At A Glance
The F-One Bandit is now in its tenth year of production this kite has been a massive seller over the years with an army of fans worldwide. Since it’s inception it has had a few radical redesigns but more recently it’s been a case of fine tuning what is an excellent kite. It could well be the most refined product on the market; F-One says they spend around 200 days a year testing it, they get through 70 prototypes and clock up over 6000km on the water. These guys take their product testing very seriously. Used by F-One’s team riders the Bandit can do it all, excelling in the waves, freeride, boosting and freestyle disciplines.
The Bandit is a 4-line, 3-strut Delta C shape kite, designed to be responsive the various sizes are tuned to different roles. The larger kites have more low-end and a more freeride and freestyle feel while the smaller sizes have waves, mega loops and hangtime in their DNA. F-One have always been known for their high-quality solid construction, the Bandit uses Technoforce D2 Teijin Double Rip Stop and features Kevlar LE reinforcements and Dacron canopy reinforcements to ensure the kite can handle the crashes and stand the test of time.
Sizes: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17m
The Monolith bar from F-One looks like a piece of art, its red and yellow colours are combined with its CNC 6061 Aluminium frame and anti-slip thermoformed double EVA layered grip make it a tough one to beat.
Featuring a Y split configuration further up the lines with a swivel, action below the bar is kept tidy and just includes the safety release needed. The safety release is easy to use (push away) and is resettable easily and quickly. The leash options are either standard safety or the suicide leash attachment mode for unhooked moves.
The plastic coated centre line takes away any wear from the line and your fingers; this also gives the kite a more responsive feel when turning through the bar. This extends up to meet the cleat depower line which is easy to use, reach and tidy.
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The bar is available in two sizes, 45 and 52cm.
In The Air
Flying the new Bandit is awesome. It’s quick turning, fast through the sky, powerful yet manageable and above all, easy to fly. The 10th addition of the Bandit has seen its speed slightly reduced to make it a more comfortable ride. Something we did notice while out riding.
Feedback from the kite through the bar is responsive, but not twitchy. It’s smooth and flowing, the increase in response when applying more aggressive movements is noticeable but keep your arms relaxed, and you’ll cruise through the day. The range of depower is fantastic, even on gusty overpowered days, this is a big confidence booster no matter what your level.
Stability and relaunch is a key area for a lot of users; we found the Bandit to be super stable in the sky with an almost automatic relaunch. Very impressive for a 12m kite, you still need to put a bit of effort in when the wind is light, but overall the relaunch is excellent!
Performance, performance, performance. The Bandit will excel at whatever you throw at it, swing it through the centre in the waves and it drifts, send it into a boost and your off and even foiling it generates plenty of power and speed. Although I'd suggest checking out the new one strut F-one Breeze for this, which we have also been testing! Unhooking on the Bandit feels better on this edition than previous models. The kite is a lot lighter through the move, gives you more slack, and slightly less speed allowing you bit a more time to focus on the move rather than your kite.
Excels at everything, fails at nothing. It's solid and well built, comes with a slick bar and a huge range of colours and will take you from entry level through to heights you can only dream of.
No real complaints here, although with its improved freestyle capabilities perhaps it is time to make a shorter bar for the freestyle purists out there! We’d also like to see a more modern inflation system on the kite; we know F-One are working on this and it can’t come soon enough!
If you want a "one-kite-does-it-all" machine, that performs in all areas the Bandit is it. It’s a very well built, robust kite. Getting used to unhooking on the Bandit can take some time if you're coming from a full C kite, there’s a solid amount of pull until you get timings right for the slack. Just get tuned in, and you’ll reap the benefits.
This kite excels in all areas; it just keeps on getting better!
This review was in Issue 60 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit F-ONE Kiteboarding