At A Glance
The Core Riot XR3 LW is the light wind specific version of the Riot XR3. It is not just a bigger version of the same design though; there have been a few major tweaks to make this one of the best performing light wind kites around at the moment.
At 17 meters this kite is a beast, and there is no getting away from spending a good bit of time and energy pumping the kite up. Luckily for us the good folks at Core also know this and have done everything they can to make this part just that little bit more bearable. There is no need to attach a nozzle to the end of your pump hose, instead the hose fixes directly to the valve. This means you can get a huge amount of air into the kite with each pump stroke, you’ll still be feeling it by the time you finish though, engage beast mode!
The kite has also had its entire construction overhauled to make it as efficient as possible in the lightest of breezes. The canopy has been made using the super light Core Tex material, whilst the struts have been on a diet and are now super skinny, but still rock solid in the sky. For 2015 the bridle has been shortened. By adding just 1 more connection to the kite and taking away a large amount of length, the kite now has increased feedback whilst maintaining its feather light bar pressure.
The Core Sensor bar is a well-constructed and engineered bit of kit. It’s a 4-line set up, with a well-thought-out re-ride system. The bars itself is made of Titanium ensuring it stays incredibly strong. Core have worked really hard on keeping the Sensor Bar as light as possible. Amazingly it weighs only 230 grams, I wonder how many points of a knot that will add to the light wind ability?!
There is an effective line swivel situated just under the bar. Simply pull the bar towards you and any twists in the lines will be squashed so they untwist; straightforward and effective.
Most noticeable here, compared to others, is the safety release. It is slowly becoming industry standard to have a ‘push-away’ release as this can be deemed safest. However Core have come up with an effective ‘twist’ release. The release is positioned in the exact same place as a normal push-away one, but instead you merely twist in either direction for the release to be activated. At first we were dubious as to whether it would release accidentally if knocked, but we had no such issues. This release is completely personal preference, some love it, others hate it, but it shouldn't be dismissed as an option. The advantage with a twist system is that the force of water that can be applied when you are being dragged won’t affect it. This means that as long as you are familiar with the system you should get a perfect release every time.
In The Air
This is a big kite, and it does feel like it in the air, that’s not to say it is slow and sluggish, in fact far from it, but it is powerful, very powerful. Core claim that it can be used in under 10knots of wind and we would definitely agree with that. For the lighter weight rider though as long as there is good kite skill in the mix you could be riding a lot sooner.
Due to it being such a big kite, in those extreme light winds there is definitely a technique involved in getting it to fly efficiently. Beginners may struggle to get that sub 10 knot ability out of the kite, but riders with great kite handling and good knowledge of the wind and the need to keep the kite moving will be hugely impressed.
Once powered the kite just keeps on going. It really likes to work off apparent wind so once you have a good bit of speed you may find a bit of depower is needed to help truck upwind. As the wind increases smaller riders will struggle slightly hanging on to such a large kite, but if you have a bit of weight behind you then you will be in your element.
The speed of the Riot XR3 LW is very impressive. We’re not going to claim it turns like a 12m because it doesn’t, yet it does move quickly for a 17m kite. Relaunch is trickier in super light winds just because of the size and weight, but in a breeze the kite does roll over very well and will have you on your way in no time.
Once riding there is plenty of lift and float for some impressive jumps, and you’ll find you hang around in the air for what feels like forever especially if the wind is up. You won’t be throwing the latest unhooked moves on this kite, but that’s not what it has been designed for. If you want to get going early, fly upwind and go for some old-school freestyle moves and big jumps then this kite is a winner.
“Fantastic build quality, great performance, amazing power and lots of fun!”
The Riot XR3 LW is one of the best light wind kites we have come across recently. It is so incredibly powerful whilst maintaining ease of use for beginners and experienced riders alike. Once the wind kicks in jumping is an absolute blast on this kite and you will literally float through the air.
Some people may dislike the twist release on the bar, though it works well you need to ensure you are used to using the movement to release the safety system. With so many brands offering a push-away release it is easy to shy away from different systems, but this twist system is easy to use, particularly when being dragged or with water pressure against it. As with all safety systems, you should familiarise yourself with them, so that when needed in the heat of the moment they are second nature to activate.
A kite to get you riding easily at 10 knots and below, and to hang on a lot higher if you have the weight behind you. Great build, great performance, great light wind fun.
This review was in Issue 50 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit CORE Kiteboarding