At A Glance
The GTS3 was launched this year and it’s a compact 3-strut kite aimed at the freeriders, freestylers and wave riders out there. The Lightwind version we have here isn’t just an oversized version of its smaller sibling, far from it! Whilst the kite shares some of the DNA from the GTS3 the LW version is arguably a different beast altogether.
The kite has a much flatter arc profile and a more delta wing shape to it, enabling it to fly faster through the window and generate more of it’s own power. It retains the three-strut ethos, but utilises a totally different fabric, Core Tex Light, which is built to be more aerodynamic and weigh a lot less than their Core Tex fabric. It is still exceedingly durable and has fantastic non-stretch characteristics, and of course is manufactured to Core’s exacting standards.
They have saved weight in the tips as well using less Dacron and a lighter version of it where it is needed. The struts are also thinner, again bringing the weight down and the overall shape of the kite is radically different when compared to the GTS3. The wing tips have a deeper sweep and there is less of a C shape feel to the design.
Sizes: 15m, 17m
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.
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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.
In The Air
Kitesurfing has changed a lot in recent years, a 12m kite used to be considered big, but more and more riders are looking to extend their time on the water with larger kites. This has no doubt been brought to the forefront of our consciousness by the racing scene and their ability to ride in next to nothing.
The GTS3 LW is a big kite, make no mistake, when you first pump it up on the beach it gets your attention right away. For maximum power use the line extensions included with the bar, this will increase its range even more. Once you launch the kite you can immediately feel its muscle, it certainly pulls.
The lightweight nature of the kite helps it to develop lots of power in light winds; this is crucial to its impressive low-end range. Lighter riders with a big twin tip will find themselves up and riding in about 9 to 10 knots. Heavier riders might want to look to the 17m version to get the same kind of performance.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the GTS 3 LW is the handling, whilst it is huge it does have a turn of speed that is impressive when you engage the bar. It is also fantastic at riding upwind, which is crucial in light airs, the thin struts and more aerodynamic profile really helping the kite to fly forward in the window.
When it is really light it’s a great kite for cruising, but as the wind increases you’ll find it has an impressive range. When powered up the kite really comes to life and you can get some impressive jumps and plenty of hangtime. It’s the perfect tool for airstyle manoeuvres when powered up, as it’s mellow and stable nature allow you to perform tricks with plenty of airtime.
If you are on the heavy side then you’ll be able to hold onto this in anything up to 20 knots. It’s great to see light wind kites being built with decent depower and range. I remember the days when a large kite like this would have just a few knots of usable wind range before it became a handful.
"The GTS 3 LW becomes more responsive and more fun when the wind picks up…"
Really powerful lightweight kite that is great for those days when the wind isn’t up to much. Perfect for heavier riders looking for more power the GTS3 LW has an impressive wind range. It delivers solid hangtime and jumps when powered up, the kite is also very responsive for its size.
We’d like to see the bar set up a little more dedicated to unhooking, a male/female connection on the chicken look would make hooking in and out a little easier.
A very well polished kite with superb finish and workmanship, if you want something to keep you off the beach and on the water more often then the 15m GTS3 LW is a sensible option, the line extensions are a nice addition too. It is responsive and fun to fly, with a great wind range this is how modern large kites should be.
This review was in Issue 48 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit CORE Kiteboarding
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By Rou ChaterRou 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!