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Tkb Review: F-One Bandit XV

18 Apr , 2022  

Source: The Kiteboarder Magazine

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

F-One Says:

15 years after the birth of the first Bandit, the F-One design team has once again put an astounding amount of work to create the best kiting experience for all riders. Jump higher, perform your favorite tricks at ease, improve your ride. The connection between the rider and the kite has never felt so natural.

The Bandit is incredibly stable in the air, no matter what the wind is doing. Its fantastic control allows you to perform to a high level in all areas. The kite translates gusts into forward pull. The impressive instant steering response offers precision flying with the best balance between ease of input and feedback impulses from the kite. This results into a very linear feel with zero stalling. Thanks to its legendary delta C-shape, the only still patented kite design, the kite offers incomparable bar feeling, the best relaunching ability and exceptional stability.

Most wanted for 15 years and still running, the Bandit never fails to impress.

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

TKB Says:

This year marks the release of the Bandit XV and the 15th Anniversary of the Bandit, putting it in a class of kites that has played the long game and undergone significant improvements along the way to become an icon in our sport. This is the third year in which a surf version of the platform has been split off (Bandit S), leaving this core Bandit model to focus on specializing in high-performance freeride and freestyle riding.

Inflation Valve: Push button valve / Reactor nozzle required
Attachments: Center bridle: Knot / Wingtip bridle: Knot
Centerline Split: High-V
Front Bridle Options: Single setting bridle / single stainless slider

“Fast and nimble with heaps of lift and hangtime. The Bandit XV will reward those brave enough to truly send it. True to size power and loves to be ridden lit for aggressive freeride and freestyle.”

Dray Murray, Tkb Tester

Design and Features
The Bandit XV comes 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 brands that are now using this system as it has proven itself very reliable; just be sure to remember to tap the push button into the closed position (with the button sticking out) before you start pumping or you will lose all your pressure when you remove the hose. This year the single setting front bridle only uses a single slider, which has been upgraded to a stainless-steel slider, as well as a Dyneema sheathed bridle line to improve longevity. Both the front bridle and wingtip pigtail connections end in knots, but the wingtip utilizes a bridle that has two knots for adjusting the effective connection 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 connection point set to be farther back.

“This kite seeks the sun as it continues to climb during airtime. Excellent boost with good hangtime and stability.”

Chad Barber, Tkb Tester

Impressions
The story of this year’s Bandit XV is rooted in the refinement of the precision feel of power delivery and steering control that starts with a very comfortable medium bar pressure that highlights the immediate translation of an extra dose of wind power into a pulsing forward motion in the airframe. The Bandit XV has an incredibly solid feel that blends the stability of the airframe with a very active acceleration and swift steering that gives you both a comfortable ride while also stepping up to really impressive performance if you want it. The Bandit XV flies a little farther forward in the window and offers excellent upwind ability, yet it doesn’t require a ton of active flying to get power for cruising. The power delivery across the bar isn’t quite as progressive as its Bandit S counterpart, with the access to power happening in a smaller zone of movement and perhaps a little less depower at the very end of the stroke.

“King of all-rounders and ridiculously fun to ride! The Bandit XV manages to be a super fast flier without feeling twitchy. Boosts and loops like a dream. Stoke machine. OMFG I love this kite.”

Brian Romer, Tkb Tester

The steering on the Bandit XV retains its super quick steering response, with a turning arc that is a bit wider than the Bandit S, but perhaps a little tighter than the looping arcs of Bandit models of years past. With a slightly tighter turn, the Bandit XV dispenses a balance between power generation during turns, swift turning and easier kite placement. Much of the focus for 2022 was to highlight the Bandit’s big air boosting power, and when you’re ready to send big jumps, the canopy feels incredibly efficient and accelerative and the steering is noticeably swift and intuitive, so it’s easy to find the kite’s perfect launching trajectory in just a few attempts. The small incremental improvements to canopy stiffness become more apparent when you begin to really push the higher-end power of the airframe, but the crisp lifting forces and height of boosts were really inspiring and the accelerative lift was matched by insanely good hangtime. In recent years, the Bandit has done a great job of balancing airframe stability with a lightweight build to maximize the airframe’s agility, but what we noted most was how the canopy transfers every bit of lift into your harness. With the impressive steering response combined with good hangtime we found it easy to extend big airs and manage soft landings without too much focus on the kite.

With the slight changes to the Bandit XV this year, it remains incredibly user-friendly with the same classic easy relaunch that requires just a little bit of input from the bar to get it back into the air. Overall, the Bandit XV continues its path towards refinement, finding a balance between nimbler turning and small improvements to lift generation while keeping its dependable, user-friendly and stable flying characteristics locked into its airframe.