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F-One Bandit 5

The new Bandit 5 is a kite that offers better performance and better safety than ever before and yet suits different styles and levels. F-Ones goal for year 2012 was not just to offer a new kite, but the best kite for every disciplin and every kite style no matter if you´re an athlete for a total beginner. F-One set up goals before they started to develop their new Bandit 5, namely:

  • Range. To increase the wind range they had to design a kite that could easily power up in low end and still be forgivable in strong gusty conditions.
  • Lightness: To be able to increase the low end range they also had to make the kite lighter.
  • Handling: To be able to position the kite where ever you want instantly, to precise maneuverability during kite loops and to have more responsive and reactive kite even in large sizes are important aspects that all kite manufactures take in mind. So handling was also one of the major goals settings for year 2012.

Improvements for year 2012.

The whole kite is modified in order to achieve the goals stated above. Its profile, its bridles, construction and manufacturing process have been reworked. The structure of a kite is soft and able to twist and deform. Without these performances we wouldn’t be able to turn the kite. So the ability to twist is directly connected to a kite’s responsiveness and manoeuverability, something that F-One greatly improved by a thinner leading edge, a 3-point bridle system and a new shape of the struts. Changes that was made to make the kite more alive and transformable. By reducing the diameter of the leading edge reduced the air volume by 25%, factors that have a big impact of the weight and aerodynamical performances. The lower weight gives a better low end and the thinner leading edge makes the profile more adaptable to strong and gusty conditions, hint better top end.

The F-One Bandit 5 has also become a more comfortable kite when it comes to things such as the inflation time which is reduced. F-One has also constructed a new type of profile which is flatter that is predecessor. The flatter profile curve gives a more aerodynamical shape of the kite and it’s easier to depower the kite in top end while the kite at the same time catches more wind in low end. The sensation when piloting and flying a kite must be precise and the physical effort to do this should be reduced as far as possible to not make steering a physical burden. F-One has worked hard on moving the physical effort more towards the harness to make it more comfortable for arms and legs. The direct bar feeling provides you with information about where the kite is positioned and how much power it has, small things that your brain register while you’re kiting, yet important since you can concentrate more on your body. Each year F-One tests more than 60 prototypes in order to meet the markets expectations and they spend 120 days in the water with each new kite for a coming collection.

Last year we thought that Bandit 4 was the ultimate kite, but apperantly F-One just announced that there were a construction error with the bar and therefor recalled all their sold kites. Bandit 5 do not have this issue with the bar and the kite is improved on all levels. It´s lighter, more manoeuverable and responsive. Other features are:

 

  • One-pump system (finally’) and the bridles are cleaner and more comfortable to use.
  • Higher aspect ratio provides more lift and stability as well as higher top end
  • Lowered bar pressure allowing a more comfortable kite session and confidence to unhook even when you´re a bit over-powered.
  • The higher aspect ratio gives room for more square shaped wing tips which make the kite more stable and easier to control when jumping.
  • Life line and Auto re-launch for better comfort and safety for the rider.
  • C-shaped kite with 4 lines for ultimate performance.
  • Overall, the Bandit 5 combines important features such as safety, handling, materials, simplicity. Strong features that make this kite top notch!

Delta C-Shape Technology:
Delta C-Shape technology is F-One’s patented design offering great stability and handling response when fully de-powered, with a proven C-shape design that maintains the highest standards in performance.

Auto Re-launch:
Once the kite is laying in the water with the leading edge facing down, the well balanced Delta C-Shape will force the kite to automatically turn over onto one wing tip. The kite will then walk towards the edge of the window, ready for you to re-launch it with hardly no effort at all!


F-ONE Bandit 4 Review

F-ONE Bandit 4 Review

At first sight

fonebandit4F-One released its first Bandit version in 2008, which placed them on the map as one of the biggest international kite brands. They now belong to the top 5 kite manufactures in terms of number of sold kites. A lot of this has to do with the Bandit kite which probably havn’t left anyone unnoticed and the chance that you´ve seen one or flew one is quite big. So lets cut the basics that we already know, more important, how do you make a perfect kite even better? The Bandit 4 is not just a redesigned Bandit 3 kite, but a whole new concept. The profile is changed, the arc of the canopy is different. the kite has 3 struts instead of 5 struts. And the wingtips are more square shaped. Besides the kite has been equipped with trim options, quite an update!

The bar

The new bar is currently still under construction, but it´s confirmed that new moulded aluminium piece is superlight and stiffer than its precedessor. The new chicken loop still has the velcro release but the release handle is now a plastic piece as well as the depower straps. As before the bar is very clean and free from pimped up details.

In the air

As soon as you launch the kite you feel that the 3-strut design has made the kite lighter which in turn has given it even better low-end performances. The lower weight also makes it easier to launch in light wind. The arc profile has been narrowed to make the kite more C-shaped.  This means that the kite turns in a wider arc instead of turning around its wing tip, like a pivot. The wider arc gives the kite a more exciting loop curve.

The Bandit 4 is indeed a kite that gets alive in the air and it feels very lively. The wider loop arc in combination with faster turning allows the kite to loop like a real c-kite. Getting the kite back above your head during jumps is also easy which make smoother landing easier. The wider wing tips catch more wind during turns which increases the turning speed and the bridle doesn’t take away the direct feeling with the kite to much. You would think that the loss of two struts would make the kite less steady in the air, but fact is that the new Bandit version is even more solid and has more stability than Bandit 3. When it comes to performance the Bandit 4 doesn’t make you disappointed, the jumping is crazy and in strong winds it feels like you never will come down to the water again!

