First time on a switch kite ever! Been flying Core kites last 4years and on Core riot Xr2 all season. Just demoed the Core GTS2 last week in 12-18 mph and 20-30mph. I am not a switch team rider or rider for anyone else but me. Just love kiting. Hope this review helps. Please ask questions.
I am 185 dry ride a 135x42 shinn monk and 5'2 surfboard.
First test October 3rd at Sherman island between 4:30pm-7:10pm. See ikitesurf graph archive
First off lowend is incredible yesterday was a max high tide at end of flood and plenty of power, sweet low end. 10m will be my biggest nitro2 for sure. Wind was averaging 14-16 Mph and only dipped a couple times really low and only struggled when wind dropped once for 5-10 minutes down to 11mph. this kite kite pulls effortlessly upwind in light air, very impressive.
Build quality: really nicely finished kite. Obvious attention to detail and quality control. One pump is excellent, big pump valve works very well, bridle material is the best available sleeved with line guides instead of pulleys and same bridle line as Core kites. In the air the canopy looks super tight and flawless no obvious wrinkles, super clean tight canopy.
In the Air: 21.5m lines on Core sensor bar 52cm width. 18.5m front lines from Y split to kite and 3m from chicken loop to Y split. This going to be really bare minimum on front line length any shorter and you will find the won't turn well and the LE will distort. This is because of the bridle. If the Y is too close to the kite it will pull the main pulley to close to midline and grossly affects handling. This happens on Core kites as well as any kite with this type of bridle to a degree. Anyway, kite flew well on this setup, but will add 1.5m to front lines to see if the handling feels better, which it felt good anyway, I just want to see if there is an improvement. The core XR2 turning speed and tun radius is faster/tighter with the correct distance from Y split to kite. If it is to short the wingtip flaps just a little on the xr2 from LE flattens too much, I think it makes the kite handle a little different. looping with out proper line tuning can affect the handling So be careful how you tune your setup for each kite you fly.
Stability: Insanely awesome, nice job Bill Hansen!! Kite is so stable, no front or back stall. Even in this light wind let go of the bar with 40cm throw and kite doesn't nothing weird and will fly itself and does seem to veer off in either direction. Power is very linear, "NOT" on/off. Ride at the kite and it just floats with you. Kite Loop it and nice float if lines slack. Stability is terrific! I was worried that LE diameter would make it less stable and this is not the case.
Turning/bar pressure: moderately fast on the nitro2 , Xr2 and GTS2 are faster and repond faster. The nitro2 is precise and really powered turns. Turns are more powerful than both Cores, but the GTS loop is more powerful and easier because rips so fast and throws you. Nice turning characteristics, not super fast but good and not twitchy at all. It has a medium sized turn radius so the loop is powerful. powered turns help build apparent wind in light wind like last night. Really stellar control and bar feedback. Started off on light bar setting then moved forward one to middle setting. On light rear setting there is nice feedback and pressure, core xr2 and GTS2 are lighter. I like moderately heavy pressure for kite loops and turn stability so you feel the kite really easy. All 3 kites have this the nitro2 is a little heavier. All kites have excellent feedback Middle setting is perfect for me and has more pressure, more linear steering feedback and wingtip more stable. And if wind is really weird I would put the line on heavier bar pressure as this will stablize wingtip even more. The Core GTS2 was like that as well. Much better stability overall with rear line connected on heavy pressure...less torque on the wing tip and less depower = stability and less flare and wobble as I call it.
Jumping: pretty sweet for light wind on a 10m @ 185lbs. The xr2 had only a little more float for light wind jumping, but not much. Easy to jump, good feel easy to redirect and glide forward. Will need more wind for proper jump test.
Kite loop: as I said powered turns! This= fun kite loop even in light air. Anyway loops very nice, but need more wind for real test.
Pop: Core GTS2 is better, but at the sacrifice of lowend jumping and hangtime. Nitro and XR2 have similar pop in light air. GTS is specialist as Pop machine. Probably the average rider won't use pop to there full advantage anyway so not a loss in the nitro. I am sure the pop will be better in heavier wind on nitro2.
