Tkb lands an interview with F-One front man Raphael Salles at the F-One Dakhla Dealer Meeting. Raphael takes us through the latest changes to the Bandit in its 11th year as well as the complete redesign of its control bar which is designed to work across the entire F-One line of kites. Check out all the F-One 2018 Product Review Videos here!
When it comes to fit and finish on neoprene products the Manera line of harnesses and wetsuits are unparalleled in construction and comfort. This year Manera is introducing a new model of harness and a number of tech upgrades for its full line of wetsuits alongside a number of great accessories to make your kiteboarding life a little more civilized. Julien Salles gives us the scoop on Manera’s 2018 lineup.
F-One has been around since the very beginning, but for most those years it has focused extensively on the development of a single kite model—the award winning Bandit. Having mastered the art of refinement, F-One is now branching out, applying its exceptional attention to detail and performance to a wide array of models in the kite, twin tip, surf and foil categories. Charles Bertrand, Head R&D for boards and foils answers our questions on the latest and greatest F-One products for 2018.
One of the biggest features we noticed while riding the Union vs. Exo is that the Exo has a slightly raised arc in the lumbar while the Union is more rounded. While the harness stays in place vertically, this allows for the harness to easily slide horizontally around your waist (think traveling spreader bar), making kite stance more comfortable when riding waves but also allowing you to keep your hook for strapless freestyle or unhooked riding.
This year’s LINX bar is a huge upgrade for F-One’s 2018 line of kites. The team at F-One has taken all the feedback and requests from previous years, and combined this with their existing bar technology to create a safe, versatile and sleek control experience for their kite gear.
The Bandit has nice medium bar pressure that gives the rider solid feedback on kite placement and in underpowered conditions, you will detect oversheeting fairly quickly. For lift and hangtime, the smaller sizes will deliver solidly in the explosive boost category and will give you some hangtime but the latter is not really what you expect from small kites. Overall, the Bandit is a very fast, responsive all arounder that our team found to work extremely well in high wind surf.
The 15th annual XBA Kitexpo formally known as The Pismo Beach Kite Expo was an enormous success last weekend, F-One & Manera brands along with 14 others attended forming the biggest kite expo style layout on the West Coast. This is a great hands-on event allowing customers to chat with industry professionals and try gear from multiple brands right there on the spot. Compare, test back to back, mix and match; there is no other way to find out if you like it or not until you try it on the water! This event is one of our favorites for that reason and of course the turnout has always been phenomenal.
The Acid features a fair amount of rocker with a short but wide template, which helps make this board feel both fast and controlled when powered up. When it comes to tracking on edge through the chop, the Acid is both efficient and user-friendly, perhaps because of the reverse rounded rails (F-One calls this Helical). Despite the 3.0 fins and simple bottom shape, the Acid has good grip on the water both when on edge and ridden flat, while also giving a fun carving feel off the waves or when laying into it from rail to rail.
With 5-struts and its higher-aspect canopy, the Furtive creates a solid airframe that sits farther forward in the window and accelerates quickly for blazing upwind performance. While the turning speed is not on par with the Bandit, this kite does generate a good amount of lift and hangtime which makes it a good choice for the progressive freerider that likes to cover distance and boost big air freestyle.
The Breeze doesn’t have huge amounts of low-end grunt, rather it’s medium pulling power and middle of the road steering pair with impressive amounts of depower on the high end which makes it a great option for riders in the beginner to intermediate stages of progression and those focusing on freeride foilboarding.
In its 10th year, the Bandit has been through a number of big and small changes that have made it one of the industry’s most successful examples of a kite that does-everything well. The Bandit’s classic medium aspect 3-strut Delta shape was the first of its kind back in the day and it has since evolved into one of the top leading delta-shaped kite that meets the needs of riders in the freestyle, freeride and surf category.