CORE's best big air kite just got even better! The major improvements with the XR8 are; a stiffer airframe, smaller-diameter leading edge and smaller-diameter struts.
3 of our Big Air Kite team riders have been in the photoshoot in Cape Town with this kite for the past few months so we can tell you first-hand how the XR8 performs.
"This new XR8 allows you to go higher than ever, throw fast kiteloops with one hand even in the middle of the bar, and it will still catch you quickly with some extra hangtime for a super smooth landing!" - Xavier Kain
EXOTEX® 2 ULTRA RIGID DACRON: ultra-rigid and robust Leading Edge
Smaller diameter leading edge
Smaller diameter struts
What we like
The XR8 leading edge has been upgraded to Core's new EXOTEX® 2 dacron. The dacron is stiffer and this results in a more responsive, faster turning kite. You can feel an improvement in the loops as a result.
This kite makes big air, old school and high-performance big air such as that seen in The Big Air Kite League more accessible to ordinary riders. For this reason, we've seen this style of kite, and this kite in particular, growing in popularity. You've got everyone from weekend warriors, right up to big air shredders ripping on the XR. Needless to say, the high demand for the XR7 also suggests a great resale value!
The 5 struts make for a rigid wing, ensuring it maintains an aerodynamic shape even when you're lit. Flatter kites like this are characterized by power on demand (aka sheet in and go), long hangtime, a large wind range and great ease of use. The bridles and pulleys give the kite more possible angles of attack into the wind, which is what gives the kite its high jumping performance, but the trade off of this is less direct steering. This may take some getting used to for C-kite purists, but the rewards are massive once you've got a feel for the kite.
The XR8 has a design feature that Core calls Intelligent Arc.
Basically, this means that when you sheet the bar in fully, the kite flattens out a little bit. This increases the surface area of the portion of the wing that is going to give you jump height, glide and softer landings. Intelligent Arc is what gives the XR incredible sheet-in-and go makes reaching big heights a breeze. It's no wonder the top 6 of the top 10 WOO jumps were posted on an XR.
We love looping the XR8! We've been feeling confident enough to loop the 10m. It's definitely not the fastest looping kite in the world. The smaller sizes (6,7,8,9) loop great, and the bigger sizes (10,11,12) can be looped, but you've really got to know what you're doing.
As Steven Akkersdijk says, "I'm in love with the 17 and 15 for unhooked. I guess the 13.5 down to 11 can still be quite fun. Smaller than that the feeling on the bar gets hard for wakestyle and so does the pop."
It feels like
Easy. There is quite a lot of bar-pressure, which makes it easy to know where the kite is. It's got quite a lot of grunt, so be prepared to put your back into the harness to keep it down, such as when performing exit loops after slides.
This product is made for
Big air, old-school and freeride. It excels at these disciplines, whilst still being a beginner friendly kite. We don't recommend this kite for foiling or wave-riding.
We like the new deflate chip! The deflate chip on the XR7 would sometimes get stuck under the strut and cause wear to the canopy. The new deflate chip is secured to the speed valve cap, which prevents it from getting stuck there.
The only flaw we have found with the XR8 is that the pigtails on the kite wear out a bit faster than we would like. To avoid this, we recommend you make sure there is no sand between the knots when securing them.
Weapon of choice for
Janek Grzegorzewski, Mike Mac Donald, Maarten Haeger, Angely Bouillot, Jasmine Cho, Josh Emanuel, Zara Hoogenraad
Woo record on this kite
We'll soon find out!
Bar and Pump sold separately