Last edited by jb8431 on Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Part 2: October 4th Sherman island see graph at ikitesurf 1:30-7pm I kited all afternoon.
Wind was interesting yesterday, really dense air. Average speed about 25mph all day. The air density made it feel like 30+ wind. The nitro felt like a tractor and handling felt like a huge kite in this wind and it was hard to edge against to boost well. The kite seemed to fly itself on the front lines and was so stable it felt hard to feel in control, the kite seemed to fly itself. I flew the 10m Xr2 back to back and it felt juiced up too, but way better feel, easier to jump, better hang time, and I always felt in control and the xr2 doesn't fly itself and the xr2 still let's the pilot know he's in control and the xr2 was much better turning and more fun to fly in this wind. Very interesting day yesterday in terms of air density not the norm so will have to see the nitro in more average 20mph summer thinner air.
I didn't dare loop the kite yesterday. Too much wind for this 10 to loop it. Please understand the air density really made the two 10m kites and 9m I put up feel super juiced and they all had a stronger than normal pull in this air density for the given wind speed. But the nitro2 was the most difficult to throw around in this wind. It felt the most like a C kite af any bridlde kite I've flown. When I jumped I could let go of the bar and it still just hangs up there and the kite stayed remarkably stable. Depends on how you like your kite to behave. Good for Old school for sure. I like more control of hangtime and the Xr2 will allow me to let out power and ease off the lift much better. The nitro sort of flew itself once I was airborne. Stability is insane, but maybe to auto pilot feeling for my active flying style.
The nitro did not feel like this in the lighter wind so, the wind and being overpowered contributed to this behavior for sure. Definately should have been on the 8m nitro2 which I didn't have to try.
With that said....the Xr2 in my opinion a better 10m as a one quite quiver with more wind range than the nitro 2. the top end and bottom end on the xr2 is better and the xr2 was more agile and fun to fly, with less bar pressure on the high end and quicker turn response as well. Both are really good kites. Comes down to personal preference. For pure race the Nitro will foot the bill as it pulls forward and fast and i think points to wind slightly higher (would need a gps to tell). As an all arounder the nitro can be a bit of a handful when overpowered and it just is not snappy enough for my style of kiting. Plus the xr2 has better pop I should add.
Will report more as I experience different conditions. Hope this info helps. Kite feel is very personal so take my review as well as other reviews with that in mind. I think everyone has there own likes and dislikes. Trying to be objective with this review.
The nitro is a nice kite and very powerful. I think it will suit a wide variety of riders including beginner riders as it is really easy to fly. Although the kite got really overpowered I didn't ever feel out of control, but the handling was definately compromised to a degree as the kite flew on the front lines and pulled like a truck, I mean really like a truck!! This makes boosting I'm high wind on the wrong size kite really hard. I am a boost addict and every Core kite I have owned can boost better than the nitro. There is more to boosting than raw power and lift. Pop and steering reaction are helpful for a quick jerk off the water without loosing an edge. Haven't tried any other switch so can't compare to element. I will demo a team riders to compare.
Seems like if switch combined the turning of the element and the power of the nitro with a little more pop and slightly less grunt in the turning power the kite would really have a better quality boost. Because it jumps no doubt, but just not as easily or explosively as my core kites.
So when would I ride the nitro2 over Core xr2. Probably when I am tired of jumping want to sail around and race up wind and enjoy the downwinder conditions riding wave swell, and definately in the surf in onshore conditions.The downwind speed and stability of the nitro is beautiful and the power turns make nice powered sweeping board turns super smooth and easy while the kite is just super stable and difficult to upset and drifts really nice. It's just fun to have different feel.
I like different kites in my quiver as you may find the feel of a certain kite is more appealing for the given conditions and it is fun to have a different feel. People have said to me how many different kites do you fly as if only having one kite model is best. Well, I say in this type of wind I like A and in this condition I like B and so on, Plus it's so I don't get bored. Kiting is my hobby and it is a gift from God, so I enjoy it in as many ways as possible.
I only wish I had Bill's talent at making kites, then I could create what I like best.