New CORE video reviews: GTS4 vs. Free vs. XR4

Known for their expertly engineered designs and strong, reliable build quality, CORE kites are one of the favorite choices for both REAL staff members and kiteboarders all over the world. The unrelenting drive for excellence has made CORE a global powerhouse, but with so many awesome kites in their lineup, it can be hard to choose the one that best fits your style of riding. REAL Co-Founder Matt Nuzzo compares the GTS4, FREE, and XR4 kites, and explains the key features and details for each in our CORE video review series:


Best suited for riders with an intermediate or higher skill set, the GTS4 is ready for advanced and pro level freestyle and wakestyle, kiteloops, megaloops, slider park riding and more. With 3 struts, a full wingtip and a heavy emphasis on fast responsive turning, the GTS4 is generally considered the “highest performance” kite in CORE’s Universal Series. The powerful, precise feel is ideal for riders who want to ride hard and push themselves to progress in every session.
Want to keep the pedal down even in light winds? Check out the GTS4 Lightwind Edition.


Because so many kiters were confused by the FREE when it was first released, we made it our mission to test the FREE for 2 months in every possible condition, location, and situation. We wanted to cut through the marketing and find out exactly which type of kiter best fits the FREE. We have determined that the FREE is an amazingly easy to use kite that is perfectly suited for beginner and intermediate kiteboarders. With a stable position in the wind window, predictable 3-strut design, and amazingly easy relaunch, the FREE is your trusty companion as you progress through the beginner and intermediate stages. After testing the free with first time kiters in the REAL Lesson Center, we’ve concluded that the FREE is incredibly hard to invert, even on nasty kite crashes, and has a super short bridle that prevents bridle wrap.
Also check out the FREE Lightwind Edition to keep the fun going even in light winds.


The CORE XR4 remains the freeride champion, suitable for all conditions with huge wind range, ample depower, exceptional upwind performance and HUGE boost and hangtime. The 5-strut platform is rock solid and keeps the canopy tight and responsive in the air. An already massive wind range is made even bigger by the fact that the XR4 remains responsive and controlled even with tons of depower pulled in. If you want to own the water, send huge jumps that will make the crowd get up and cheer, and dominate all conditions from flat and perfect to stormy and gusty, the CORE XR4 is the kite for you.
To rule the seas even in lighter conditions, check out the XR4 Lightwind Edition.

Lightwind Series

Each kite in the CORE Universal Series is available in a Lightwind Edition, keeping you on the water and riding your own style even when the wind is less than perfect. Lightwind Edition kites have slightly altered constructions and geometries to maximize their performance in light winds:

FREE Lightwind Edition

Predictable relaunch and lightweight construction make the FREE a perfect choice for beginner and intermediate kiters in light winds. Although it has a slightly narrower wind range and isn’t quite as fast turning as the XR4-LW, the FREE-LW is stable and easy to use for all skill levels.

XR4 Lightwind Edition

Surprisingly nimble for its larger sizes, the XR4-LW handles like a dream for a lightwind kite. The 5-strut platform is steady in the sky, keeping the canopy rock solid. Although larger kites will never be as sporty as smaller single-digit kites, the XR4-LW throws a confident kiteloop, which can be a ton of fun for jumps, aerial transitions, and downlooping to add some extra pop to your lightwind session. Auto relaunch, easy upwind, great hangtime and a huge wind range round out the key features on the amazing XR4-LW.

GTS4 Lightwind Edition
The CORE GTS4 Lightwind Edition keeps the excitement going for hard-charging freestyle and wakestyle sessions, even in marginal conditions. The perfect partner for those not so perfect days! Learn more about the GTS4 LW

NEW Sensor 2S and Sensor 2S+ Control Bars

A new update for the CORE control bars, the Sensor 2S and 2S+ improve on the design of the Sensor 2 by adding a ceramic bearing into the auto-untwist mechanism to eliminate friction. UV-stabilized Polyether coats the no-stretch Tectanium depower lines, creating a durable, frictionless, “no pinch” center line.

About CORE:
CORE is a global kiteboarding brand devoted to high quality design and relentless innovation. Headquartered in Fehmarn, Germany (a windy island in the Baltic sea), the CORE team has easy access to daily “R&D sessions” to test their products and ensure they perform to the highest possible standard. CORE is a full-line manufacturer offering not only kites but kiteboards, light wind kiteboards, control bars, pumps and more:
• View all CORE Kites
• View all CORE Kiteboards
• View all CORE Control Bars
• CORE 2.0 Kite Pump

Have questions or want to learn more? Contact the REAL Pros at 252-987-6000 or

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