The Delta C Shape design, the revolutionary patent known to F-ONE, is the base of the Bandits development. With 5 best-seller editions, the choice of the Delta shape speaks for itself and is known to be a great long-term option. This shape guarantees an easy relaunch, with the auto-relaunch feature and offers a great performance in all kiteboarding disciplines. In conjunction with the EVO bridal system, which allows a 5th line safety system but without the inconvenient, the design is a definite winner. Compared to other kite shapes with great depower, the Bandit’s bar depowers on a short distance, which allows the rider to depower completely his kite without having to extend the arms fully and offers more reactivity. Another advantage is the easily accessible trim cleat, for an easy adjustment of the power. We can confidently say that the DELTA C Shape is one of the latest great evolutions in kite design on the market and even though the design was copied many times, none ever equaled the performances of the original.
The test list that we put our kite through is the most thorough and demanding off the market, since our criteria have to apply to all aspects of the sport. The kite is tested and approved in the South of France, in difficult conditions and various wind speeds, which means it works perfectly everywhere.
For the 2013 collection, faithful to our strategy and to our commitments, we maintained our development politics for a high performance, exceptional kite adapted to all the disciplines and riding styles.
It has now been 6 years that we focus on one challenge: improve the Bandit. We want to conserve the qualities of the previous years while adding new ones, and we succeeded for the 6 generations of Bandits.
After innovating on spectacular points like the Delta patent, outline changes and a reduction of the number of struts from 5 to 3, the design team concluded that we needed to use the B5, which they now know perfectly, as a base to develop the Bandit 6. Making this one perfect meant working on a new dimension: fine-tuning. We had to work on details invisible to the eye but that we all feel when riding: making it perfect by bringing modifications that are not the outcome of mathematical models and aerodynamic smoke tests, but that come from the feeling.
We hence entered in a “feeling” era, which is a little less precise when it comes to pin pointing the design modifications needed. For example, how do we change the bar feel or the dynamic weight of the kite? These are very complex questions since an important number of options could solve these issues but would also affect other aspects. It’s is therefore not a pure design choice, but also a choice in the material, bridals and general thoughts on how a kite works…
What is our goal? What should we improve?
These are the first questions that we usually ask ourselves when working on the R&D of a new kite. It normally doesn’t take us much time to get a feedback from our riders and clients. But with the Bandit 5, the comments were getting rare since its design is already highly evolved and it has impressive flying qualities in every aspect. This is great, but is also means that only a few hints of solutions were brought to us. But since we have such a strong desire to improve our product, we did our own analysis of what the improvements should be and what changes we should bring to the Bandit.
This analysis has to take into account what will be the market demand in the next few years to be able to adjust the features and qualities of the Bandit towards what our customer want. The Bandit is made to anticipate the tendencies, for example the increase in strapless wave riding.
Our sport if not only about pure performance: a great deal of our work is to improve the sensations that the Bandit will give you, since fun is the main goal in kiteboarding.
Our first goal this year was, as usual, the increase in the wind range even though this aspect was already a strong feature of the Bandit. A wide range of use offers two main advantages: a great riding comfort associated with safety and a smaller number of kites to have for a complete quiver. We worked especially on the control of all the shape changes in powered and overpowered situations as well as the lateral force produced by the kite in the high wind range. With the B6 at 12 (neutral position) on the beach you will already feel a better control while sheeting out (pushing the bar out) and a greater stability feeling, which will make you more confident. On the water, the lateral traction as well as the pressure on the board, in the legs and in the back was reduced, increasing the comfort of the rider by a lot. The B6 will allow you to control your direction with more ease.
During these researches about control, we also gained a better power management. The B6 gives a more steady traction and a less violent reaction to gusts. The rider will discover a feeling of smoothness and control.But we did not choose the easy option of a lower profile, since we didn’t want to penalize the low wind range and the legendary power of the Bandit: quite the opposite! The vertical lift for a high jump is still there, but even easier to bring into play. The real advantage of the control improvement is to allow all levels of riders to focus better on their riding, their tricks or the surf.
The second point that we wanted to work on this year was the feeling of lightness. This is an essential quality to improve the sensations while riding: it is such a great feeling to ride with a kite that feels nimble and doesn’t make you tired. In the first few moments with the B6, you will already have the sensation of riding a kite 1 square meter smaller. On the water, the B6 is more dynamic and feels like it lost some weight. But we did not suppress any reinforcements or used a lighter material: we worked on the dynamic weight.
This improvement is ideal for the bigger sizes and in light wind where the B6 is more reactive. Even in the other sizes, the progression is still there since it is always nice to have the feeling of riding one size smaller.
The third point on which we focused was the bar feel. The bar is the command center and it is where all sensations converge. The R&D department worked on perfecting the direct feel and the efficiency of the bar when it is sheeted out, but also in the sheeted in position like during a jump. When depowered, you will still have a feeling of firmness, not a floaty feel, and you will not have the bad sensation that the bar keeps wanting too go up. This is a great advantage while riding or in the surf, to be able to ride with the bar out without having to pull in to make the kite turn. The result: a better direct control ad a better feeling of the kite reactions.
The feel of the Bandit 6, in a few words: More stable, less unwanted movements (fluttering) while riding with a greater smoothness, control and less lateral force. All this added to a definite lighter feeling and a more efficient, and direct feel in the bar.
Monolith 2013 bar
The new 2013 F-One bar is made with the brand new MONOLITH technology, the latest jewel from the F-One R&D team.
The heart of the MONOLITH bar is made directly from a 6061 Aluminum block. The Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machined method is used to shape the bar in one unique monolith piece.
This new fabrication method is used in conjunction with the 6061 Aluminum, an alloy charged with magnesium and Silicium. This material is extremely resistant and is used in the Air and Space industry. In addition to its strength, this material offers excellent resilience and great resistance to corrosion.
The new MONOLITH bar benefits from a new anodizing process that reinforces the external structure of the bar and blocks all corrosion.
For increased safety and comfort, the bar ends are molded with a soft material. The anti-sliding thermoformed grip has also a double EVA layer on top of the bar.
The new MONOLITH bar setup is compatible with the Bandits 4, 5 and 6.
Kite Only Equipment:
- Bladder Repair Kit
- EVO Bridle
- Expendable kite bag
- Monolith Aluminum Bar with 24m Lines and kite leash
- Pump High Output
- Short Line kit 18m
|Manufacturer||F One Kites|