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When it comes to getting new kit to test, first impressions count – and the new Bolt from CORE gets off to a good start arriving in some nicely thought-out eco packaging and wrapped up beautifully. Once you’ve got it unwrapped you can check out the developments for this latest version of the ‘100% wakestyle/park’ machine. The most obvious development is the bottom shape – there are more channels and these are generally more pronounced. You can ride it with fins but if you’re in the park without fins then there is plenty there to keep you locked in and back upwind. The rails are tapered with 9.5mm between your feet coming down to 3mm at the tips and there is a new ‘high-modulus polyethylene’ base which can be repaired with a PTEX candle if you need to patch it up. You can ride it with 28mm or 48mm fins – we found that the 28mm gave the perfect amount of grip and we had no problems staying upwind with these in.
On the water and the Bolt 3 likes to be ridden with power. It does feel like the new Bolt gets up and going a little earlier than the previous model and with its wider tips the ride also seems more refined. The speed is quite something in the flat water as it just keeps on going but never loses grip. With this much speed, the Bolt can translate this into an insane amount of pop. Scary stuff but also epic! We’re not sure we have ridden a crossover board with so much aggression and raw power.
For the Bolt 3, CORE have added extra layers of their exclusive Cartan Carbon which seems to have turned the ‘pop performance’ up a level. Then, once you’ve recovered from the amount of height you got, the rocker and bottom contours make the landing easy to stick and gives you plenty of confidence to throw down your next move. Upwind and the Bolt 3 had no problems with the chop and there was no excessive knee slapping. The board is not pitched as an ‘all round’ board and is focused more on a small number of riders who really know their stuff and know how to load it up and make the most out of it, but it is a surprisingly easy board to ride and a competent freestyler could definitely grow into it and learn a lot about how to really load up a rail and then how to utilize the pop.
In a sentence: The Bolt 3 is a pretty mind-blowing twintip with next-level amounts of pop, but also a comfortable and relatively easy board to ride around on.