F-One Diablo 8m & 12m Review
by: Tyler Brown
Let me just start by letting you know that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the new F-One Diablo and get it into the backcountry. I really wanted to test this kite in all aspects of Snowkiting. Over the course of three days, I started off with a mellow meadow session, progressed to a total storm ridge line test, and then finished with a gliding sunset session. This kite really stands out in mild conditions on medium terrain. It points super high and even better, it has an amazing downwind ability. Where it really stood out for me, was after our session, we were observing the meadow we had just kited, and you could tell right away which tracks were mine, and which were from the other kiters. My tack angles were so much more aggressive, leaving it super effortless to navigate the large meadow in only 10 knots.
Secondly, I love how user friendly the kite is. Straight out of the bag, the kite just feels right. No tuning was needed! It has a nice even pull through the turns and a high level of predictability. This made set-up, relaunching, and take-down very easy. The brake line and long depower line make handling a breeze.
Next, we moved to a 30+ deg. ridge line in higher winds. Upon set-up, we were overtaken by a cloud that took nearly all visibility away. At times I couldn’t see the kite. The kite remained stable and predictable and I was able to easily navigate the terrain. Where I did find the kite tricky was in steep climbs over 30 deg. With its slower turning speed and need to race to the edge of the window, I found it very difficult to climb with. At times it was almost pulling me away from the mountain. All in all, we had a fun session and made it out of the tricky kiting conditions unscathed.
Lastly, I skinned up to a milder ridge line with mild winds to try gliding with the kite. I ended up soaking up the sierra sunset while floating across the ridge. I found it to be an amazing kite for gliding. With its stability and lift, it made takeoffs easy and gliding control outstanding. I was even able to glide mild slopes that would be unthinkable with other kites. It really is shaped like a paraglider so it’s no wonder that it excels in this category.
All in all, I would recommend this kite for snowkite racing, exploring wide open areas, and light wind riding and gliding. If carving up fresh pow, cruising at high speeds, or floating off ridge lines is what you’re after, you surely won’t be disappointed. Get yourself a new Diablo and get after it!!!