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CORE XR8 Thomas Burblies Willow River Tonkin Julieta Pereyra 11 1200x800 - Tell me About it: CORE XR8

Tell me About it: CORE XR8

The XR series has always been a benchmark booster, with plenty of WOO records to its name. V8 is out now and we put it through its paces at the recent CORE dealer meeting in Cape Town. Here’s the lowdown on what’s fresh with the CORE design crew.

PHOTOS: Thomas Burblies

So, how do you go about redeveloping a kite with such an epic lineage?

That’s indeed a key challenge with every single XR generation. On one hand each of the past XR generations has proven in many WOO records, Big Air podiums and in sales numbers how great this model performs, so you don’t want to mess it up compared to the previous models. On the other hand we always have ideas and take feedback from the team, dealers and customers which aspect of the model riders would like to see improved. For the XR8 we would never dare to change its DNA. But knowing our target groups really well – the big number of performance freeriders worldwide as well as Big Air professionals at the top of the pyramid – we have a very precise idea what would benefit them.

Let’s talk materials – it sounds like the airframe has been completely revised, right?

Yes, that’s correct. In the latest XR generation we worked with our new Dacron ExoTex 2, which is significantly stiffer and stronger than its predecessor. The behavior of textiles can vary significantly so we made constructive adjustments and revisions to the entire airframe, to maintain the XR’s characteristics and improve its performance. Additionally we were able to further reduce the weight substantially, supporting its agility, looping speed and recovery. The profile of the airfoil runs a little less deep, improving the upwind performance, and takes away the grunty feeling of the XR.

What other changes did the new materials allow for or result in?

The new fabric’s structure can effectively counteract stretching of the fiber in all directions which allows for a smaller leading edge diameter. The smaller leading edge and strut diameters make the kite more agile and responsive with better bar feedback.

What’s the most significant performance increase that the average rider should immediately notice?

The XR’s turning speed has noticeably increased, and it has gained more stability in high winds. You will notice that the kite loops more cleanly and catches you more reliably. And when simply riding upwind you will feel its improved upwind capability.

The LW versions of the XR have also had some improvements. Fill us in on how you’ve achieved weight savings on these lightwind beasts?

The LW models have received the same optimizations in the material mix and construction as the smaller sizes. Thanks to weight savings and its lightweight construction, the XR8 LW stands even more confidently in the sky and pulls upwind at an unprecedented angle. Even in lower wind conditions riders can achieve solid jumps with decent hang time.

Which of your team have been most involved in the prototyping and development phase of the XR8? What sort of WOO scores have we been looking at?

As always, we include a wide range of riders in our prototyping. Besides Evan, Maarten and Zara, our queen of the air Angely played an important role and assisted the development team wherever she was needed. She scored her new personal WOO record during that time with an impressive 25-meter jump.

Have you been experimenting with any exotic airframe materials? Can you leak us any info?!

During our prototyping process we usually play around with lots of different versions of a model – as an example we love to put a very extreme version in the race. The extreme versions usually don’t make it into the series. Usually… Stay tuned…!

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