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CORE’s XR4 LW is dubbed the ‘session saver’ and is available in 15, 17 and 19M. We had the 17m on test and when the wind finally dropped below 40 knots this winter we were straight on the case! It’s not just suited to those summer sea breeze days, we were keen to get out in some nice super-clean sub-zero easterly wind action.
The first thing to note about this kite is that it is a scaled up XR4, but that a lot of tweaks have been made to ensure that it ticks all of the right lightwind boxes. It does have five struts, but it loses weight elsewhere, particularly through the intelligent use of ExoTex Dacron. So the LE and struts are all skinnier and the wingtips use this too which keeps the weight down here. Canopy cloth is the CoreTex Light which is a lighter version of CORE’s exclusive cloth.
So this is a well-conceived kite with no build or performance compromises. In the air and the XR4 LW feels nimble. It sits forward in the window and really trucks upwind – so even on very light days you should still be able to make your way back to where you want to be.
Then the performance is very ‘top end’, so with small inputs at the bar getting an immediate response, and you really have the sense that you are flying a much smaller kite on a much windier day. Turning is also surprisingly snappy – it doesn’t ‘whip’ round, but it flies very smoothly and there is none of the flutter or slight sketchiness that you can get on more lightweight light wind kites…
For boosting you can really send it and – especially if it is a bit windier – you will find yourself pretty high, pretty quickly! So, overall, a nice fun kite for lightwind days with no compromises in the performance department.