickrelease is back, this is a little different to conventional releases as instead of pushing the release away, you twist it to release, and it can be twisted in either direction. The idea being that if you are getting dragged you don’t have to work against the force of water in order to release the system. It works well and isn’t overly complicated or difficult to reassemble. The grip has been made more comfortable on the hands and the bar ends give you plenty of room to wrap up the lines. When the safety is engaged it releases the kite onto what Core are calling a Supported Frontline Safety, instead of all the tension being on a single line, some tension is kept on the other front line. This offers the advantages of a double front line safety, but also the extra loss of power afforded by a single front line flag out system. It also makes it easier to re-engage the system when you are ready to go again.

You can also get the Sensor+ Bar set up for this kite, this second option has different line lengths. Essentially, an 18m set for mega kite loops with 2m and 4m extensions. Use both of the extensions for 24m lines, one set for 22m or 20m and neither set for 18m kiteloop madness. It’s great to see a brand offering this kind of flexible feature.

In The Air

The GTS3 is a very direct and responsive kite in the air, it feels taught and eager to get going as you move it around the window. We’ve flown the Riot XR3 quite a bit and love that kite, but the GTS3 is quite different. It has a smaller wind range, especially at the low end, but the top end on the GTS3 is very impressive. The short bridle and direct connection on the rear make for a very reactive feel at the bar. You know where the kite is all the time and it instantly reacts to input from the rider. This makes it great for the waves, one of the areas where GTS3 handles itself very well.

However, most riders who go for this kite will be interested because of its C-shaped characteristics and it is going to appeal highly to the freestyle and wakestyle crowd. It’s impeccably well behaved when unhooked and offers a good amount of delay in the power after you pop for a trick. Kiteloops on the GTS3 are insane, especially on the short lines, if you get the GTS3 it is definitely worth getting the Sensor+ bar to go with it just so you can play around with the line lengths and mix things up a bit depending on the conditions…

It’s also worth playing around with the settings on the kite, to get it in tune with how you ride. The Core Intelligent Trim System is arguably the most comprehensive tuning set up we have seen on a kite. Personally I’m a bit of a ‘pump up and go’ kind of rider, but the more tech and tune-orientated riders on the team enjoyed being able to tweak the kite towards their different styles.


Very direct and responsive modern C kite feeling that will excite freestylers and wakestylers alike. If you enjoy riding waves as well, then the kite additionally lends itself to those conditions. It flies upwind and unhooks with stability offering you lots of confidence.


Smaller wind range than the Riot XR3, especially at the low end, but this is a different style of kite designed for different things.


The GTS3 is a great kite for the more advanced riders out there looking to pull the trigger on some serious freestyle tricks. It is also very good at jumping and the more advanced freeriders will enjoy it as they progress their riding. It can handle itself in the waves too, however, if you love riding a twin tip aggressively with boots, then this kite is for you. Kiteloops are crazy and the Sensor+ Bar set up makes real sense with the different line length options.


This review was in Issue 46 of IKSURFMAG.

For more information visit CORE Kiteboarding


By Rou Chater
Rou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!

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