At A Glance
Founded in 2007 Core Kiteboarding have been advancing through the ranks at a rapid rate. Based in Germany, Core are renowned for their cutting edge technology and quality.
One of Core’s elite kites from their range is the GTS4. Aimed at hitting the Freestyle market as well as performing in waves and for those freeride riders it has a lot to live up to. The GTS kites have proven their success over previous years; you may have seen them sending riders flying when kite looping in various kite loop videos. The GTS4 is a 3strut, future c shape kite jammed with tech and well thought out features. We see shorter bridles on the GTS4 than previous editions giving the rider a more direct positive feel in the sky. The wingtips of the GTS4 have been altered for this version, the GTS4’s radical reaction tips are slightly squarer and slope off more towards the trailing edge. The GTS4 can be customised via the CIT system; here we can alter bridle points on the kite to change the bar pressure and tension and the feedback we received from the kite. Taking it from the powerhouse we all see online to the freeride/wave weapon it can be.
Construction of the GTS4 follows suit with the rest of the Core range. Quality is never an afterthought with Core. We see an Evotex Dacron leading edge, Coretex triple ripstop, Speed Valve 2, Speed Pump system, Grintex patches combined to bring us the solid and robust kite, that is the GTS4.
Sizes : 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.5m
Further customisation of your Core Free is available by selecting your choice of bar from the range. Compatible with the Sensor 2, 2S / 2S+ and 2S Pro you can get the set up you desire.
We headed out on the Sensor 2S and the Free as our choice combo. Boasting 24m 368kg lines, ceramic untwist system, rotor release, supported single front line safety, vario width bar ends and the sensor adjuster.
When out riding it doesn't take long to notice just how light the Sensor 2S bar feels in your hands. Within the first few movements of the kite, you'll find that the kite responds to every little movement. If you're looking for a slightly slower feel on your smaller sizes, you can swap the vario end attachment point to adjust the effective bar size.
Depowering via the adjuster on the Core Sensor 2S is something you need not worry about, effortless to pull and bungees back in place to avoid any unnecessary tangles. For those with shorter arms, you can even adjust the length to the adjuster, bonus!
Safety is well thought out on the Sensor 2S with your centre lines always untwisting by just pulling the bar towards you; it was effortless. The supported single frontline release ensured full depower but didn’t leave the Free flapping around all day mid wind window.
Oodles of quality material go into the Core bar range too, but what else would you expect.
In The Air
We opted to take the GTS4 out on its standard all round CIT setting firstly to get a feel for the kite before tweaking it to its full potential. Ultra direct turning, manageable power and rapid forwards drive. Initially, we thought why do we need to change it; it truly excelled in every aspect of riding. However, just like all our tests, it was time to get creative, tweaking the CIT system to max power it sinks the kite back slightly in the window causing an insanely raw feeling of power. Some feedback is lost in the bar in terms of directness, however, so minimal we really had to look for it. Taking the GTS4 to the other end of the scale we tried the depower CIT setting which works tremendously well, knocking the kite further forward in the window allowing a softer ride without compromising feedback or bar feeling.
Whatever your game, go GTS4
Stability of the GTS4 is incredible; you physically cannot get the thing to fall from the sky, running downwind, before after loops, on the edge of the window it's impossible. Solid points for Core there!
It was then time to wind the GTS4 up and see what it was made of. Holy c*w! The GTS4 is unreal, send it to 12 get up there and crank it into a loop, and you are off horizontally at mach speed. Catching you as it drives to the top of the window again confidence on this kite is never lost. Not all of us want to chuck a loop but don't fear the insane forward speed and stability of this kite will fire you into the sky and float you down like a feather (if you wish). If unhooked freestyle is your game, the GTS4 slacks off at exactly the right time to make your passes effortless.
Whether your planning on using the GTS4 for wave riding, boosting or unhooked freestyle the relaunch will again provide a lot of confidence, the kite is exceptionally good at relaunching even if you're caught in the soup.
The GTS4 makes you feel like 007 when heading out on the water, as if anything is possible. The stability gives you the confidence to chuck moves slightly outside your comfort zone, knowing the kites got your back. The insane lift, power and directness of the kite give you the ability to max out your moves, sending your adrenaline firing.
Although the Sensor bars are incredibly light and responsive, it would be great to see some padding brought to the bar ends for those who might not always grab the middle of the bar during handle passes.
Whatever your game, go GTS4. This kite excels in a variety of conditions and purposes; something we're all looking for. It can be a responsive wave kite; a mean freeride kite or one hell of a boosting, looping, unhooked machine.
Constructed with Core’s usual quality, it's robust well thought out and waiting for its next session.
This review was in Issue 59 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit CORE Kiteboarding