March 14, 2019
F-One 2019 Bandit
Sizes Available: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17m
Sizes Tested: 8, 10, 12m
The best ‘One quiver kite’ on the planet still gets better over the years. Incredible control is coupled with a handling experience you will never forget. No matter what your level or style, the BANDIT is the kite that delivers.
Every year we ask ourselves this question, and each year there follows another question, what are we looking for? Our primary focus is to develop the wind range, the lateral pull of the kite, the feedback and feeling at the bar and the maneuverability. The Riding Range has always been a key are for the Bandit, a wider wind range means you can enjoy longer sessions in more varied conditions.
There is a special link between the rider, wind and the water. With predictable and consistent power delivery and incredible bar feedback, the new Bandit ensures every session is a good session. There will be no more complaints about gusty winds or struggling for control when overpowered.
At F-One we believe that we’re happier when we are riding smaller kites. 7-9m kites are always the most fun to fly, as they are so reactive. This year the handling on the new Bandit has been further improved so that every kite feels smaller in the sky. You’ll find the 12m flies like a 9m and that feeling is priceless.
Many kiters don’t fully appreciate the importance of lateral pull in their kites. When we ride, we are always fighting the forces from the kite by edging the board to create forward motion. For many years we have been working to reduce the lateral pull felt by the rider, this means you can enjoy longer, more comfortable sessions with less effort. The new Bandit offers the perfect balance between power and lateral pull, with fantastic low end and incredible comfort in the middle and at the top of the wind range. Edging has never been so easy, your jumps will be even bigger, and your board is released.
Visit for more info: www.f-one.world/product/bandit-xii/
Our Testers Say:
“Loved this kite — fast and ultra-responsive very quick loops with no flutter. Very boosty with loads of loft for a gentle let down. Made me feel very powered with a direct launch and edge upwind. It’s so fast; overhead you definitely want to keep an eye on it.” // Chris Myles
“Quick handling, responsive, smooth power delivery. Every design detail instantly stands out, great all-arounder that stands out from the pack with smooth handling, responsive steering and consistent power delivery. A kite I could trust in any conditions. Only downside is the valve requires a special hose adapter.” // Joe Chehock
“The Bandit is a space shuttle with a parachute for re-entry. It boosts HUGE with hangtime for days. Very agile kite, with great range, while being one of the most aggressive freeride kites in terms of turning speed, flying speed and boosting.” // Dray Murray
The Bandit is back with its 11th year as a 3-strut delta shape with a medium aspect canopy that continues to conquer a wide range of freeride tasks with user-friendly handling and crisp performance that once again received rave reviews. The Bandit employs a single setting short to medium front bridle that utilizes two pulleys to change the kite’s angle of attack and the biggest change for this year is the V-bridle bridle concept on the wingtips which allows you to change between maneuverability and bar pressure (tension) by changing an attachment knot within the bridle. For the record, wingtip bridles are not new, in fact they were all the rage in 2008 (some with pulleys) but these were all gone by 2011, perhaps because single attachments were presumed to provide more direct input, or LE wingtips grew in diameter and strength to support a single load point. Your guess is as good as ours, but here we have an Adjustable V-Bridle, the difference being that the forward and aft adjustment is in the bridle and we like that method better than moving pigtails on attachment points. The striking quality of the Bandit is its maneuverability and range, with an incredibly crisp steering response that wants to initiate turns quickly with small inputs on the bar. The turning speed of the Bandit is fast across the entire line and the steering path is a tight pivot that builds steady power even while turning. With this direct and fast steering you can put the Bandit just about anywhere and find good power when it is lacking, it also requires that you pay attention to the Bandit during big jumps to keep track of where your inputs are going. The F-One marketing materials talk about improved ‘lateral pull,’ and what we take this to mean is that the Bandit has improved power delivery or pulling power that is middle of the road and smooth, not over-powering. The sheeting on the bar feels progressive, more so than the Breeze, and the bar pressure was found to be a very comfortable light to medium with the sheeting action happening in a smaller throw distance. This means the bar stays closer to the body which is helpful for smaller people; essentially the kite moves from powered to depowered with smaller movements of the bar. The Bandit is the master of balance; good pull but with great depower, excellent lift and good hangtime, but smooth power delivery while cruising upwind. Testers found the Bandit to be an extremely comfortable kite that has some ‘sheet and go’ feel for the progressing kiter, but with its quick response and speed it can be aggressively flown for the more advanced riders. The Bandit is no slouch in the big air arena, with tons of lift and decent hangtime the Bandit eggs you on to send it to the moon and then screams upwind to do it over and over again. When it comes to dropping the kite in the water, the Bandit has excellent relaunch with the recovery being really quick. Take one look at the delta leading edge and you can see that it doesn’t want to sit nose down at the bottom of the wind window, instead, with just a little bit of bar input, the Bandit rotates onto a wingtip and releases from the water deep in the bottom of the window like a surf kite. The Bandit once again offers an equation that accomplishes all the needs in the freeride category that make it a candidate as a surf kite, as well as a big boosting performance freeride kite, and even a good foil kite with the depower. The Bandit might have a little bit more power and quick turning speed than what the tentative foilboarder wants (perhaps the dedicated foilboarder ought to check out the Breeze) but that’s what you get with a kite that covers so much ground. If F-One has made changes to the Bandit, it’s still the tried and true formula for those Bandit lovers out there that does just about everything extremely well.
The Bandit came with the Linx control bar which had a significant redesign last year. The control bar is a dual adjustable length bar that comes in two sizes (38/45cm and 45/52cm) and features a new single center line safety depower that flags the kite on one line and an option to switch between low and high V (high V for the Bandit kite and low V for the Furtive/breeze – note that you have to thread the entire length of one center line through a small piece of hardware mounted high up to switch modes). The center lines end in loops and the outside lines end in loops as well and the flying lines do not have any built-in extensions. The Linx features an above the bar cleat for adjusting power and a plastic-coated trim/throw line for durability. There is no sliding stopper and while you cannot adjust the length of the bar throw along the plastic, you can adjust the distance to the power tuning cleat. The quick release was also redesigned last year to feature a built-in swivel above the push release which also works as a travel guard. The release and reset process is a two-handed process. When you slide the release handle away from you it locks into position, to reset, you place the loop back into the gate, then raise the release handle with one hand and use the thumb of your other hand to push the locking gate down while letting go of the release handle to slide back into place. While it’s not automatic, with some practice it becomes intuitive, reliable, quick and easy. The below the bar stainless steel ball bearing swivel rotates easily and allows you to untwist your front lines after rotational tricks with no problems. The bar ends feature integrated floats with retractable bar bungees and the outside lines can be adjusted for stretch. The Linx comes with an additional float above the center lines, this is to maintain positive buoyancy if you become disconnected with your bar. With some effort you can pull out the bar end inserts from the bottom and adjust the outside line length between 5 knots as well as the bar width. Testers liked the new grip, noting that the diameter is on the small side with a asymetircal ridge on top that makes for a smooth ergonomic grip with a printed rubbery feel. The grip is firm underneath and a bit more cushy on the top where your fingers wrap around the bar. Overall, the Linx gets excellent feedback for comfort, options and performance.
Visit for more info on the bar: www.f-one.world/product/linxbar/