I’m in the sunny, and particularly windy South of France at the moment checking out the new Bandit 6 with the F-One crew and a bunch of journalists from all over the world, alongside the F-One distributors.

Twin Tip line up and a glimpse at the offices.

We arrived yesterday and headed straight to the offices to check out the new home of F-One in France. It’s a step up from their previous home and the perfect backdrop to showcase the new gear. As it was windy we didn’t hang around and headed to a nearby beach to get wet. Gusty conditions greeted us, but with lots of new toys to play with we were keen to get wet. The team have been working hard this year and alongside the Bandit 6 we have the new range of twin tips and the all new surfboard range.

New surfboard range…

Dom Yule checking out the new 5’11” which has a double bamboo top layer for a stronger deck to allow more radical strapless moves…

It was great to be able to jump off the plane and jump on the water, the Brits went out without wetsuits, as usual on these trips and as such were the first on the water. I rode an 8m and the new Trax board for 2013. First impressions are the kite keeps the same direct feel from last year, but it flutters a lot less when you fly it around the window, in fact there wasn’t any fluttering at all when you were steering the kite, no matter how aggressively. Boosting was as expected, excellent and the direct nature and fast turning speed of the kite meant you could easily correct any kite placement mistakes mid air.

New colours for this year are much improved…

The bar pressure was medium, allowing you to instinctively feel the kite, and we loved the short depower throw which allowed you to dump the power in the gusty conditions. In terms of what has physically changed this year, the struts have been made thinner towards the tips, and the profile has been tweaked alongside the shape. There are more reinforcement points on the leading edge too, Kevlar being the material of choice.

The bright green particularly caught out eye.

We are off to Beauduc this morning in the Carmargue region to do some more testing, I’ll get some more information from the team and also hopefully try some of the other sizes! Right now though I had best go and get some breakfast, croissant anyone?

New bag looks pretty good too!

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