The Bandit features the Delta C-shape design, an innovative F-One patented design resulting from extensive research on kite aerodynamics and depower capabilities, which completely redefines F-One's kite range. The Delta brings unmatched stability in fully depowered position and allows the front-line attachment to be positioned higher up the leading edge. The C-shape design maintains the highest standards in performance and steering, excelling in freestyle, unhooked handling, hang-time, speed, wave riding and freeriding qualities. Featuring the Life Line and the auto re-launch, it brings flawless safety to the rider. Sheeting in and out is very progressive, the rider truly directs the kite even when fully depowered. Unhooked the kite remains light and very predictable.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
CHRIS: Tiny bar on this, which I really like. F-One have opted to carry on with the Velcro safety system on the bar, but it works well. There are adjusters on the back lines too, so you can tune the kite on-the-fly. Nice, smooth cleat for the depower which is a comfortable distance above the bar and out of the way. First thing that really strikes you though is what an unusual shape the kite is.
NEAL: Good bombproof construction and very simple operation, although there's no one pump. Lower aspect than most and therefore sits back in the window.
WILL: In the air it’s great. A little more bar pressure than I'd like, but not too much. You have to give it a good pull to get it to turn but then it turns quickly. Sheeting in and out for power while you ride around is lush. With all the depower and the massive range you can storm upwind and get some massive jumps in. I made it to the other end of the bay in almost one tack.
CHRIS: It's got a lot of grunt and power and delivers it more aggressively than some. You pull in on the bar and it almost seems to say, “Yeah, come on then!” It seems to want to fly lower than other kites; there's lots of power in the mid- to low-area of the wind window and not too much in the top third of the window. I get the impression it could take a shed load of wind and the lift would just sky rocket as the wind increases. Depower is quick – push the bar out and you've got nothing. This is great for hooked-in wave riding and for intermediates and has the power delivery of a C kite.
NEAL: Works with more back line pressure than other hybrids, which is why the bar pressure feels a bit heavier, but the cover over the chicken-loop line and the hole in the bar allow the bar to slide up and down very smoothly and give you complete control over the bar. The bar doesn't go right out of reach and you get 95% depower. What is really enjoyable is just being able to sail anywhere you like with minimum effort. You can crank upwind just by trimming the bar with very little movement and make the most of the gusts. You can then almost carve straight downwind controlling the kite movement with input on the bar from just one hand. Really nice for wave riding too – loads of grunt on tap but if you leave the kite alone at 50° or so and just sheet in and out it is great for bottom to top turns.
CHRIS: For all the power this has, if you really depower it, it is very impressive unhooked, too. There's a hell-of-a-lot of adjustability in this kite. Only downside for me is that the steering suffers a bit at the bottom end of the kite's range, but as the range is so big it's not such an issue, and powered up this kite is a lot of fun.
WILL: So easy to relaunch too – it just floats to the edge of the window where it rolls over.
CHRIS: It's not trying to be anything else, it's definitely got its own personality. Ideally suited to the heavier rider. Lighter riders should choose sizes conservatively.
A grunty all-rounder for an intermediate rider upwards. Has the great quality of not responding too quickly to accidental input, but with positive steering will shoot around the sky. This is your all-terrain utility vehicle with enough power and handling to get anyone right into the thick of any action.
6.5, 7.5, 9, 11, 13 and 15m
This test is in issue #33