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2012 F-One Volt 2 Kiteboarding Kite Review

From F-One:

Each year, the Volt benefits from the evolution of its big brother, the Bandit. This year’s VOLT 2 improves once more while remaining intuitive and accessible to all. The VOLT 2 gives you confidence during your first session with progressive traction as well as great control of its power due to its depower capabilities. A good rider will be surprised at the ease with which it can aid new tricks.

The Volt is versatile in all wind conditions and especially in strong winds due to an improved high end. Responsive and maneuverable, the VOLT 2 is tolerant and forgiving. The Delta C Shape, an F-ONE patent, is known to facilitate the relaunch and we focus our attention on its continuous improvement. The refined leading edge diameter at the tips of the kite enhances its turning ability. Learn more here.

The Kiteboarder Review:

Our friends at Bay Area Kitesurf sent us an 11m F-One Volt II to try out. The Volt is F-One’s all-around freeride kite and is available for a lower retail price than the F-One Bandit 5.

The Volt 2 comes with a more basic bar than the monobloc aluminum Airlite Bar used with the Bandit 5. The Volt’s bar features the same harness loop and quick release as the Airlite Bar, an above-bar depower strap, plastic-coated main line, and a below-bar leash attachment point.The bar’s amount of travel is definitely longer than that of the Airlite Bar.

The quick release is a Velcro-based pull tab and can only be released on one side of the bar.

The Volt 2 is very similar in overall appearance to the Bandit 5. It features a similar Delta-C shape, three-strut platform, and bridle layout. The Volt’s leading edge is relatively large and the wingtips feature mesh vents to make relaunching easier.

On the Water:

As soon as we put the Volt in the sky we were impressed by its rock-solid stability. This is a very stable kite. Handling is not as direct as the Bandit 5 and there is a slight lag when initiating turns. Turning speed is also not quite as fast as the Bandit but its handling is not slow by any means.

The Volt feels like it has a wide wind range with good low-end power and a ton of depower available with the long bar travel. Bar pressure is in the light-medium range with good feedback from the kite.

We found the Volt 2 to be a very user-friendly kite that requires almost no attention from the rider. The Volt has good upwind performance, especially when depowered slightly. Relaunching the Volt takes very little effort and it immediately rolls onto a wingtip from the leading edge-down position.

Pros:

  • The Volt 2 is a very easy to fly and very forgiving kite.
  • Excellent stability.
  • Very easy relaunch.

Cons:

  • Quick release can only be operated on one side.
  • No fool-proof connections to prevent riders from attaching their lines backwards.
  • Slight delay when initiating turns with the kite.

The Verdict:

The F-One Volt 2 is a great kite for riders who want a stable, easy-to-ride kite that allows you to almost forget about the kite while riding. This kite takes very little attention to fly and we think its stability makes it a great kite for beginners or for riders of all levels in gusty conditions. Its easy relaunch also makes it well-suited for beginners or riders learning new moves who expect to crash their kite a lot.

Riders who want snappier, more direct handling should look at the F-One Bandit 5, but our testers found the Volt 2 to be a kite that will easily satisfy the everyday needs of most riders.

Tips:

  • The Volt 2′s stock setup felt slightly depowered to us. Shortening the back lines by about an inch (on the 11m) added a little more low-end power and increased the steering response.
  • Always hook into the harness hook with the quick release on the same side so you know exactly where it is when you need it.

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