2011 F-One Kiteboarding Kite Line
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F-One 2011 Kiteboarding Gear Preview
In 2011, F-One will be continuing their popular Bandit kite, now in its fourth generation. The Bandit was the original delta kite and F-One is staying dedicated to the delta concept.
The most interesting new product from F-One this year is the new Source, which is a 2-line kite that will have no depower. The Source is meant to be used in light wind while kiting on SUP or other large boards and we are very interested to see how well it is received.
F-One will also be releasing a new kite in 2011 to replace the Revolt, but as of our printing deadline that kite is still unnamed. F-One’s Raphael Salles answered our probing questions about the 2011 F-One line.
What was some of the rider input on the 2010 gear that you put into the 2011 F-One kites?
To develop our products, we’re using feedback from customers, riders, distributors, and schools and try to see what we should improve and what we should offer for the future.
What are the standout changes?
We have done a huge amount of work to improve our Bandit. The Fourth edition Bandit is getting a revamped shape, a new outline with square tips, only three struts, and a new profile. The result is a new feeling.
The Bandit is lighter yet super solid while also smooth with a direct bar feeling. The Bandit 4 is more reactive and turns faster but is still super predictable and safe. We have worked on more specific designs for each size to really optimize the performance. There is a new bar and we have improved the safety system and bar accessories.
Aside from the new Bandit, we have worked hard on a brand new kite design dedicated to SUP and extreme light wind conditions. This new kite is called the Source. We have been developing this two-line kite for over a year now and it was interesting to revisit the original kite concept and improve it with all the experience accumulated in the past decade.
What is the idea behind the Source, F-One’s new two-line kite?
The first thing is to open our sport to a larger public and second is to have fun in light wind conditions. Using a bigger board like a SUP is totally changing the need for power. With a two-line kite, only 8 knots of wind, and a SUP board, you can start planning and feel that big board flying above the glassy water. It’s just going back to the source of watersports.
You can take inexperienced friends and family to the beach, take them on the water, and share your passion. You can bring them on your board for a ride and have fun, a true summer sport. For expert riders it can also be good to try new tricks. Unhooked power jibes on the Source give you the feeling of a bottom turn.
With all of the high-depower kites that are available on the market, what riders do you think will be drawn to the Source? How many riders do you think are willing to give up the ability to depower their kite?
I understand it can raise eyebrows to propose a two-line kite today, but we needed depower capabilities in the first place because we wanted to jump and use our small twin tip boards. When you stand up on a big enough board the amount of power you need is down dramatically so you don’t really need to depower.
The Source is a light wind kite only to be used in 6 to 14 knots. The best winds are typical light summer winds, like thermals or trade winds, not the winter stormy gusty weather! The lack of depower is not like giving up something, it’s just that you don’t really need it. With two-lines and less power you can spend much more time unhooked and that should be a new feeling for many, many riders.
Unhooking on a regular kite was reserved for advanced riders, but not anymore. From pros to beginners or just casual riders, everybody will enjoy having a lot of fun where you would normally have stayed home or been stuck on a crowded beach!
Which riders will appreciate the Bandit 4 the most? Which ones will appreciate the Revolt?
The Bandit 4 is made for everyone; it’s our main kite. The Revolt will have a new name next year and will be our freeride kite with auto relaunch as its main advantage.
Will F-One continue to be fully committed to the Delta shape for 2011?
Yes, the Bandit 4 is using the delta design and the new freeride kite will use it too. The upcoming freeride kite will have a more pronounced delta shape than the Bandit. The Source is not a Delta, but it’s the same kind of outline with square tips and three struts.
What do you feel are the biggest benefits of Delta kites?
Easy relaunch, great low end with immediate power, and excellent depower capabilities. We have four years of ongoing development on the Delta concept, so we know it very well now and we improve it each year. I believe we still have room for improvement.
Why would a rider who loved the 2010 F-One kites want to upgrade to the 2011 kites?
We have been able to surprise our customers with each release, from the original Bandit to the Dos, then on to the third edition and they will be surprised too with the fourth! The Bandit 4 is about performance and feeling. The Source will change your vision of what is a light wind day!
Are any changes being made to the F-One Bar?
Yes, we have a new aluminum bar with an innovative design and we have upgraded the accessories around the chicken loop and safety system.