TKB Review: BANDIT-2021 “precision flying with excellent range and efficiency for all skill levels”

The Bandit 2021 does an excellent job of delivering a grunty pull that leads to adrenaline pulses during aggressive maneuvers, yet it’s got great upwind abilities and offers a super stable flight that still earns marks for ease of use during basic freeriding. One of the key areas that impressed us was the power and steering response throughout kiteloops that inspired confidence to push boundaries.

Source: The Kiteboarder Magazine, December 23

Sizes Available: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14m
Sizes Tested: 10m

F-One Says:

2021 marks our second year splitting the BANDIT into two distinct lines to allow for more versatility, depending on your riding style. The Bandit 2021 is extremely pleasing to fly whilst having a sporty feeling. Its behaviour is direct and reactive as well as stable, smooth and homogenous. Whether you want to park it and ride freely for hours or send it throwing some big kiteloops, the BANDIT will deliver.

Going upwind has never been so comfortable. This year again we have worked on reducing the drag, and creating positive forward momentum allowing you to stay even longer on the water. The jumping potential of this year’s model is absolutely insane. Offering explosive vertical lift the kite has plenty of float to chuck in some boards off or old school moves. Loops are fast and you will always find the line tension and pull you’re looking for. Just pull on the bar and the BANDIT 2021 will generate power, fantastic kiteloops sensations and super smooth landings with no stalling.

After spending countless hours testing and developing prototypes, we are proud to release the new and improved 2021 BANDIT. Whether you are looking to send it, freeride for hours, or explore the waves, this kite will exceed all expectations.

Visit for more info:


TKB Says:

The Bandit is back for 2021 with some tweaks to the panel layout and other slight changes that keep the main brand of the Bandit line focused on high-performance freeride, kiteloop and freestyle riding. Since the Bandit S has peeled off to focus on wave riding, foil and possibly progression-oriented riders, the Bandit can streamline its performance in very specific ways. The Bandit continues to be 3-strut platform with boxier wingtips and sports a medium diameter leading edge that tapers significantly into the wingtips. The wingtips feature minimal Dacron and a lower weight Dacron across the trailing edge. The Bandit’s rigging features another year with the Reactor inflation valve which offers a high flow connection that twist locks the pump hose to the kite for easy and super-fast inflation and deflation at the push of a button. There are a number of kites and wings that now use this system as it has proven itself to be very reliable; just be sure to remember to tap the push button into the closed position (sticking out) before you start pumping or you will lose all your pressure when you remove the hose. The Bandit comes with a single setting front bridle that utilizes two pulleys to help change the kite’s angle of attack. The front bridle attachment pigtails have a knot and the wingtip pigtails also use a knot. The wingtip utilizes a bridle that has two knots for adjusting the effective center of effort point forward or aft on the wingtip. The top knot moves the connection back, lowers bar pressure and increases maneuverability. The bottom knot moves the connection point forward, increases bar pressure and reduces maneuverability. The stock steering setting comes with the bridle counterpoint set to be farther back.

The Bandit continues with its legacy of super comfortable bar dynamics with very comfortable light to medium bar pressure that offers a solid balance between ease of input and feedback impulses from the kite. The Bandit’s airframe offers very efficient pulling power that sits more forward in the window (when compared to the Bandit-S) and feels very efficient at translating gusts into forward pull. The steering continues to be incredibly precise with bar inputs crisply initiating turning responses in the kite’s tight airframe. The turning arc is a bit less pivotal than the Bandit-S, turning more from the wingtip and generating a bit more power through turns that make the Bandit more of a big air and kitelooping platform. The power delivery on the Bandit feels smooth and intuitive across the throw of the bar, but perhaps not quite as progressive as the Bandit-S and with just a little bit less depower than what you get at the end of the Bandit-S’ throw. The Bandit also does an excellent job of delivering a grunty pull that leads to adrenalin pulses during aggressive maneuvers, yet it’s got great upwind abilities and offers a super stable flight that still earns marks for ease of use during basic freeriding. One of the key areas that impressed us was the power and steering response throughout kiteloops that inspired confidence to push boundaries. Depending on your skill level, generally, kiteloops can be intimidating with diverse results from catastrophic to uninspiring, but we think the Bandit has a dependable loop that allows you to dial in as much or as little intensity as you might want. While the Bandit is a great platform for big sends, consistent turning and ample power generation through kiteloops, it still has the load, pop and slack capabilities that will work for unhooked freestyle. While surfers and foilboarders will probably migrate to the S platform, the regular Bandit delivers precision flying with an excellent range and efficiency that will appeal to performance freeride and freestyle riders of all skill levels.


The Bandit came with the Linx control bar, a dual adjustable length bar that comes in two sizes (38/45cm and 45/52cm) and features a single centerline safety depower that flags the kite on one line with the option to switch between a low and high V (high V for the Bandit kite and low V for the Furtive/Breeze). The bar’s color-coding is very clear with orange on the left and dark blue on the right. The center lines end in loops and the outside lines end in loops as well; 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 features a built-in swivel above the push release which also works as a quick-release 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 it 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 Linx always feels a bit narrow with its shorter length, but the Bandit kites are highly responsive and seem to work just fine with a more compact bar. 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 from your bar. The bar ends have inserts accessed from the bottom that are used to adjust the effective length of the bar as well as tune the outside line lengths between five knots. The grip has a rubbery feel with a fine texture and the grip is fairly narrow in diameter with an asymmetrical ridge on top. The grip feels firm underneath and a bit more cushy on the top where your fingers wrap around the bar. The Linx, while unchanged from last year, continues to blend lower weight and simplicity with excellent comfort and function.

Visit for more info on the bar: