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Thursday, 1 March 2012

Kite Review - Peter Lynn Core 3m

I bought a 3m Peter Lynn Core as a high wind kite to sit in my quiver below my 5m Flow, as I found I was flying the Flow over-powered a lot of the time and also, in the buggy, I cant seem to get the Flow to take me over 59kph (37mph) no matter how hard I fly it.

So I was looking for something with a higher aspect ratio that I could get out in high winds and could use to push my speed and particularly take me beyond 60kph with an ultimate goal of cracking 65kph (40mph).

After a post on extreme kites, I was offered an ex-demo 3m Core RTF, which had been used for pictures for the website/forum. It came (eventually) with the original rucksack, some handles and new 20m lines. The kite was crispy and looked unused – the handles had some wear as did the bag.

The rucksack is huge for a 3m kite and is fantastic, loads of straps and pockets etc – but as is often said “you don’t fly the bag!”, anyway the kite was soon transferred into a stuff-sack to live in my buggy bag.

The kite is made from a water repellent and UV resistant fabric, with reinforcement along the trailing edge and heavy-duty ribs; it has Velcro sand outlets on either end. Mine doesn’t have the Velcro tabs to secure the bridal. The bridal is fairly minimal with, stitched lines and reinforced tabs, the dyneema flying lines are colour coded and numbered for easy set-up. The air-inlets are open, where as the flow has a mesh covering.

The handles are aluminium with a foam cover and are colour coded for right and left, with loops for a strop and stake/kite killers. It has plastic cover over either end (and I did lose one at one point – to be found a week later!) they are not quite as comfortable as my Ozone handles. I use my Ozone kite-killers as the kite didn’t come with any and have also attached an Ozone stop. If you buy it new it comes with kite-killers.

Overall the quality of the kite is on a par with the Flow, build quality looks excellent with no loose threads, all stitching looks tight and neat and the fabric is crisp (and pretty tough!) – The only thing that slightly let it down was the handles, but I have become used to these the more I have flown it and it doesn’t bother me anymore!

First flight – started off trying it static, it is a very different beast to the Flow, it needs some work in low winds to get it going, but once moving it really started to generate some speed and power. It turned very quickly and doesn’t require any brake –in fact a couple of times I did use the brakes it stalled and down it floated. After a few minutes of putting it through some figure-eights and with the wind a bit more consistent, though still pretty light, I decided to try it in the buggy.

In the light winds, every time I tried a braked turn (I always use some brake when turning the flow!) the kite would float gently to the ground, so I really had to concentrate on keeping it moving and turning without any brakes. Then the wind must have stepped up a bit and as I got more used to it, the kite started to generate some decent speed. I was getting used to keeping it moving as I hit the turns and on the straights was building my speed.

I could control the kite with tiny inputs on the brakes and I really started enjoying it. Flying became more instinctive, especially keeping it moving through the turns rather than just sending it to the zenith. The speed of the kite and quick turns made it loads of fun…

Since then I have taken it out in varying conditions, this kite definitely needs some wind to keep it happy – the range is listed as 4-20knts (7-37kph), I find it fly’s happily in anything above 11knts (20kph) and then it is at its most rewarding.

I have flown it at the top of the range and it is super powerful and very fast, I made the mistake of pushing it up to the zenith to try and slow down, when on a high speed run and got nicely lofted for a very ungraceful OBE, immediately (well after a had got myself up and dusted myself off!) I checked the wind speed and it was 39kph with gusts up to 48!

The Core doesn’t have the stability of the Flow, but it does provide huge amounts of fun. It is very fast through the air and turns quickly, I can really throw it about. It provides huge amounts of traction and speed in the buggy and is easily controlled with tiny-inputs on the handles and on the brakes.

Since my OBE I have been gradually rebuilding my confidence with this kite, as the speed and power can be a bit scary and has taken me by surprise. I now keep it low in the window and just flip it through 180 degrees as I hit the turns. The Flow tends to absorb the gust where as the Core magnifies them and keeps pushing faster – the acceleration is amazing. I still haven’t hit the 60kph barrier yet, but have come pretty close on a couple of occasions – I think I just need to man-up and go for it!

Overall, this is a great kite – it’s well made, fast and powerful. At times I have found it frustrating and downright evil! But ultimately as my skill has improved with flying it, the more rewarding it has become. Now when I get it out of the bag I have a slightly nervous feeling but always after a couple of minutes the grin appears.
I would recommend the Core as a buggy engine and also for static fun – but for the intermediate or more experienced beginner.

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