Sizes Available: 15, 17, 19m
Sizes Tested: 15, 19m

Core Says:

The XR6 LW inherits all the power and ridiculous wind range of the legendary XR6 while receiving noticeable weight-saving upgrades. Proud owners will enjoy cruising in cleaner air upwind from the pack.

The XR6 LW’s DNA is packed with innovative technology like ExoTex Ultra Rigid Dacron and Intelligent Arc that supercharges its performance. Core’s exclusive ExoTex Dacron, for example, improves airflow and flight stability. Intelligent Arc massively expands its wind range. Appreciable weight reduction is achieved with Core’s exclusive CoreTex Light canopy fabric, a ripstop fabric with remarkable strength to weight ration. We could go on, but we prefer you find out for yourself how stellar the new XR6 LW performs.

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TKB Says:

Core has invested heavily in its development of light wind versions of its top-selling line of kites with lower weight canopy materials and other small details that yield significant performance increases in light air. We tested the 15 and 19m of the new XR6LW and found that these sizes offer excellent pulling power with an impressive amount of lift relative to their extra-large canopies. The LW line offers you the same XR6 features, giving you a rigid 5-strut canopy that can handle power and gusts. Every session starts with Core’s proprietary inflation valve that requires a normal size pump hose without an attachment on the end. Just insert your hose into the valve and rotate it to lock. With the large size aperture, these mammoth kites inflate much faster than they would otherwise. The valve stays closed until you put a 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 XR6 LW construction uses an entirely different canopy fabric than its regular XR6 line, in order to shed some weight. When you start talking about 15 and 19 square meters, material weight becomes a very serious issue. The front bridle utilizes two pulleys and a slider to adjust the kite’s angle of attack and allows the user to choose between three settings: ‘Wave, All Around, and Freestyle.’ Wave is the attachment farthest forward for more depower, and Freestyle is farthest back, with All Around being the factory setting. The wingtip offers three adjustment settings to select between ‘Medium, Easy and Super Easy,’ with the factory set to Easy in the center. The front bridle pigtails end in larks head loops and the wingtip pigtails end in three knots.

When you graduate into the larger sizes of the XR6 kite line you are most likely a very specific customer. You’re probably a larger rider that is trying to push twin tip or surfboard riding into the lightest wind possible. If foilboarding was a light wind option, the XLite would be a better choice, but since you’re trying to get the most performance out of displacement kiteboards, you need the ultimate pulling power to get that party started and keep it going. The 19m XR6 offers an incredible amount of pull, particularly when matched with long lines. An extra big power stroke goes a long way with the 19m and allows you to harvest a ton of pulling power between turns when you’re stuck with low threshold wind strengths. When kites get up to the 19m size, smaller riders will experience a really narrow range that goes like this: if the kite will fly in the sky you will have an insane session, yet if the wind climbs by 6 knots you will begin to be overpowered. Bigger riders can ride the 19m farther into the higher-end of the wind range without problems. The turning on the 19m is good for a kite of that hulking size, but by all other standards, the turns take time to completely redirect a power stroke and requires some mental adjustment. The bar pressure feels middle of the road for a light wind kite, which means it isn’t overbearing but you could feel the kite’s grunt in the bar when you were sheeting in. The XR6 even in the largest configuration seems to be fairly friendly and intuitive while being resistant to oversheeting or poor kite tuning. The 19m was able to pull from far enough forward in the window to feel like we could convert the grunt power into upwind gains. One of the most surprising aspects about the 19m was our ability to boost low altitude airs that offered up incredible hangtime in really light wind. The 19m was just nimble enough to load and send to the top of the window for peaky vertical jumps that delivered good lift for the limited wind conditions. When you factor in its long-lasting hangtime, The XR6 19m turned out to bring twin tip fun to otherwise highly limiting conditions. We found that as the wind increased and we became overpowered, the 19m had sufficient depower in the canopy that allowed us to keep riding without concern for safety, although trying to convert the excessive and relentless pulling power into upwind gains required strength and perseverance for smaller riders. If you’re reading between the lines, the 19m is a very extreme size that is targeted at a fairly narrow wind range and larger power hungry riders. If you are that large rider and need a kite for threshold conditions, you will find the XR 19m as an excellent pulling machine with decent bar response and user-friendly handling with notable lift that keeps fun jumps alive when there should be none.

The 15m in the XR6 lineup is a much better size for the average-sized rider looking for a dedicated light wind kite for twin tip or surfboard riding in lower wind conditions. The range feels much broader with this kite. Although it has slightly less low-end grunt than the 19m, it is more agile and can turn quicker through the window for more efficient flying that can deliver the extra boost of power you need. The 15m size begins to yield the same bar feel as the smaller performance kites, although it seemed to have slightly more bar pressure relative to the rest of the Core LW kite line (Nexus and Section). The canopy has more depower which allows you to ride the 15m a bit more overpowered without the relentless pull of the 19m and the faster steering allows for better maneuverability and easier sending of the kite for bigger jumps. The vertical thrust of the 15m XR6 is the standout quality that makes this kite capable of redeeming light wind sessions for the freeride crowd. The XR6 gets to the zenith faster and unloads that momentum for really fun-sized airs that stand out among all the other LW kites. Hands down, the XR6 LW is the light wind kite for the big air specialist that cares mostly about wringing every ounce of jumping performance in light wind sessions.

The Core line of bars is incredibly diverse, starting with the Sensor 2, Sensor 2S and Sensor 2S Pro. We tested the Sensor 2S and Sensor 2S Pro; the main difference between the two is the Pro takes the standard titanium chassis and wraps it with carbon for lower weight and uses Tectanium flying lines for lower drag/windage (see the Xlite review for our thoughts on the new foil bar).

Both the Sensor 2S and 2S Pro are dual adjustable length bars (46/52 cm) designed to control all size kites with the center lines ending in knots and the outside lines in loops. Both versions of this bar come with four line-length extension options for those that want to vary their line lengths (choose between 18/20/22/24m by removing extensions). The throw/power line utilizes two PU-coated Tectanium lines (one of them is the safety depower), a replaceable plastic insert, no sliding stopper and a non-removable donkey dick. The double throw/power lines offer incredible durability and also auto-untwists the center lines when you sheet in the bar. The single centerline safety depower system utilizes a high V, and routes through the power lines for a very clean design. These bars also offer above the 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. Yet, it is immensely important that riders new to the system should dial in 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 (by choosing between two knots), the bar ends are easily swapped between 46/52cm by changing to a separate knot on the bar end. The bar’s center insert has a Core logo on one side and a stop logo on the other to prevent you from grabbing the bar backward, which is a nice safety feature. One of the most noticeable aspects of this control bar is that it weighs virtually nothing yet you get all these features. The grip is a medium plush stamped grip with a fairly narrow diameter and the bar has small but sufficient bar end winders with non-retractable bungees. The purists on our testing team gave top marks for the Sensor’s streamlined lightweight feel and overall simplicity while incorporating the major features.

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Want to view all our 2020 Freeride, Light Wind and Wingsurf Gear Reviews in one convenient digital guide? Get free access HERE. If you’re already a subscriber, thank you for your support! Log into your account to view our 2020 Freeride Gear Review Guide.


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