The Bandit has long been one of the most popular kites on the market, 2013 sees the arrival of the Bandit 6, tweaked from last year and improved yet again… We’re off to Montpellier next weekend to get the full low down and to test the kite for the first time. But wanted to share with you this information from F-One that has been released, along with a couple of images. Expect more details while we are away next weekend, and of course a full test report in the next issue of the mag!
“More stable, less ﬂuttering with greater smoothness, control and less lateral force. All this added to a lighter feeling and a more efﬁcient, direct feel in the bar.
Our ﬁrst goal this year was, as usual, an increase in the wind range even though this aspect was already a strong feature of the Bandit 5. A wider range offers two main advantages: a greater riding comfort associated with safety and a smaller number of kites for a complete quiver. We worked specifically on the control in powered and overpowered situations as well as the lateral force produced by the kite in high wind situations. With the B6 in neutral position on the beach you will already feel a better control while sheeting out (pushing the bar out) and a more natural stability, which will make you more conﬁdent.
On the water, the lateral traction as well as the pressure on the board, in your legs and back is reduced, increasing the comfort. The B6 will allow you to control your direction with more ease. During these researches about control, we also gained with a better management of the kite power. The B6 gives a more steady traction and a less violent reaction to gusts. The rider will discover a feeling of smoothness and control.
But we did not choose the easy option of a lower proﬁle, since we didn’t want to penalize the low wind range and the legendary power of the Bandit: quite the opposite! The vertical lift for a high jump is still there, and is even easier to bring into play.
The real advantage of the improved control is to allow all levels of riders to focus better on their riding, or their tricks or the surf.
The second point that we wanted to work on this year was the feeling of lightness. This is an essential quality to improve the sensations while riding: it is such a great feeling to ride with a kite that feels nimble and doesn’t make you tired. In the ﬁrst few moments with the B6, you will already have the sensation of riding a kite 1 square meter smaller. On the water, the B6 is more dynamic and feels like it lost some weight. But we did not suppress any reinforcements or used a lighter material: we worked on the dynamic weight.
This improvement is ideal for the bigger sizes and in light wind where the B6 is more reactive. Even in the other sizes, the progression is still there since it is always nice to have the feeling of riding one size smaller.
The third point on which we focused was the bar feel. The bar is the command center and it is where all sensations converge. The R&D department worked on perfecting the direct feel and the efﬁciency of the bar when it is sheeted out, but also in the sheeted in position like during a jump.
When depowered, you will still have a feeling of ﬁrmness, not a ﬂoaty feel, and you will not have the bad sensation that the bar keeps wanting too go up. This is a great advantage while riding or in the surf, to be able to ride with the bar out without having to pull in to make the kite turn. The result: a better direct control ad a better feeling of the kite reactions.”