This is the third iteration of the CORE Section from the German brand, and they’ve really built some pedigree into the latest model. The Section fits into their discipline-specific range, and is aimed as a pure wave kite.
This year the bridle has had a good trim down and is now very compact. The major upgrade comes with the addition of the CIT modes. These are some nifty bridle trim knots on the leading edge to allow changes to help the kite in 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 how it 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 ‘Allround’ central setting and the kite will perform well in all situations. 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 overhead side off and slightly 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, universal across the CORE brand, is pleasantly smooth. Unlike some faster turning wave kites, it doesn’t fly out of the 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, where other models are hopping about. When it’s onshore and you need to throw the Section around, there is a noticeably reliable climb without too much power when you sheet out after a bottom turn, and there is no unmanageable power spike whipping across the window, even when slightly overpowered. In onshore conditions 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. 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.
Access all 105 pages of the Ultimate Test #3 including this year's results.