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As you can find out more about in ‘Tell Me About It’ in issue #12 of the magazine, the Free is an addition to CORE’s ‘Universal Series’. So these are Core’s range of kites designed for all round use but each has a few additional skills in one department. For the Free that is wave-riding.
It’s a three strut kite that borrows some design features from both the XR4 (swept back tips and bridle configuration) and the GTS3 (three struts and lower aspect). Construction is excellent with the ExoTex Dacron beefing up the frame and we were using the Sensor Pro carbon/titanium bar.
First impressions in the air are that the Free flies quickly through the air and for us is the most agile of the Universal Series of kites. Depower is excellent and we were also surprised by how well the kite got you back upwind. The Free really turns on once you get onto a wave – for onshore riding you really can whip it round and it turns on the spot (without flying too far forward) and drives around. It is easy to keep the momentum going as you are hitting sections and the depower means that – even though it sits quite deep – you are never pulled off your edge. For cross-off conditions it has a nice soft feeling and you can let it sit there with minimal input and it will drift nicely down the line.
IN A SENTENCE: A very well-balanced kite with impressive pivotal turning and excellent depower and range.