F-One - Pictures - Snow - Team

A Snowkiter’s Paradise

4 Feb , 2017   Video

With all the snow pounding the Sierra Nevada region this winter, we couldn’t wait for Tyler to tell us how the new Bandit X performs up in the mountain and what it’s like to be living one of  the best ski season in, well, who remembers when ? a decade, more?


Matt Bansak Photos -mattbansak.com

A Snowkiters Paradise

I can’t begin to express how the mood through Tahoe over the past month. After a five year hiatus, the snow has finally returned! The drought has done both good things and bad for the moral of Tahoe folks over the years. Some have forgotten how winter here can be and are reeling with the repercussions of the impacts these storms can have on daily life and others, such as myself, are so grateful for winter’s return and are basking in all it has to offer. A slew of snow covered grins can be found frolicking throughout the mountains lately. What does this mean for Tahoe snowkiting, you might ask? In addition to loads of great snow, and an abundance of windy days due to all the low pressure systems, it ultimately means that the amount of snowkiting terrain that Tahoe normally has to offer, has doubled or even tripled. These systems have been very generous not only in there amounts of snowfall, but also in there low snow levels. Many of these storms have also blanketed Nevada in snow, making it one of the most prime snowkite locations on earth. Nevada has a treeless “Mars like” landscape and with solid snow coverage it has been a pleasure to explore with a kite. All in all, the Sierra Nevada’s are the place to be this winter.


Matt Bansak Photos -mattbansak.com

 Shovel, eat, kite, ski, shovel, eat, sleep, ski, kite….. You get the idea. As I sit here on another stormy morning writing this, I’m hurried by the sound of the wind, and a fresh blanket of 6-8” of new snow. I would invite any and all to come join in the epic snowkite season. I’ve been loving my new F-One Bandit X’s and have been putting an amazing amount of miles on these kites. Everything from big airs, to farming Pow turns, to large glides, it has been performing top notch with that same level of comfort & ease that we have come to love out of the Bandit. As far as kiting locations go, I would really push people to get out and explore new terrain. This is the season to do so. If it looks kiteable it probably is. Just keep in mind avalanche safety, in addition to wilderness safety as well.


Matt Bansak Photos -mattbansak.com

A few notable locations to check off your list in the Tahoe area would be as follows:

  • North Lake: Prosser Reservoir, the North side of Martis Valley
  • South Lake: Hope Valley
  • Mammoth area: the east side of Conway summit.

If you have any questions on launch, or other specifics you can call 530-816-0484. I hope to see you all out there soon. 


Now, my take on my new 2017 gear of choice for roaming the backcountry in Tahoe: BANDIT X

Performance meets Simplicity. With its years of refinement, the Tenth Edition of the F-One Bandit is the kite that can do it all. What I love about F-Ones approach to this kite is that throughout its 10 years, the “bones” or overall idea of this kite have remained true, each year only making adjustments and changes to improve its areas of performance, and thus not reinventing the wheel. In snowkiting, we are often kiting in lighter winds, need small packability, and simplicity of setup. With its 3 strut design the Bandit X is very light and hangs in the air. It also, packs smaller than most other kites as well and the simplicity of the bar is probably one of the best small feats of engineering in the kite market today. The performance of the Bandit X has been adjusted as well. Focus this year on the kite went towards overall ease of flying, speed and traction, and maneuverability and boost. Whats this mean for the snow you might ask? First of all, straight out of the box this kite flies amazing. There is no tuning, or adjusting needed. Anyone, no matter there level, can plug in and ride with ease. With gusty mountain wind the kite smooths things out and its stability throughout these gusts allows you to score fun sessions which otherwise might be daunting and scary. I can personally attest to the turning speed and boostability of the Bandit X. I feel the most important aspect of my riding is everything that happens between my maneuvers. Arcing quick transitions, kiting as fast as possible, and making everything seamless between airs to turns is what really inspires and drives me to this sport. The Bandit X is an incredibly intricate part in achieving this. If your looking for a do everything kite for the mountains and the water, This is it!!!


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