Core Nexus 2 – 8 & 10M Kite Test Review

CORE Nexus 2


Kiteworld Issue #106 - kitesurfing magazine

Core Nexus 2 – 8 & 10M

‘It really is three kites in one, and delivers cross-over performance in each of the Wave and All-Round settings’


Launched two years ago, the Nexus V1 bedded itself into the Core range, filling the gap between the ever popular, bow-style, sheet-and-go big boosting kite, the XR, and the potent kite loop / freestyle kite, the GTS. We spent five solid days testing that V1 Nexus in Cape Verde in May 2018 and reported that Core had come up with a true all-round kite, complete with three different bridle settings that allowed riders to choose between ‘Wave’, ‘All-round’ or ‘Freestyle’ settings. We found that the middle ‘All-Round’ setting held more than enough performance for every discipline, for at least 90% of riders.

There’s very little need for the more committed, powerful window position of the Freestyle mode for most riders, but it’s exciting to have the option there, for sure. Meanwhile the ‘Wave’ setting brought the kite further forward for more depower, reduced lift and gave more forward flight and a lighter feel, but when the All-Round setting was so very well balanced, we generally tended to opt for that.

So what’s different this year? The Nexus 2 feels very similar in its All-Round setting; still delivering beautiful poise and feedback, but it’s the ‘Wave’ setting that we think has now become a really well polished set-up. Rather than just offering some different elements of handling, it could now be many people’s favoured setting, particularly if you’re more prone to riding a surfboard or foil, rather than twin-tip.

Appropriately in these uncertain times, Core once again instil us with the confidence that you can buy once and not worry about having to replace your kites within a few short seasons. These kites really are built to last.

While we may often wonder if Core will ever produce a different design for their kites, they’re unmistakable in the air. You have two choices; black or white. A good example of how good the materials and build of the kites are is that we often find that white kites quickly look very grubby after a couple of months use in the UK. Rarely are our beaches perfect golden sand; more often there’s a grey tan to be picked up from shingle, or a gloopy muddiness to rinse off after landing at some spots at low tide. However, a white Core kite will still look younger after three years than some other kites do after just a few months. Their Coretex triple ripstop canopy feels incredibly strong but also seems less absorbent than most kites. Washing powder advert white, time and again.

All the reinforcements and stitching points are incredibly robust. When you roll the kite out the entire canopy feels quite rigid; a bit like you might imagine GoreTex would feel in a kite, and we absolutely have to take our hats off to Core for producing such strong products. Dogs have run over our Cores in the past and their paws were no match for the canopy cloth. If strength is your key purchase pondering, check them out.

Core Nexus 2


The Nexus 2 will fit previous Core Sensor bars, but we must highlight their new Sensor 3 and the Pro version we had with carbon fibre construction and Tectanium Vario lines. The Sensor is always among the lightest and thinnest diameter bars on the market and, although very simple in both visuals and in feel, the new model is very well featured.

Firstly, Core have decided to move away from being the only brand to use a twist rather than push-away action quick-release. The twist system was a relatively open design which made it easy to clear sand out and was very reliable in terms of maintenance, but in switching to a push-away design, not only are they moving in line with the rest of the market (which does make sense from a uniform approach to safety), but they have also worked to ensure the new design meets the ISO Standard 21853 for safety brought in by the GKA and ISO Standards.

The new chicken-loop also features a click-in design that very easily allows you to re-set your chicken-loop by just pushing the loop into the catch; no need to awkwardly lift the collar up to set the pin. Among other less visible changes, Core have added some super sleek bar ends that have little drop-down panels for you to wrap your lines around, which can then be neatly hidden away when you’re riding. These panels also drop down to give you access to the cassette that can be ejected and turned around to effectively reduce / increase the steering width of your bar, between 50 and 46.5cm.

As ever, the middle of the bar is very clean with the two plastic covered centre lines that untwist themselves when you sheet the bar down if you’ve done some rotations, rather than manually having to untwist your lines (though there is still a line spinner above the chicken-loop release).

