It’s the third iteration of the CORE Section now, and they’ve really built some pedigree into the latest model. The Section fits into CORE’s discipline-specific range, and is aimed as a pure wave kite. For V3 the bridle has had a good trim down, and is now very compact. There are also additional tuning options with the addition of the CIT modes enabling better tuning for onshore and offshore conditions. We had a good play with these and, although the adjustments appear quite minute on the leading edge and bridle, it has quite an effect on where the kite wants to sit in the window and handles. If you like to trim your kites this is brilliant as you will glean some positive performance using these, conversely if you like your kite to just work without tinkering simply leave it in the all-around central setting and the kite performs well in all situations in any case. Three steering speed settings are built into the wingtips for the usual adjustments there.
We had the opportunity to take the kite out in a whole host of conditions from heavy double over head side-off through to crumbly onshore UK conditions to give it a very real-world test, as well as a smidgen of foiling for good measure. From a practical perspective, the kite drives upwind well, is rapid to reverse launch in a hurry, and the top end on our 8m test kite extended further than most, and felt reassuringly obedient when it should have been way out of its comfort zone.
Handling wise, the Section feels instantly perky and alert, and probably sits smack in the middle of wave kite turning speeds across the major brands. It’s quick enough without being twitchy, and the feedback universally across the CORE brand is pleasantly smooth. Unlike some faster turning wave kites, it doesn’t fly out of window and front stall, it seems to sit in a very comfortable ‘happy place’ position in the window. The airframe is rock solid and handles gusts with poise, and no hint of deform when other models are hopping about. When it’s onshore and you need to throw the Section around, there’s a noticeably reliable climb without too much power when you sheet out after a bottom turn, and there’s no unmanageable power spike whipping across the window, even when slightly overpowered. In onshore when the kite does luff on slack lines, it does so predictably, remaining balanced and point blank refuses to tip out on you.
When the conditions line up and things go clean and side shore, the drift attributes really shine. The Section has excellent balanced drift and remains steerable on slack lines. It seems to hold good tension in steering lines enabling pivotal and fast turns with a solid feeling. This allows you to position yourself freely on the wave. It has enough power dump and gust absorption to deal with some inconsistent European wind conditions and overall the Section feels light, athletic and reassuring. The power development on the bar sheet is impressive and can dig you out of trouble instead of leaving you engulfed and flailing in a wall of white water. If you need to make a hasty exit in sketchy wind, it performs.
What’s most evident with the Section 3 is the consistent and smooth power delivery, and highly accurate and easy-to-get-to-know sheeting response on the bar. It’s an exercise in temperament and an exceptional, focused product for hooked-in wave attack.
In a sentence: A well-considered tune up of an excellent wave kite – whether you are riding prime or sloppy conditions, the Section will ensure you get the very most out of every session…