After flying RPMs for 5 years I was recently in the market for a Hybrid C that jumps and loops a bit better, but still has big unhooked potential.
I tested the Cabrinha FX, Core GTS and Ozone Enduro.
Enduro was out pretty quick, as I did not like the flying characteristics on the smaller sizes. FX and GTS were very close. I really liked looping the FX, the GTS was sometimes a bit unpredictable to me in the loops (expecting medium pull, getting huge pull, sometimes the other way round). The GTS felt a bit more direct. But the differences were minimal. Some things about the Sensor Bar did not really work out for me: 2 depower cords, separated by the bar so always with a gap. I got stuck between those cords once on a pass while testing and was lucky to be able to pull my fingers out quickly, but it got stuck in my mind after that. I'd rather have a bar with a single rope and trade the automatic for a manual swivel. Also the chicken loop often twisted while I was unhooked (probably because of the very good bearing in the swivel). I liked the aesthetics of the Core bar better, as it is not as clunky as the Cabrinha bar.
So overall, very close matchup. Only details that make the difference, so I could have taken both.
The build quality I could judge just by looking at a brand new kite seems comparable, and both have a very good track record of being reliable and not wearing too much. They say the Core service in Germany (where I'm from) is exceptional. But the only time I ever got in touch with a manufacturer was with Slingshot for a recall (which was handled well), otherwise I always talk to the shop where I buy the kites, which has perfect service. So for me, this point does not make a big difference.
In the end I went for the FX because of the price. I paid 40% less for a brand new 2018 FX vs. a brand new GTS. The resell value for the GTS is better while it is still the current model, but after the 2 years that Core models normally last (the GTS has 1 left), they also go down. Never as low though, admitted. The problem is that as soon as there is only the slighest damage / repair on a Core kite, the resell value drops to virtually 0. Not many people are (understandably) willing to pay the high price that Core kites normally go for when they are damaged. I also have the feeling that Core customers often want to buy Core because they want to "have the best", which disqualifies a repaired kite.
I really like to learn new things while kiting and push myself while I am on the water. I also use my stuff a lot, which has ended up in a few repairs in the past. So this is a realistic risk for me. In the end the higher price and resell value on the Core also results in a higher risk to lose a lot of money when you have to resell a damaged kite. I think for other brands this risk is smaller.
Summing up my decision the two kites were very comparable with a minimal edge for the FX. I just couldn't find a reason that justifies the higher price of the Core (for me). Also, the high resell value also bears a risk, as explained above.
Regarding Core bashing / pimping: I get both in my local kite community. We have several WhatsApp groups here to communicate when we meet up at the beach. Interestingly, one seems to be dominated by Core lovers, one other by haters. When I mentioned that I am testing the GTS in the one group I was (jokingly) bashed just for giving them a chance… While in the other group I was (jokingly) bashed when someone noticed I went for the FX over the GTS "having been so close to the real deal". I guess you get both, but Core definitely polarizes.
Last edited by Largorn
on Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.