REVIEW THE ALL NEW
2014 F-ONE BANDIT 7
Rider – Tyler Brown
When September rolls around, and all of the new kite gear for the season is just being released, it’s hard to not get excited with all of the new buzz in the air about the new features and products that will soon be available. Every year I feel the stoke come on as well and I get a bit anxious to get my hands on the kites. I must confess. This year I felt the exact opposite, and actually was quite nervous about the overhaul, and changes of the New Bandit. I think this is mainly due to the fact that I really love the Bandit 6! It’s a bit nerve racking when the new kite designer, Robert Graham, talked about overhauling and changing it so much.
So I’m here to say, I have kited the kite for a significant amount of time now, and “They Nailed It!” I have now been on the Bandit 7 in both waves and snow and I am thoroughly impressed. There are a few aspects that I would love to point out; the construction, the ease of use, the stability, and the window penetration.
First off when you check this kite out it is easy to see that there has been a lot of thought put into its construction. The kite material is amazing! The double rip stop feels so bomber, stable and extremely durable. The logo is also sewn into the canopy vs. being printed. This makes the kite look so clean from all angles. They also repositioned the one-pump system as to minimize kite canopy wear. And again, like all F-One construction, everything on this kite is made very well.
There is always a bit of a adjustment period when getting used to a new kite, and while that was still partly true, when I got on this kite it had that same old Bandit feel. I was comfortable sending good sized airs, and actually made a few larger flights/ glides right off the bat. The handling is so similar, but has more stability and de-power.
Between the new material and the new shape, the amount of stability is incredible. This predictability of the kite allows you to focus more on your riding. The kite has not lost any of it’s notorious turning characteristics either. When you turn the kite, it turns. It’s that simple! But now when it comes across the window it has this super stable and predictable pull. In waves, it makes it easier to move from rail to rail, linking your turns. When the wind ramps up, the added de-power helps so that your not getting pulled off your board, or out of position on the wave. This also helps out a ton in the mountains. The kite has a nice smooth climbing pull, and when approaching the top of a summit in crazy gusty conditions you now have the de-power and stability to feel comfortable.
With the new adjustment to the shape, I have also noticed that the kite penetrates the window a lot better. In snowkiting this is a huge plus! When descending down a mountain you want the kite to penetrate the window and not be pulling you back uphill. Thus, allowing you to link nice smooth turns. It also helps you to glide off lower aspect hills without sending the kite super hard, in tun, making it a much safer flight.
These new added features added to the legendary Bandit feel and handling, make for an unbelievable all around kite! There is a reason the F-One riders are making things look so easy and smooth. They’re on the best gear! It’s that simple! – Tyler Brown