We're running a demo center in West Michigan - come out and try some CORE kites if you visit Muskegon. Recent test drives on the new 15mXR2 LW (=Light Wind) and some rider comments from a few days ago below. (My comments appear in italics)
"I test rode the core 15 in 15-19 knots* and it flew great throughout this range with room to grow in either direction." (* our local wind instrument was giving these numbers, but it's the general consenus here that the readings are consistently 2-3 kts high with the scenario we had that day)
"The Core 15lw is a fun light to medium wind kite." (this guy said it turns as fast or faster than his 11m kite)
"The kite has great turning speed and what is most impressive is how it carries its power through the turns, smooth and effortless." (this guy was doing kite-looping flips and rotations effortlessly within moments of hitting the water. Although we did not have any waves that day he rode downwind real hard to see how the kite would "float" and he said it would defo work well in waves
"Throw on the 3m extensions and it gets about a meter of more power, just slightly slowing the turning response." (The LW series comes with 3m extesions - 24m lines supplied with Sensor bar)
"I am used to a little more throw in the bar for maximum depower but this kite has very comfortable depower and relaxed bar pressure." (He also commented that the depower adjustment was surprisingly effortless and smooth - and he said the kite responded very well at full depower)
"For jumping this 15 has nice lift and good float for smooth landings." - when I told him how the "intelligent bridle system" works he said "Yeah, that explains why it felt like it was literally flying higher when I pumped during the jumps". There is a Crre video that shows this.
"Its an easy kite to setup with uninhibited pressure when pumping it up." (I love this new inflate system..so easy and simple...surprised it hasn't been done before)
"Killer looking kite with great flying characteristics." (When I first started riing CORE kites a few years ago I wondered why they only come in one color scheme. If you watch their video about how the kites are made it makes sense - put more into the quality of materials and quality control of construction and keep the graphics simple)
A few of my own observations:
[i]The struts are fairly slender, and the leading edge is not massive...but this 15m really has a nice rigid canopy shape. The bridles are nice and simple and there are multiple adjustment points to tune for your personal preference. We had it on the middle settings all around.
We had the 8m XR2 out a few days before. It was blowing 30-35 and this was definitely the upper limit for me at 160#. I'll be reporting more on the different sizes as we get them out in more conditions. The differences from the orignal XR (which is still a great kite) are significant in terms of wing shape, bridle design, various nice features added.
At my weight the 15m is fine for my light wind riding needs. If you are heavier and/or want to ride in the super-light wind conditions you might consider the 17m or 19m LW kites. All these kites turn really fast for big kites. The LW models are built differently than the standard XR2's and optimized for light wind.
Also, the Sensor bar is super light, super simple/effortless power adjustment, really great spinning C-loop, and a few other nice features.