Core Nexus 2
There are other kites with different knot options on the front bridle for handling tweaks, but few offer such noticeable and polished differences for such an easy change of knots. Understandably, many riders are reluctant to want to play around with their kite’s settings too much for fear of getting it wrong, but the Core CIT settings really are as simple as undoing a pigtail on the kite’s leading edge and moving it to the next knot. As long as you do the same on both sides, you can’t really go wrong.

We tested the Nexus 2 a lot on the ‘Wave’ and ‘All-Round’ settings.

The Core range is very easy to dissect with the Nexus 2 sitting bang in the middle, offering a blend of sheet-and-go, easy XR-style handling, with the more sporty turning nature of the GTS. The Nexus 2 once again delivers very rewarding and easy lift and flight control, similar in feel to the XR, but has far more strings to its bow.

Jim’s wife Dan (who has been making an intermittent return to kiting recently after having a baby a couple of years ago) has also ridden the Nexus 2 this season and made impressive visual progress in both her jumps and rotations. “It just feels light, but still controllable.” She says. “Everything felt easy and even when the wind was really strong I had loads of control and never felt like I was accidentally steering the kite into the wrong position.”

The mix of easy lift and then natural float back down meant that Dan was easily able to get more hangtime when edging off kickers, and was also managing to land more softly and with more forward momentum, rather than thudding heavily, which she often complained of.

At the same time Bully, who likes his steaks very bloody, still enjoyed the loops on the All Round setting, with plenty of hoik and electric acceleration round the bottom of the loop.

Where both the intermediate and the expert benefit is that although the Nexus moves quickly once initiated in its turn, it doesn’t immediately move at the slightest bar input. Bringing a steadiness to moves, there’s a smoothness and feeling of control, particularly when getting to grips with new rotations. Confidence comes from knowing that the kite will only move when you firmly tell it to. It’s not heavy at all; just super easy to dial into.

From now on, we’re going to focus mainly on the ‘Wave’ setting. The All-Round setting is like the ‘Wave’ setting, but with more bite in all aspects, and we feel that the Wave setting has changed the most.

Core Nexus 2

What Core have managed to produce this year is a ‘Wave’ setting that delivers a very complimentary difference to the ‘All-Round’ mode. The drive and highly tuned, firm-ish feeling remains at the bar, but the speed of depower is a bit quicker and the turn is faster and more pivotal. There are obvious advantages for wave riders, but what we really found is that a lot of general kiters will also enjoy using this mode to build confidence when experimenting with kite loops.

When nicely powered, the Wave setting is also capable of delivering beautiful jumping performance. The send back of the kite increases the progressive tension, which builds as the kite climbs up through the window. The connection you feel is beautiful and the big sweet spot overhead increases your success rate for great lift when you decide to sheet in and take off.

The Nexus 2 has taken what the XR delivers in spades; an incredibly smooth trajectory and stunning glide back towards the water. Unless you’re doing absolutely massive jumps, the Nexus 2 rarely needs much doing with it in terms of heli loops as you land – it’s all just very well programmed.

So, in Wave mode you still have a kite capable of jumping really well, but delivers less of a pulse in power when it whips round the bottom of the window. Whether that’s when you’re doing little loops out of transitions, or experimenting with pulling the kite loop trigger on your way up to bigger jumps. The clean flight around the window doesn’t jolt you at all and, while there’s still a rewarding increase in pull, the kite completes the turn and is back overhead before you have time to think about it.

A good example of this Wave setting working well was during a couple of sessions on the eight metre that Jim had in 25 – 30 knots, switching between his twin-tip and wave board. No need to come in and change the setting on the kite; he went from boosting well on a twin-tip to then also just pulling on a little trim to feeling comfortable enough to send the kite hard across the window when doing backside hacks into small waves on a strapless surfboard. Even though the wind was strong for an eight metre on a surfboard, there was no surging and the responsiveness at the edge of the window meant that the kite was always ready to be sent back for another turn.

Jim reckons that where he lives on the southcoast of the UK there are sometimes strong wind conditions where the wind swell delivers shoulder to head high waves and lumps at certain points in the tide. Being able to switch between the surfboard and twin-tip to take advantage of those, without having to come in and change settings, really opens up the way you approach your sessions.

