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F-One 2010 Bandit 3 Analyze This Kite Review

F-One 2010 Bandit 3 Analyze This Kite Review

TESTED: 9m
AVAILABLE SIZES: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15
TESTED IN: La Ventana, 18-20 knots and choppy water

FROM THE MANUFACTURER

The B3 has a brand new design with a higher aspect ratio, a new profile, a deeper C shape, and bigger fully-segmented struts. We have also shortened the bridle which is now attached to four points on the kite and equipped with three pulleys. On top of that the B3 only requires one pump and includes a new stainless steel UPS HP integrating the life line clipping on the bar when riding unhooked.

The B3 retains all the qualities and innovations of the delta C -Shape such as the auto relaunch, the EVO bridle system, and the lifeline (acting as a fifth line on a four lined kite). The Delta brings unmatched stability in fully depower position and allows the front line attachment to be positioned higher up the leading edge. The C-shape design maintains the highest standards in performance and steering.

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THE KITEBOARDER REPORT

Out of the Box: The Bandit 3 got a few upgrades this year that greatly improve the usability of the kite. New for 2010 is a one-pump system and a shorter bridle. Now the front and rear lines are all even with each other. This simplifies tuning and allows you to easily swap your bars between kites if you have a mixed quiver.

The bridle is still a little on the long side and features three pulleys. The high wear areas have been reinforced, but the kite still maintains a sleek lightweight look. The 2010 F.One bar is a very clean and simple bar that comes with 24m lines. The bar features an above-bar depower cleat that works very well and the main line is protected by a plastic tube to avoid wear. The quick release is a Velcro-based system that is only accessible from one side of the harness loop.

On the Water: Upon launching the Bandit 3, the first thing we noticed was the kite’s stability. This kite is rock-solid in the sky. Even sheeted way out, the kite remains stable and is very well behaved. Despite the bridle’s three pulleys, steering is very direct, snappy, and predictable. An amazing thing about the Bandit 3 is that it never seems to flutter in the air, even when steering it very aggressively.

The kite flies fast through the air and finishes loops without the tendency to stall or slow down. The clean and simple bar is nice to use and the kite depowers very well without much travel in the bar.

The depower range of the Bandit 3 is greatly improved compared to last year’s model, but it seems like the low end has been very slightly reduced. When you sheet the bar in, the power comes on quickly but smoothly. The bar pressure is on the high side of medium, but not excessive. Jumping on this kite is great because of its predictability and stability.

The Bandit 3 remains stable when unhooked and when turning on waves. All in all, this is a great all-around kite that does a lot of things very well.

PROS:

  • The Bandit 3 is a very stable kite, even when extremely depowered.
  • The handling of the Bandit 3 is very smooth and predictable.

CONS:

  • Safety quick release is a Velcro-based system while most other manufacturers have moved to molded push-away releases.
  • Bar pressure on this kite is slightly above average.

THE VERDICT:

The Bandit 3 is a fantastic all-around kite if you want something that works well and feels comfortable for a number of different styles and conditions. The Bandit 3 is a very stable and predictable kite that allows you to relax and put your energy into riding without having to pay very much attention to flying the kite.

Tips:

  • The Bandit 3 likes to be pumped up hard.
  • Get a little more low-end by adjusting the back lines under the leader line floats.

Consumer Review: Waxman at seabreeze.com.au
I had a great day out on the B3 today. There definitely are some differences in the way the kite performs and handles compared to the Bandit Dos. While riding, the kite seems to sit nicely just where you have put it with basically no input to keep it there… Read the full consumer review at www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=55055

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3 comments

  1. I am a beginner and just got a 13M B3 for practising after received 6 hours KB instruction. I had my B3 set up last few days and tried out the setting, but got few unusual situations. Firstly, the hardest pumping pressure that I could get was only around 6 or 7 PSI, unlike the 10 PSI recommended in the manual. I flied in low wind conditions (around 10 knots) and the kite did not powered up and the lines were loose. I also tried water auto relaunch but could not get it up. There was a pro kiter on the beach who tried to water relauch my B3 for me but could not make it. He said although he do not use F-one kite before but it is the first time in his life to see a kite cannot be relaunch like this. He then helped me the launch my B3 by assistance.
    I am not sure whether it is because of the pump pressure or the lines setting (I used the original line setting come with the kite, then I tried to shorten the back lines, but it didn’t help too much and there are higher tendency of flying backwards).

  2. Sounds to us like you might need a little more time with an instructor. If you are unsure how to set up any kite, you should contact the shop that sold it to you for help.

  3. Hey Nick
    I’ve just defected from the Cabs to the Fone B3’s so aint a great source of B3 knowledge but have a bit over a year of kiting (many different brands)and after 25 years of windsurfing.

    My experiance with the B3 bandit is that it will fly quite hapily in just 8 knots but self launching (dry kite) in the same conditions is difficult. If on the water and the kite gets wet – its going to be a whole lot heavier – and will need maybe 12 knots to get it to launch – and thats if you are standing up and not drifting down wind where you may lose another knot or two of launch speed.

    When I say fly in 8 knots – I dont mean kiteboard in 8 knots!! – I’m 90 kg and need closer to 12 to 13 knots to get going with the 13m B3.

    Hope this helps!!

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