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TKB Review: F-ONE BANDIT-2020 “A truly refined ride, the Bandit performs in all wind conditions”

27 Apr , 2020  

Source: The Kiteboarder Magazine – April 24, 2020

Sizes Available: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17m
Sizes Tested: 8, 10, 12m

F-ONE Says:

Splitting the BANDIT into two distinct lines has allowed us to radically change the way the smaller sizes of the BANDIT 2020 work. The 7, 8, 9 and 10 m are now fully geared to overpowered riding, big air and kite loops. The larger sizes from 11 m and up offer incredible control and freeride abilities with a huge wind range. Key to this new concept is the updated spider 4 or 5 points bridle set up that keeps the profile arc of the kite stable even in extreme overpowered conditions.

The perfect tool for events like the Megaloop Challenge and the King Of The Air, the Bandit 2020’s leading edge is slightly larger in diameter, further enhancing the stability of the kite in the air. New wingtips with a squarer, more drawn out shape allow the kite to rotate fast through the turns due to less drag thanks to the narrower angle on the rake of the tip. This new design generates a wide dynamic turn that delivers lots of pull and power through the turn for huge kite loops.

The BANDIT 2020 has been designed not to deform when it is depowered; instead, the kite holds its shape and remains in the same spot in the window no matter the wind strength. The bar pressure is a little more positive than the BANDIT S allowing you to feel where the kite is at all times. This is particularly important when kite looping; however, while there is a little more bar pressure, the steering is incredibly quick to react and very dynamic. The turning arc of the kite is always predictable and under the control of the rider. The speed back to the zenith is fast and clean. This allows you to throw huge mega loops and feel safe and supported for the landing.

The new BANDIT 2020 will excite you like never before; great power is nothing without control, this kite has that and more. Big jumps, huge loops and loads of hangtime, perfect for freeriding too, get ready for the future, get the new Bandit 2020

Visit for more info: https://www.f-one.world/product/bandit-2020/

Our Testers Say:

“Fun aggressive kite with lighter bar pressure, quick handling and delivers a good amount of power. Send it full throttle for massive lift and hangtime for days and simply sheet in for ultra-soft landings.” // Matt Kargl

“A truly refined ride, the Bandit performs in all wind conditions, flies forward in the window with quick turning, has amazing relaunch, and the power to get you where you want to go.” // Dan Lerer

“New favorite — the Bandit had a big wind range, great power and felt fast without feeling twitchy. This kite wanted to rip upwind, boost some huge air and gently put you back on the water. The bar seemed cheap at first look, but I ended up loving the simplicity.” // Tom Moore

Meet Our Testers

TKB Says:

This year the Bandit platform has been divided into two distinctive kite models based on sizes. What was simply the 2019 Bandit is now the Bandit 2020 and the Bandit-S models. The Bandit 2020 is now optimized to perform as a big air freestyle megaloop kite and the Bandit-S is designed to perform as surf kite. F-One had been valiantly attempting to optimize the Bandit for multiple disciplines, but having taken ‘one size fits all’ to the limit, the freestyle big air crowd now gets a dedicated launch platform in the sizes 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14 and 17m. The 2020 Bandit features 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. F-One was one of the early proponents of this design and has been using it on production and prototypes reliably for five years now. The system works great, just be sure to remember to tap the push button into the closed position (sticking out) before inflating 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 2020 model’s 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 and 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 2020 which is the big air/megaloop option in this year’s dual Bandit offering sports dialed up performance qualities over the 2019 Bandit. If you had to pick the 2020 from the Bandit 2019 on the beach, aside from looking at the logos on the wingtip, the best clue is to focus on the new model’s more boxy wingtips and the bridle with the cascade splits placed closer together. The first thing we noticed about the Bandit 2020 is its broader steering arc compared to the 2019 and Bandit-S. The Bandit 2020 steers with a larger steering radius that generates more power as the kite moves through the turn, presumably a key component of its big air lift and kiteloop focus. The steering response is crisp but the turning speed doesn’t feel quite as fast as the Bandit-S; that may be a function of its wider steering arc, yet with the additional bar pressure, you get more feedback from the kite. You can immediately feel that the depower stroke is significantly different from the Bandit 2019 and Bandit-S. The Bandit 2020 has a shorter bar throw which gives you more power adjustment in smaller movements and doesn’t give you the same 100% depower you get out of the Bandit-S at the end of the bar’s throw. In terms of lateral pull, the Bandit 2020 has really good low-end power, but unlike the Bandit-S, the 2020 edges forward in the window when you load up your board’s edge. This is uniquely different from the Bandit-S where the depower comes solely from moving the bar outward. The 2020 has some load and slack which makes it a bit more amenable to the person who wants to crossover into freestyle with a kite that defaults to user-friendly freeride characteristics. The 2020 has an airframe that feels more solid, one that seems to have the rigidity to ride a kite size or two larger and handle a ton of power. When it comes to jumping and generating lift, we felt like the Bandit 2020 had some lift/hangtime advantages over the Bandit-S, yet the turning radius and pull of the Bandit 2020 was far more appropriate for megaloop style airs. The Bandit-S might be a more user-friendly for beginners learning to jump, but for those megaloop and old school big air riders, the Bandit 2020 will be the choice for more vertical performance and reliable turning through loops. The Bandit has always enjoyed high marks in the jumping range and the 2020 model is no different with power and steering that is capable of taking you to the moon and back with ease.

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 and an option to switch between a low and high V (high V for the Bandit kite and low V for the Furtive/Breeze). This year the bar’s color-coding got an upgrade with a more subdued orange on the left and dark blue on the right (the previous version had watermelon red and lime green). 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 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. Testers commented about the seemingly narrow length of the Linx bars but noted that the kites were highly responsive. 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 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. Testers highlighted the Linx’s lower weight and simplicity and gave it high marks for comfort and function.

Visit for more info on the bar: www.f-one.world/product/linxbar-2/

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