Name: Raphael Salles
Location: Montpellier, France
Job Title: Boss – R&D Manager
Designing: 32 years kite and windsurf
Kiteboarding: 12 years
Product name: Bandit III
Product category: Delta-C
Sizes available: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13 & 15m
Release date: September 2009
Is this a new design or a next generation on an existing design?
This is the third generation of the original, patent-pending delta design introduced by F.one in 2007 but it is really a new kite with a new profile, outline, aspect ratio, bridle, bar and graphics.
If this is next generation design, what were the main goals in developing it?
To keep the good low end and improve the high end as much as possible, and improve the bar pressure and feeling for more direct feedback.
What was your biggest challenge during the prototype phase?
To achieve an increased wind range while still keeping low end grunt, improve turning speed and better stability across all sizes in the range so they all felt the same.
If you could choose one standout performance or new construction feature to highlight, what would it be?
We finally added one pump! Seriously, I have to say the solid stability across the entire range and smoother, lighter bar feel, especially when depowering. As far as construction, we are in our third year
with forced frame construction but for 2010, we have overall much more Dacron than other companies. Both the trailing edge and each strut are now fully Dacron for increased strength. This added a small amount of weight with a bit of loss on the low end, but it is still excellent. We know that was a feature that Bandit Dos riders liked.
What is the biggest advantage of your control bar?
We have kept our Evo life line 5th line safety system except now it runs through the center of the chicken loop and bar instead of at the side. The biggest change is that the bridle system is now significantly shorter and the lines are now all the same length. We kept our Evo fifth line safety system which allows you to instantly eliminate the power of the kite yet remain connected to it with the leash.
How does self launch and self landing work on this kite?
The Bandit III self launches easily and readily when walking the bar from the downwind to the launch position with tension on the lines. For self landing, the Evo life line system is the same as last year
except now it runs through the chicken loop and the center of the bar. See the video:
What are some of the other key product features and performance characteristics?
The redesigned Bandit III sits more forward in the wind window, especially in overpowered conditions which allows better performance and a more comfortable body position. Also, all kites throughout the entire range have super good stability. If you mistime a jump, instead of your kite falling out of the sky it will come back in position. Turning is a bit different as well, especially during kite loops as you know more where the kite is and it goes back to zenith better. The improved stability additionally helps for softer landings and more confidence when riding, especially when trying new moves. The trim strap is closer and easier to reach, with a shortened depower length but bigger wind range and the unhooked performance is now spot on.
What style/level of rider will most enjoy this product and in what conditions?
We believe in the delta shape and Bandit design strongly as its super easy and safe for beginners but also offers the performance that experienced need in flat water to chop to waves.
What is your warranty policy on this product?
One year for any manufacturing defects.
What differentiates your product from your competitors?
We are so confident in this kite design we only offer this kite. The Revolt is really for schools and beginners. The Bandit III for everyone else. After three years, our customers also say that Bandit holds up its value very well on the used market too.
TESTED: Randy Herman, International Team Rider
The first thing you’ll notice when standing on the beach is the stability of the new Bandit III (B3). When you take it to the water in gusty conditions, this will be even more apparent. When trying new moves, especially unhooked, the kite simply does not fall out of the sky. Even when mistiming moves and my lines go slack, the kite slowly floats back into the wind window and stays in the air. Another big difference is turning and power. The B3 turns in an arch with much smoother power versus the Dos, which had more pivot-like turning.
Originally Published in the October 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine