Sizes Available: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12m
Sizes Tested: 7, 9, 11m
Foiling is your thing. This obsession may have started out as an innocent light wind activity, but it’s grown much bigger. You now challenge the norms and push the foiling envelope. How far will you take foiling? Perhaps a lot further than you’d imagine. And we’ll be cheering for you.
Say hello to the foiler’s foil kite. Not that kind of foil, but a serious LEI (Leading Edge Inflatable) foil kite that won’t hold you back. The all-new XLITE from our Specialized division is a one strut foil kite that performs exceptionally well with your favorite hydrofoil. Why? Because our development team fused the power of our fantastic Nexus allrounder and the drifting of our unbeatable Section wave kite into a package that’s an honest 20% lighter.
How do we do it? Mass reduction isn’t easy. So, we experimented with new leading edge materials, bridles, and one strut designs. After exhaustive R&D, our designers zeroed in on CoreTex for the canopy and new ExoTex Light for the leading edge. CoreTex adds support and power to the one strut canopy. ExoTex Light brings similar strength as our current ExoTex leading edge dacron yet is more than 10% lighter. We developed thinner, anti-snag bridles that further reduce weight and improve water relaunching. No detail was too small to lightweight. In the end, we hit our 20% mass reduction target.
Visit for more info: https://corekites.com/us/kites/xlite
Our Testers Say:
“Super-fast, highly responsive 9m kite that flies like a 7m but pulls like a 9m. Goes where you want, super stable with decent power, delicate seeming lightweight build with light bar pressure and good upwind ability.” // Kelly Grief
“Light bar pressure, quick and responsive with good power and complete depower. Flies effortlessly in very little wind and can boost with generous lift and hangtime for a single strut kite. Another Core kite that I can’t help but to like.” // Dray Murray
“Definitely a go-to kite for foiling with noticeable lightweight, low bar pressure, easy turning, great drift, still crisp despite single strut although it will flutter when massively overpowered.” // Pierce Martin
This is the first year for the Core Xlite and as such this is our first review of Core’s single strut design that targets foilboarding, light wind sessions and easy pack and travel freeride kiteboarding. The Xlite is a medium aspect single strut kite that features a slightly higher aspect canopy than the Section and XR. Core has put a lot of thought into weight savings with lighter internal bladders, a lighter weight LE and a specially designed bar with thinner lines, all designed to wring every inch of performance out of low wind conditions. The Xlite 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″ 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 Xlite offers a front bridle that utilizes two pulleys and a slider to adjust the angle of attack, along with three settings on the leading edge to adjust between ‘Wave, Allround and Freestyle’ (CIT points) with the stock position in the middle ‘Allround’ setting. The front bridle attachment points end in larks head loops and the wingtip pigtails end in knots, with two knot options to tune for power. The paired down canopy features a single wingtip setting to keep the weight down.
The first thing we noticed about the Xlite is its very comfortable light to medium bar pressure that came in softer than both the XR and the Section. The power delivery felt fairly progressive/sheet and go, somewhere in the middle between the Section’s ON/OFF and the XR’s smooth power delivery. The Xlite’s canopy felt light in the air in terms of its quick steering and crisp response to bar inputs, which is surprising because the lighter Xlite bar is very small/narrow. The kite definitely has a quick turning feel with a slightly wider turning arc and a nice medium power generation through turns. In terms of depower, the Xlite had really good depower at the outer end of the bar stroke with the canopy releasing pretty much all its lifting power when you need it and the lightweight canopy’s drift was unrivaled. On par with most single struts we did experience some luffing in the wingtips when the kite was sheeted out, but the center part of the canopy was really stable; the minimal airframe did a great job of keeping the feedback to the bar crisp and smooth. In terms of sheeting dynamics, for a single strut, the Xlite had a really clean and crisp bar feel without that mushy/soft feeling you sometimes get with earlier single strut frames. It felt like the canopy was tight and responsive at all times. The Xlite is capable of freeride jumping with not as much lift as the XR, yet some testers were impressed by its jumping performance. During relaunch tests, the Xlite relaunched quite easily from the bottom of the window nose down. With just a little bit of bar input the kite immediately turned onto a wingtip and launched into the air – which is really important in a light wind kite. While the intended use of the Xlite is foilboarding and light wind sessions, this kite nonetheless proved to be a very versatile kite that exceeded all tester’s expectations for all-around freeride in light to medium strength winds.
The Xlite is best flown with the all-new Sensor 2S Pro Foil Bar. It’s a super light version of the 2S Pro with some standout features tailored to the Xlite and foilboarding. The first thing you will notice is that the bar length is a dual adjustable length bar (39/45cm) that is relatively narrow, such that it chops a ton of weight off the overall package. Because the Xlite is incredibly responsive, you can get away with the narrower bar without any sacrifice to turning response. You also get flying lines that are 20% thinner, so the windage on the lines is reduced as well as the weight. The Foil bar also comes with 22m length lines with a ton of line length/extension options (16m+2m+4m) and an extra 3m wound up in the bag to get to 25m. Basically, you can dial in the perfect line length for your foilboarding preference.
It’s the many little things that make the Core bars standout in the field of kite control bars. The clean and simple design with uncompromising departures from the pack (ie rotator quick release) makes these bars hit hard or miss a beat with testers. The flying lines feature knots on the center lines and the outside lines end in larks head loops. Some of the key features are the carbon construction as well as the single centerline safety that runs down the center of one of the throw lines and through the bar for really clean routing. The quick release is the Core rotator style quick release of years past. As we have pointed out before, the rotational force required to trigger the safety system is an effective system if you practice with it and is less prone to accidental releases. Yet, it is immensely important that riders new to the system should dial is some muscle memory so they’re ready to rotate, rather than push away in a pinch.
The power tuning happens above the bar with a plastic cam cleat that features a short power tuning line that has both a bungee built into it as well as Velcro on the toggle so it’s never bouncing or in the way. The bar uses a double plastic-coated spectra throw that unwinds the twists in your center lines when you sheet in the bar. It’s also worth noting that the length of the throw on this bar is adjustable, which is rare to have both the plastic-coated durability line with the adjustable length throw — so that’s a super huge plus. The bar length is adjustable (39cm vs 45cm) by swapping where the outside lines attach to the bar and it has separate foam floats that are minimal and hid some line length adjustments for extra tuning. The center of the bar has STOP printed on the back and the Core logo on the front, so you know when you’re holding the bar the right way. In terms of color, the bar features black on the port side/left side float and a yellow leader line so there’s a little bit of differentiation that will resonate with the familiarized rider, but the minimal visual aesthetics doesn’t have the bright or standard red/green/blue color safety coding you see on some other bars (apparently Core knows that not everyone wants their sports equipment to look like a Christmas tree). The bar grip is on the smaller to medium size with nice printed EVA foam that is a standard size with no asymmetrical bumps throughout the entire length of the bar. The bar ends are hard plastic and minimal, but there is ample wind space and a bungee to keep your lines stowed during non-use. When we divvy up the test team, there are testers that love the simple, clean and lightweight precision of the Sensor design and there are others that prefer the heavier bars with molded doodads, more gadgetry and bright colors — and the conclusion we can draw is that it is great to live in a world of choice.
Visit for more info on the bar: www.corekites.com/us/bars/range
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