Kitesurfing Magazine: F-One Bandit S4 Review

The Surf Kite You Have Dreamt About!

Source: Kitesurfing Magazine
Published July 28, 2023

Sizes Tested: 9 m

Sizes Available: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Synopsis: The BANDIT-S4 is a nicely refined wave kite. Smooth power and silky fast controls. Tons of instant depower through the bar, one of the best and most complete power shutdowns when aggressively sheeted out. Lightweight, with a distinctly natural and intuitive feel, the BANDIT-S4 9 m is a full-on wave kite that is equally at home with light wind foiling.

Likes: The new Bandit-S4 features quick and fast pivotal turns, easy one-handed steering, and less flutter than previous versions of the Bandit, especially when aggressively looped. The canopy seems more solidly locked, with amazing drift capabilities. It’s a light and balanced three-strut frame. The bar pressure is very light, minimizing arm fatigue and permitting nuanced steering control from the slightest touch. Yet the kite still provides good positional feedback. The leading edge’s slim design allows the kite to twist, and the wingtip shape enhances the responsive nature of the BANDIT-S4, making it ideal for both onshore and side-shore riding conditions. Its pivotal turn capability enables rapid redirection, allowing riders to precisely follow their surfing lines without getting pulled off an edge or out of position. Remarkably, the BANDIT-S4 offers the ability to “dump everything in the kite” when the bar is pushed out, freeing riders to surf from top to bottom of the wave without any pull. The Bandit S4 is one of the best instant depower kites we have tested. This feature lends a transformative feeling of freedom on the wave, making for dynamic snaps in the pocket and swift bottom turns. The stability of the BANDIT-S4 is another commendable feature, allowing it to drift perfectly down the line. Using the Technoforce 52 material in sizes 9 meters and above has made the kite lighter and improved its turning speed, ensuring that it always precisely where desired in the window. Regarding ease of flying, the BANDIT-S4 excels, delivering a highly intuitive kiting experience. Its fast pivotal turning nature, lightness, and stability make it a great kite for foiling too.

Drawbacks: The Bandit-S4 is fun to boost with more control but less hang time than some other wave kites. As a surf kite, the Bandit S4 checks all the boxes with high scores.

Users: The BANDIT-S4 is an excellent choice for both onshore, side-shore and side-off surf conditions. From riders who relish wave surfing to those who love foiling and strapless airs, the BANDIT-S4 delivers a high-performance experience across the board.