In Mauritaus recently editor Ollie J got to shoot the f-one team destroying One Eye.
“After seeing the F-One International team destroying One Eye with so much grace and power, I had to get my hands on a set of their secret weapon – the 11th generation of the mighty Bandit.”
I was as hesitant as anyone swapping up their favourite kite of the previous summer. You get used to the way a kite feels, reacts and, as hippyish as it sounds, it does become an extension of yourself once you have nailed its feeling and response. So, swapping up brands is a really personal thing for most people.
But, I must say, after my first session on the latest Bandit I was more than impressed. I tried a Bandit a few years ago and it wasn’t for me, but this time around it just felt so natural!
Straight up, the kite reacts the way it should. I don’t like kites with big surprises. I prefer simplicity, smoothness and consistency, and the latest Bandit has it nailed.
On top of that, the new bar follows suit with simplicity and top functionality like any bar should, but it syncs up nicely with the kite’s performance with excellent feedback. If you can fly a kite with your eyes shut you’re winning! Merely rotating the bar ends to change its length is a great idea and means you only need one bar for your whole quiver. They finally got rid of the oversized mouse ears v-split I never liked, and have added a slip through safety line, which is a must for easy landing. I think this bar is excellent, well-done F-one!
The F-One Bandit used to be a very popular kite around the nation, and with the quality of this latest release, I wouldn’t be surprised if they succeed in taking the stage once again, as one of the top-selling kites this season.
Editor ~ Ollie J
“Ever since my first day on the water with a two line kite back in 1996 I have been working on the same feature, the way the kite pulls you” – Raphael Salles
What Are The New Features Of The New Bandit 11 That You Will Feel While Kiting?
When you fly a kite, the pull is always lateral, a sideways pull that is trying to drag you downwind. Essentially, we spend every session fighting against our kite to stay upwind. We have always been working on reducing this lateral pull, allowing the kite to fly forwards and for 2018 the new BANDIT offers the perfect amount of traction.
This unique concept in our design process lets you edge your board against the kite with less leg pressure. The board will feel livelier on the water too, as it isn’t fighting against the kite. This makes a big difference to the upwind performance when you are on the water; you will find it easier to go upwind with a better angle too.
Achieving this characteristic is quite difficult, and we are one of the only brands looking to reduce the lateral pull in our kites. The secret revolves around controlling the amount of pull, and the direction that the pull comes from. It’s all about positioning the kite in the sweet spot within the window. Too far back and it will pull you sideways, however, if it flies too far forwards in the window then you lose power.
The trick is to place the kite in the right spot to balance the power and pull precisely. You need to do this across the entire wind range of the kite, so the pull is uniform, from underpowered to overpowered. Keeping the profile stable when the kite is fully depowered is really important in order to maintain this sweet spot in the wind window.
This is the key area where we have improved the eleventh generation of the BANDIT. When depowered the kite’s profile stays clean and efficient, ensuring the perfect pull, plenty of performance and lots of comfort too. Once you have achieved the perfect amount of power and depower, the next factor to consider is how you deliver that power.
The BANDIT has a really short depower stroke, meaning you can dump the power very quickly and still maintain a proper stance on the board. All the power is at your fingertips. Equally important is how that power comes back when you pull the bar in again. The kite has a smooth power transfer, ensuring there are no nasty surprises to pull you off balance. However, if you want a solid boost of power, for example when jumping, you can just pull the bar in faster and get fantastic lift. You could say the kite has two modes, depending on how you interact with the bar.
When brands mention wind range, they mean the spread between the top and low-end range of the kite. With the BANDIT it is so much more than that, power, de-power, lateral pull, power transfer, the stability of the profile, all these factors combine in the Bandit, and this is the secret of its success over the last eleven years.
That’s not the only improvement though; we’ve also worked hard in other areas too!
We all love the handling of smaller kites, so this year the new BANDIT feels lighter and faster than ever before.
This year, there is a little more bar pressure, so you can feel the kite and hold onto the bar for excellent balance throughout your session. This small amount of extra pressure and balance on the bar will immediately improve your riding!
The recipe for success with the BANDIT is the mix of different feelings and performance characteristics that the kite can offer. It’s an original C-Shape design but with early planing and incredible control right the way through the wind range. The kite provides excellent hangtime and good traction on the water, coupled with fast, light handling and great bar feedback giving you total control.
The best selling kite on the market?
We believe the BANDIT is the best selling model on the international market thanks to its unique qualities and army of fans around the globe.