F-One 2018 Bandit v11
The BANDIT is a benchmark from which others follow, for eleven years it has been one of the most popular kites on the market, with good reason. We put all our knowledge into this kite, creating the ultimate tool for kitesurfer to use whatever their riding style! It offers a unique range of use; the top pro riders choose it for freestyle, waves and big air, it’s also a popular school kite, thanks to its auto-relaunch capabilities and it’s easy to fly nature. The BANDIT is perfect for beginners, intermediates and experts alike, whatever your style is on the water, the Bandit delivers.
The BANDIT offers a huge wind range, allowing you to get going early while providing you with total control even when overpowered. It offers unrivaled hang-time and support all the way through every jump, allowing you to perform your tricks and land with ease. This year we have worked hard to give the kite the perfect amount traction, with less lateral pull. This means you won’t get as fatigued on the water as the new Bandit is always flying forwards rather than pulling sideways.
The larger sizes have had improvements made to the handling, making them faster, so you feel like you have a smaller, more nimble kite in your hands. Another significant upgrade for 2018 is the one line flag out safety system offering total depower when the quick release is pulled. Once again the kite is very intuitive to fly, there is no adaption time, and riders feel at home right away.
The kite is still based on our original Delta C Shape patent; this unique design makes the kite exceedingly stable in the air, offers unrivaled handling characteristics and also allows for easy relaunch. With years and years of development, we have learned precisely where the stress points are on the kite, by using high-end materials in the right places the durability of the kite has been further improved for 2018.
How Can One Kite Perform So Well In All Disciplines?
“The BANDIT is a kite with lots of power, excellent top-end control, smooth power delivery, great hang-time with plenty of support when flying; it offers fast turning capabilities, auto relaunching, superb upwind drive and control at high speed, coupled with exceptional bar feeling and perfect feed back. If you have a kite with all of these qualities, in which discipline would it not work?” – Raphael Salles
Making a kite that can handle like this is a tricky challenge, especially with disciplines like strapless freestyle demanding very different handling from freestyle riding. However this is a big part of the secret of the Bandit, it’s not just about the amount of power you can create when you need to, it is also about how the kite delivers it and how you can control it.
What Are The New Features Of The New Bandit 11 That You Will Feel While Kiting?
“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
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 kites 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. The way the larger sizes move and how you can steer them has been improved; you’ll think you're flying a kite that is a size smaller! IKSURFMAG Editor Rou Chater said after his first flight of the BANDIT 11: “Wow, that’s the fastest 9m kite I have ever flown, it felt like a 7m!”
With so much experience developing the BANDIT over the last eleven years we were able to achieve a mix of feelings at the bar that you don’t normally get. 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!
As you pull on the bar, you experience a smooth progressive power delivery, rather than something hard and heavy, reducing fatigue and increasing the length of your sessions. The more you pull, the more the pressure increases, so at times when you need it, such as during a trick, you get really positive feedback from the kite. In addition to this, the handling and turning speed is very direct sending lots of information back to the bar and your hands allowing you to become at one with the kite and get the most out of it.
Since the BANDIT’s inception all those years ago we have always maintained a C-Shape, it’s the best design for the optimum response and handling when you are kiting. The 2018 model features incredible balance and a feeling in the air that is solid at all times giving you the ultimate feeling of control.
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. It can take you to the podium of the world tour in freestyle, while still offering stunning strapless wave riding capabilities and at the same time, is used in kite schools all over the world!
The best selling kite on the market?
We believe the BANDIT is the best selling model on the market thanks to its unique qualities and army of fans around the globe. Regardless of your riding style, the Bandit will appeal to you. We are proud of this success; it’s down to nothing other than pure hard work, time and effort. Robert Graham, our designer, works tirelessly with the testing team of Mika Fernandez and Raphael Salles. Each year around 80 prototypes are designed, built and tested in order to achieve the perfect kite. We test in all conditions and disciplines, from twin tips, surfboards and hydrofoils.
This year the Bandit is the culmination of over 600 prototypes that we have tested and ridden over the last eleven years. It’s arguably the most intensely developed product on the market right now.