At A Glance
The newly updated Section 3 is part of CORE's specialised series of kite, focussing on just one discipline, opposed to their crossover series; Universal +. The Section 3 is a wave riding specific kite, designed to pull you into those monster swells with the confidence to know this kite has your back at all times.
Like many kites nowadays, the Section 3 features a 3-strut open c-shape design. Here is where the similarities end however, and it is all in the subtle details which so dramatically change the way the kites feel.
The Section 3 has been updated with a huge array of customisation options. As well as the basic back pigtail options, CORE have introduced the impressive CIT mode which enables you to change the settings on your kite to suit either: onshore, all-round, or offshore conditions. Each of these settings produces a slightly different personality from the kite, tailored to that exact condition.
Also new for this version is the shorter bridle system. This is an especially important feature in the waves to halt any bridle wrap during relaunch to allow for a speedy exit from the impact zone.
As with all CORE products, the craftsmanship and attention to detail are exemplary. Sourcing as many components as possible in Germany means CORE can hold spares for every product for 6 years and ensure fast and efficient services, to get those spares to you no matter where you are in the world.
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Coming in almost every size from 4-13.5 meters, the bigger 2 sizes have been optimised for lighter winds and are part of the LW series from CORE.
Sizes: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12LW, 13.5LW meters
We were lucky enough to head out on this kite with the brand-new Sensor 3 bar system. A much-anticipated upgrade, like the Sensor 2 it comes in 4 variations for complete customisation depending on your style, preference and discipline.
We took the Sensor 3 bar for a spin with the Section 3. Being the 'standard' bar, it holds many of the same features as that of its siblings, however, could be seen as the go-to bar if you are new to the CORE range. These new bars have been designed by none other than Rick Jensen, who if you know your kitesurfing trivia, is a stalwart in the competitive freestyle and park scenes.
The bar itself is made from high-grade materials with an ultra-strong and resilient titanium centre insert. This bar is then coated and the new Griploc grip, which has been made to be fantastically soft yet highly practical with a superior grip and feel.
New bar ends allow you to open and close the stealth line winders as needed, and the connection line to bar attachment maintains the precise steering feel direct to you. These attachments also allow you to alter the distance between the outside lines, for personalisation, with a simple and quick mod at the bar ends.
The pre-stretched lines and Tectanium powerlines are sourced and made in Germany, and as you would expect, are second to none in terms of performance and quality. The lines come in 18m as standard, then you can customise the length with the addition of 4m and 2m extension sections for whatever you wish to use that session.
Of course, the biggest change for this new Sensor 3 bar is the quick release. Though we have been assured their twist release will still be an option, CORE have now moved to their CIC (CORE Intuitive Connect) release. Incredibly well thought out, the design is ergonomic, practical and slick. A push away release, which is built into the moulded chicken loop in various sizes and style options depending on your discipline. We used the standard-sized chicken loop. However, there is also the Pro Loop for freestyle, and the rope slider for wave and foil specific riders.
The Sensor 3 bar uses the SSF (supported single front line) reride system, and to reconnect the chicken loop, it is merely a matter of slotting the disconnected end back into the CIC mechanism and listening for the click.
PU coated centre lines benefit once again from the Auto Untwist feature, and the trim system uses a simple 4:1 pulley for ease of use and maximum efficiency.
Impeccable wave riding performance
In The Air
As with most kites, we first headed out on the Section 3 on its factory 'All-Round' settings, though changing between settings is both quick and easy and simply involves moving a couple of knots on the bridles. On that note, do make sure you play around with these settings. It is all too easy to change it once then leave it there forevermore but having a good play with the settings on your kite may well surprise you with the difference in feel.
Out on the water, the Section 3 maintains a consistent feel through the bar with a connected feeling through the harness. There is enough lateral pull to be supported at all points but certainly not too much to pull you off your edge. We found the upwind capabilities impressive and effortless and certainly give you the confidence you need to go out in conditions you may ordinarily think twice about.
There is a huge amount of depower on offer with this kite. We used the 7m from its bottom, right to the top of its range, and we were not only impressed, we felt comfortable on the kite the entire time with no loss of feel through the bar at any points.
The Section 3 houses a pivotal turn very much from the centre of the kite, the severity and power very much dictated by yourself. This is one of those kites you can really 'fly' but certainly don't have to if you would prefer more of a park and ride experience.
For some classic down-the-line riding, the Section 3 holds itself delicately drifting with you with minimal input required. If you are new to using a wave specific kite, you could be forgiven for being almost too hands-on with this kite, but there is simply no need to be as it will follow you dutifully until you re-engage to power back upwind for your next ride.
For the more energetic rider and conditions, the Section 3 can be thrown around to keep you hitting the critical section time and time again. The driving loop is just as accessible as is pivotal, and the range from within the bar allows true body freedom on the wave.
Dropping a kite at any time can be frustrating, but during a clean up set can be terrifying. Luckily, the Section 3 has one of the cleanest, and quickest, relaunches we have seen in a long time. The build quality is testament to this when time and time again it popped back up and into shape after some pretty sizeable wipeouts.
Impeccable wave riding performance with build quality to match.
Our main qualms with CORE have always been the quick release on the Sensor 2 bar, however, with this having now been upgraded to a standard push away release (though the twist release is still available) we simply struggle to find anything disappointing with this kite at all.
We are big fans of CORE’s products; they are polished and never released before they are ready; the Section 3 is an excellent example of this. The kite has a huge wind range, bags of customisation and is built with unparalleled precision. For those who ride waves and practise strapless tricks, the Section 3 is one of those go-to kites you can rely on to back you up every session no matter the conditions on offer. Coupled with the new Sensor 3 bar, you have a package which demands your attention.
This review was in Issue 80 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit CORE Kiteboarding