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Sizes Available: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.5, 15, 17, 19m
Sizes Tested: 7, 9, 12m

Core Says:

Meet the new XR5 and experience the latest iteration in CORE performance. The kind of performance only achieved after a decade of incremental and innovative improvements. A process that thoroughly tests each iterative design change while retaining its character-defining DNA before moving on to the next. And in the end, building a power delta bow kite that unleashes pure freeride awesomeness.

As a member of the Universal+ series of kites, the XR5 is designed to perform in all conditions and disciplines. Like the gusty conditions typically found on big inland lakes. Or fast oceanfront beach breaks. A Universal+ Series kite is also designed to excel in one area, and for the XR5, it’s power freeriding, a catch-all that includes huge airtime and hooked-in freestyle mastery.

You’ll find the 5th generation XR delivers linear control in the gusts and power in the lulls for relaxed cruising, explosive boosts, and sublime wave riding. But don’t take our word, though, and decide for yourself. Visit a CORE demo site near you and experience the XR5’s chameleon-like ability to transform to any riding style. Or visit your local authorized CORE retailer soon for a close-up look.

Visit for more info: www.corekites.com/us/kites/xr5

Our Testers Say:

“The XR5 was an adrenaline rush to the head with its huge lofty airs and quick loops and telepathic bar feel.” // Justin Lord.

“Small chicken loop brings the throw closer to my core which is great for smaller riders. The XR5 comes off as a solid kite, good for gusty conditions and boosting big airs.” // Rhonda Reyna.

“Great range, excellent for vertical boosts, smooth power delivery and upwinds well with nice turning speed. Combines high performance with sheet in and go ease of use.” // Dray Murray.

Meet Our Testers

TKB Says:

The XR5 is Core’s performance freeride model which is to mean it excels at most everything except big air, which is the zone in which it dominates. The XR5 is a medium to high aspect delta-shaped kite with real sweptback wingtips that features 5 struts for a stiffer airframe. It features Core’s proprietary inflation valve that requires a normal size pump hose without an attachment on the end to be inserted into the valve and need to be rotated to lock. With the large size aperture the kite inflates very quickly and the valve stays closed until you put a 2.5 inch plastic finger (hidden in a pocket of the center strut and attached by a small tether) into the valve to allow the air to deflate. The XR5 features three settings on the wingtips for adjusting between Medium, Easy, and Super Easy. The front bridle features three options for adjusting kite feedback and bar pressure and utilizes three pulleys on each side of the bridle for changing its angle of attack. The kite’s bridle uses loops on the front bridle pigtails and knots on the wingtip pigtails. The XR5 features medium plus bar pressure, a little more than the Free, its freeride counterpart in the Core lineup. Steering input is fairly crisp and while the turning speed is good it does have some wind up compared to the Free. When you load and release the XR5 properly it unleashes an exceptional amount of lift and yields really good hangtime which will make you want to boost all day long. Like many of the kites that feature this type of shape in the wingtips, the kite does tend to slide down the side of the window compared other types of kites when unattended, but that’s a tradeoff that a dedicated rider will adapt to. The XR5 flies fairly far forward in the window and seems to want to go upwind really well, yet while the XR5 has some really good pulling power it also depowers a ton to give you good range across a wide array of conditions. If big air is the focal point of your riding, you should beg, borrow or steal a ride on this lift machine to give it a go.

Our Core kites came with two control bar options: the Sensor 2S/2S+ and the Sensor 2S Pro.

The Sensor 2S (above) is the middle of the Core range of control bars. The 2S is a dual adjustable length bar (46/52 cm) designed to control all size kites with standard 24m length lines (the Pro version gets extensions built into that length) with the center lines ending in knots and the outside lines in loops. It comes equipped with a double PU-coated spectra sheeting/throw line, replaceable plastic insert, no sliding stopper and a non-removable donkey dick. This year the bar features a single center-line safety depower with a high V, above bar depower and a custom clam cleat with a Velcro tuning handle to keep the depower control toggle from tangling. Core bars have long been known for their twisting quick release with auto swivel (S-System) that doubles as a quick release guard and integrates ceramic bearings for longevity. As we have said before, it’s an effective system if you practice with it and is less prone to accidental releases so riders new to the system should dial is some muscle memory so they’re ready to address any problems in a pinch. The length of sheeting/throw can be adjusted for varying arm lengths of kiters or the type of riding. The non-molded foam floats are connected to the bar ends with the tips of the bar being hard. While the outside leader lines allow riders to adjust the length of the outside lines for stretch or tuning, the bar ends are easily swapped between by 46/52cm by changing to a separate knot on the bar end. The Team praised the bar’s simplicity with a medium plush stamped grip, commented on its fairly narrow diameter and its small but sufficient bar end winders with non-retractable bungees. It’s an amazingly very feature rich bar designed into a compact and lightweight package.

The Pro version (above) of the 2S features a full carbon construction wrapped around a titanium frame (Core calls it a truss) as well as a different set of lines that Core calls Tectanium, a special line material that is highly resistant to stretching and tangling while boasting the added benefit of being stronger while also being thinner for less drag in the air. Much of the rigging is the same as above except two sets of line extensions allows you to pair down to 18, 20 and/or 22m shorter line lengths. The Pro model is lighter and offers you line length options which is a nice feature to have when you ride in a wide variety of conditions.

Visit for more info on the bar: https://www.corekites.com/us/bars/range


Want more gear reviews all in one place? Read detailed and objective reviews on the 30 kite models and 33 board models that Tkb and freeride testers reviewed for the 2018 Freeride Gear Review Guide.