TKB REVIEW: 2018 F-ONE Bandit
MARCH 29, 2018
Sizes Available: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17m
Sizes Tested: 8, 10m
For 11 years the Bandit 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 kitesurfers 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. 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. 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.
Visit for more info: www.f-onekites.com
Our Testers Say:
“Clean hardware, colored balls for line attachment are a nice touch. This is an easy kite to fly, very colorful, stable, moves quickly to create apparent wind as well park and fly. ” // Rhonda Reyna
“Very quick, lots of depower, loves to jump, a bit punchy but fast responsive boost and really fun kite on the more aggressive side.” // Dray Murray
“Fast zippy kite, lots of power with excellent turning speed, downloops on a dime with medium bar pressure. Great upwind ability, excellent relaunch and good lift and hangtime. ” // Tom Turley
In its 11th year the Bandit has received a number of improvements to both the canopy itself as well as the accessory items like the control bar and a new high flow valve that improve upon the entire kiting experience. The Bandit continues with its delta C-shaped platform based on 3 struts and sweptback wingtips. It features a single setting bridle and three wingtip settings for adjusting turning speed and bar pressure. New for this year, F-One has implemented a high flow inflation valve that uses a proprietary pump hose attachment that comes with the kite and a push button spring-based valve that must be in the closed position before inflating and releases air with a push of the button. The system works great for a fast inflation—the only potential downside to the system is keeping the attachment on hand (Editor’s note: a little big of duct tape on a standard valve can
get you on the water in a bind). All the attachment points, both on the front bridle and wingtip, end in knots. While F-One may have made some subtle improvements this year the biggest accomplishment is not losing the classic Bandit performance of years past. The Bandit features smooth progressive power delivery in a relatively short amount of throw with light to medium bar pressure that feels lively and comfortable at the same time. As in past models, the Bandit’s control bar continues to be strikingly narrow in length relative to kite size, yet its narrow width is more than enough to get quick and crisp steering response out of these nimble kites. The Bandit steering arc is a pivot style turn that still builds a fair amount of power through the turn and overall the Bandit is very comfortable flying in the center of the window yet also flies far forward enough in the window to scream upwind. When it comes to boosting, the fast and direct steering allows you to generate a solid amount of lift and hangtime that competes with the performance freeride category of kites that are dedicated to boosting. The Bandit continues to offer a very quick relaunch, with relatively little input. The kite rolled over deep within the window and taxied a short distance before popping up, something which you expect from a delta-shaped kite. Overall, the Bandit continues to be the kite that delivers the type of performance that works well for just about every niche of the sport. From entry level to advanced, the Bandit will work great for user-friendly freeride cruising, performance freeride jumping and surf.
This year the Bandit came with the all new Linx control bar which has been completely redesigned from the ground up for 2018. The control bar is a dual adjustable length bar that comes in two sizes (38/45cm and 45/52cm) and features a new single center line safety depower that flags the kite on one line and an option to switch between low and high V (high V for the Bandit kite and low V for the Furtive). The center lines end in loops and the outside lines end in loops as well and the flying lines do not have any built in extensions. The Linx features an above the bar cleat for adjusting power and a plastic-coated trim/throw line for durability. There is no sliding stopper but you can adjust the length of the throw to suit your arm length. The quick release was also redesigned for 2018 and now features a built-in swivel above the push release which also works as a travel guard. The stainless steel ball bearing swivel rotates easily and allows you to untwist your front lines after rotational tricks with no problems. The bar ends feature integrated floats with retractable bar bungees and the outside lines can be adjusted for stretch. Testers liked the new grip, noting that the diameter is on the small side with a ridge on top that makes for a smooth ergonomic grip with printed rubbery feel. Overall the Linx adds more features than on previous year’s bars while keeping the package clean, compact and at a good weight.
Visit for more info on the bar: f-onekites.com
→ The Kiteboarder Reviews: F-One LINX Bar “Under the microscope.”