The Bandit 4 is a delta kite which means that it is developed to match the professional riders demands of top performance, but the kite is still suitable for beginners considering its easy water relaunch abilities and the stability in the air.

bandit4_chickenOverall

There are not many negative things to say about the Bandit 4, a kite developed to perfection! The little plastic piece that makes up the chicken loop release is a little annoying since it tends to be in the way for your hands sometimes, but other than that, nothing bad at all! We can simply note that F-One once more has done the impossible, to make a perfect kite even better!

 


F-One Tribal 2 – 13m

tribal 2F-One Tribal 2 is a kite from 2007, a kite that you would think is a bit out of date, but in fact comparable with a 2010 or even 2011 kite. I had a last session today with my 13m F-One Tribal 2 it was then sold to another guy. The wind was light, around 6 m/s and my weight is 187 pounds and my board was a 134 cm twin-tip. Still I was able to ride and even go a bit upwind, then the wind completely died. My friend was riding a 12m North from 2008 at the same time, but had problems to get up on the board.
Anyway, though I didn’t really had a great session and couldn’t really see what this kite can do, my overall impression of the Tribal 2 is that it’s a well constructed quality kite!
The depower seems to work flawlessly, not that I had to depower, but I tried and the kite almost fell down from the sky.

 

 

Handling is easy! The bar pressure is light and the kite responds quickly. You would think that a kite in this size would be a bit slow in the steering, but you can turn it very quickly, almost around a pivot. I think this helped me a lot when I was riding in the light wind conditions that I had during my session.
tribal 2 barThe bar is slim and slick and the lines have different colors which facilitates when you rig the kite, no risk for mixing the lines :)

Drawbacks

The kite has not a one-pump system. On the other hand does it not take more than a minute to pump up the struts one by one and the stopper ball in the valve works perfectly.

Water-relaunch is not the easiest task. As long as you’re on shallow water then it’s not a big problem as long as you know the technique. I guess water-relaunch on deep water will be harder… I didn’t manage to go upwind so far that I reached the deep water during my session, I can just imagine that it will be tough. What you have to do if the kite hits the water with leading edge down is to either run towards it so it falls backward and then pull one of the steering lines to let one of the wing tips start catching wind, from there you´ll be fine. In deep water I suppose it will require some good swimming skills from the rider.

Don’t have much more to say about the Tribal 2 right now, but if you get ahead of one to a good price, then I think you´ll be happy with your buy =)


F-One Bandit Dos 8m Review

bandit_dos

As the title says, this is a review about F-One Bandit Dos 8m.

AT A GLANCE

The Bandit was a new development for F-One last year that utilised a new style of delta shaped kite. The idea being that a delta wing is the most stable and so by incorporating this into a kite you end up with a super stable easy top fly kite. The Bandit was a huge success, very easy to fly and and very smooth and stable in the air. So successful in fact that a lot of other brands started to copy Delta style of the kite. Now F-One have released the Bandit Dos, the follow up kite for the coming 2009 season. They have looked at areas they wanted to improve, such as the wind range and tweaked the kite to give it a more C kite feel. But the good news is they have only tweaked the design, and tried to keep all of the great features of last years kite in this one. The bar is similar too; very simple altough there is a new chicken loop in development that should be ready by the time the kites get to market. The new loop will make hooking in and out much easier as the chicken loop will lock in place when you unhook. The depower throw has also been shortened so it is easier to un spin your lines or adjust your foot straps while flying the kite.

IN THE AIR

If you never flown a Delta style kite then the first thing you’ll notice will be just how different the look when they are in the sky. The wing tips really arch back and the kite looks totally different to a more traditional hybrid or bow style kite. The wind range on the Bandit Dos has been improved, especially the bottom end, the 8m will get you up and riding a lot sooner than expected, and its small size makes it really manoeuvrable in the air. This makes it amazing for tight turns when you are on the wave, or if you want to send it back in the window quickly for boosting big air. All the stability and ease of use is still there, but the kite has a little more like a C kite in the hands than it did last year. The top end is still there from last year too and with some trimming on the front lines before your session you can get even more out of it. One noticeable change this year is the shorter depower throw on the bar. This means that you can let go of the bar to un-spin the lines without the kite dropping out of the sky. The kite still depowers and falls when you let go of the bar, but it doesn’t do it instantly. This makes the kite very easy to ride but perhaps moves it away from the beginner market a little, but F-One have the Revolt to cover that rider base. Last year the Bandit was the only kite F-One produced, they were so happy with its performance that they didn’t make any other kites, the Bandit was at home in all conditions and disciplines. The same is true this year and while they do have another kite in the form of the Revolt it is aimed at the beginner market. Whatever you want to do with your riding, freestyle, freeride, waves, speed the Bandit Dos is a great kite to do all of them.

FOR

Amazing wind range, even better low end than before, simple easy set up with a very clean bar. A very versatile kite that is happy in a wide range of conditions.

AGAINST

Still no one pump, call us lazy but we like it. Other than that though there really aren’t any problems with the Bandit Dos, they have taken a great kite and improved on it.

OVERALL

If you liked the kite from last year then rest assured you will love the improved range and feel the Bandit Dos offers. If you havn’t sampled a delta kite before, you are missing out, give it a try.


F.One Trailer

Here is a totally awesome trailer from F-Ones Addikt 2. Micka Fernandez and Etienne Lhote the two guys you see in this clip and they are riding with bandit 3 kites. They sure know how to control a kite/ Someone told me that Etienne has been kite surfing for 15 years.

The members in the F One Team are:
Pauline Boussard (France)
Eli Zarka (Israel)
Randy Hereman (Holland)
Micka Fernandez (France)
Etienne Lhote (France)
Mitu Monteiro (Cap Vert)
Alex Caizergues (France)
Raphaël Salles (France)

By the way, do you like the song? It’s The Craftman Club “I can’t get around”.