From its offices in the south of France, F-One has grown from a small family operation in kiteboarding’s earliest days to a global kiteboarding brand with a complete line of products covering every segment of ripstop-based windsports. 2020 will be a big year for the family-run outfit with a groundbreaking addition to the Bandit line of kites along with a new ram-air all-terrain kite, a wing surfing product and small innovative tweaks to the board and foil lineup.
THIS YEAR THE BANDIT PLATFORM HAS BEEN SPLIT INTO TWO SIZE-DEPENDENT MODELS: THE BANDIT-S AND BANDIT 2020. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF CREATING TWO MODELS AND HOW SHOULD LONGTIME RIDERS CHOOSE BETWEEN THE TWO KITES?
In previous years, the smaller sizes of the Bandit were always more surf orientated kites; from the 7m and down the design brief was to make them perform incredibly in the waves, but also great for jumping and strapless. Sizes 8-9m were more freeride and jumping focused and less aimed at the wave rider. Sizes 11-12-14-17m were more light wind orientated. Essentially, there have always been three kite programs in the Bandit line, just under one name. By splitting the design, we can now offer kites with even more focused goals. Riders who own a surfboard and/or a foil should choose the Bandit-S. Riders who are mainly riding twin tips should pick the Bandit 2020. Both Bandits are still Bandits and both are amazing freeride kites.
F-ONE RECENTLY RELEASE THE HALO RAM AIR KITE WHICH INTRODUCES INCREASED MANEUVERABILITY AND VERSATILITY TO ITS LINE OF AWARD-WINNING RACE KITES. WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST SELLING POINTS OF THE HALO TO THE AVERAGE KITEBOARDER?
The Halo is a ram air kite designed to enjoy the pure feeling of flying a kite in all conditions and on all terrains. Whether you wish to kitefoil, snowkite or just freeride with a twin tip, the Halo offers a comfortable ride with no effort. The Halo is designed to broaden the reach of the ram air kite, while delivering ram air performance that is easy to use and without being too technical to fly. It is the perfect light wind kite and it is also the ideal kite to travel with as it’s much lighter and takes less room than most LEI-type kites.
THIS YEAR THE SIGNATURE BOARD HAS BEEN RE-RELEASED AS A NEWLY REDESIGNED SHAPE CALLED THE SHADOW. HOW SHOULD RIDERS CHOOSE BETWEEN THE MITU PRO AND THE NEWLY CREATED SHADOW AND WHAT CAN THEY EXPECT FROM EACH BOARD MODEL?
The brand-new Shadow is a surf kiteboard, designed to enjoy all sizes of waves with outstanding fluidity and excellent maneuverability. Unlike the Mitu, it is not made to jump or land freestyle tricks. However, thanks to its lightweight and reduced volume, it is fast and precise on the wave. The legendary Mitu has the incredible ability to be both amazing in the waves as well as a fantastic board for strapless freestyle.
WHAT IS NEW IN THE TWIN TIP LINE FOR THIS YEAR?
F-One twin tip range has everything to fit every rider’s needs. From performance boards to beginners’ boards, our twin tips are also designed to be pretty versatile. Our Trax range of boards offers our acclaimed Trax feel, but in different constructions that make performance and comfort accessible to every type of rider. We have upgraded our WTF!? board with carbon tapes to add stiffness to the board and increase its explosive pop. The brand new One range of twin tips are ideal for all beginners and freeriders, and the new Big One is the ultimate twin tip for light wind sessions.
F-ONE WAS ONE OF THE FIRST COMPANIES TO INTRODUCE A PRODUCTION LINE OF FOILS AND BOARDS. WHAT IS IN STORE FOR THE F-ONE FOIL LINEUP THIS YEAR?
We have discipline-specific foil products for all riders, with a complete line of Kitefoil, Wingfoil, SUP Foil, Surffoil and Windfoil (windsurfing) products. Kitefoiling has never been so easy and yet high performance-oriented at the same time. Our collection is entirely modular and the possibilities are endless. From racing boards to freeride, we’ve developed products that offer high-performance to highly accessible foils. We are currently working on the new designs which will be released next March, and the range is going to be bigger than ever.