The ‘All Round’ setting can also do all this – there would just be more bite to deal with around the turn, but the depower is still excellent.

CORE Nexus 2

The Wave setting also works really well for foiling, and when steered firmly the ten metre feels as spritely as a quick nine metre. Agile and responsive, the less bitey Wave setting also means that when looping you get a steady delivery of power rather than a spike, which is very useful for repositioning the kite without having to set your stance too aggressively in preparation for the pull.

The Nexus 2 has a smooth downward dive through the window and then you can just sheet in for steady juice to bring you up on your foil. If you find that you’re coming up on the foil too sharply, just sheet out a bit and get your weight confidently over your front foot and then sheet in again for the power to come smoothly back on.

Our foil sessions were really good fun, looping the kite low to the water at times, causing slackish lines; so we were pleased to see the kite then continue to rise up. Everything is very easy and predictable. Great sheeting range for foiling; you don’t have to reach too far to find ample shut-off of power, nor when you want to let go of the bar to untwist your lines. Nice floats at the end of the compact bar also feel within easy to reach if you need some extra purchase to be able to pivot your kite round really tightly for lighter wind waterstarts.

The only time we found the robust build of the kite had an adverse effect on handling was when trying to foil in very light winds. Once or twice it tended to back up a little in the lighter wind, but when we sheeted out the kite came back up. That’s the only time you’d want anything lighter; other than that we just feel so confident in this kite’s strength and build. Remember, we’ve pushed the ten metre from 12 knots to over 30 on various boards and this is the only time we noticed any misgiving in its performance – and this isn’t to say that most other three strut all round kites wouldn’t struggle the same in sub 12 knots. (Look to Core’s XLite single strut kite for more specialised light wind foil performance.)

In stronger winds, as with all Core kites, the Nexus 2 feels very assured. Dan had no problem holding onto the ten metre in 25 – 30 knots and in 35+ knots we never got close to the top end of the eight metre. The key is in the light but firm feedback that doesn’t leave you with tennis elbow and also has that reassuring need for a sure input to initiate a turn. In strong winds once you’ve given the command you then want your kite to respond quickly, which the Nexus 2 does.

As mentioned, the Wave CIT mode is a brilliant setting for general freeriders looking for a softer set-up, or for when you’re starting out in your kite loops. The ‘All Round’ setting delivers a really engaging ride and is a bit more of a tightly wound spring, and for most regular wind conditions is still the setting most twin-tip riders will get the most out of.

If you’ve hit 20 metres on your Core XR and are looking to develop your riding into other areas, without sacrificing too much easy boost, hangtime and strong wind control, you won’t regret a switch to the Nexus 2.

Of all the three kites in the group comparison this issue, the Nexus can offer the most step-up in power of performance. In Wave mode it’s very comparable to the Session and Reach, but goes beyond them in stiffer feedback and potency as you step beyond that to ‘All-Round’ and ‘Freestyle’ modes. Whatever your weight, ability level or style of riding, unless you’re in the top 5% of riders specialising in a particular discipline, the Nexus 2 is going to keep you charging and giving you confidence to progress your riding as you step up through the settings. It really is three kites in one, and delivers cross-over performance in each of the Wave and All-Round settings.


An exemplary cross-over kite that now has increased focus on accessibility, comfort and ease of use. The Wave setting makes for a fantastic freeride / wave kite in its own right, but the fact that you can switch up gears to the ‘All-Round’ and then ‘Freestyle’ settings really gives this kite a unique set of varied dimensions.

It’s really hard to find fault here as an all encompassing, true cross-over kite. In the V1 model we’d have said that the wave performance couldn’t match its twin-tip / jumping performance, but now it certainly can and, not only that, but the ‘Wave’ setting now also offers easy but good freeride twin-tip handling, too.

Build quality: 9.5
Full package: 9.5
Low end: 8
Top end: 9
Steering speed: 6.5
Turning circle: 5.5
Bar pressure: 6
Water relaunch: 8.5
Drift: 8
Boost: 8
Hang-time: 8
Unhooked: 7.5
Crossover: 10

SIZES: 17, 15, 13.5, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 & 4m



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