Sizes Available: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10m
Sizes Tested: 7, 9m

F-ONE Says:

The goal with the BANDIT-S was to create a kite that allowed the rider to focus on riding the wave and not worry about the kite. The bar pressure on the BANDIT-S is very light; you never really feel the kite pulling or any fatigue on the arms. With just small input from your fingertips, you can engage the incredibly responsive steering. The leading edge is thinner, allowing the kite to twist, and the wingtip shape further enhances the response. The turn is pivotal, meaning you can quickly redirect the kite for a powerful bottom turn, allowing you to follow your surfing lines with precision. The kite is lighter this year, thanks to the new 130g Teijin Dacron with ripstop material we are using. Not only does this help with the kites ability to drift, but it also improves the turning speed. You’ll find the BANDIT-S is always precisely where you want it to be in the window at all times.

For strapless riding, the BANDIT-S is designed to jump high, which will help you score points with the judges or the crowds on the beach. The loop it delivers has a small radius in the turn and won’t pull you sideways too much, so you can stay in control of your board. If you want to boost some jumps on a twin tip, the S can do that too, whatever board you are riding you’ll find the Bandit S intuitive to get airborne.

Visit for more info: https://www.f-one.world/product/bandit-s/

Our Testers Say:

“User-friendly and very intuitive kite that requires very small inputs from the rider. Lots of depower should you need it, turns with a flick of the wrist and drifts well with light bar pressure.” // Pierce Martin

“Foil and surf heaven! Very nimble and intuitive kite with great wind range; drifts effortlessly, lots of boost and hangtime but smooth enough for sending big strapless airs.” // Dray Murray

“Very stable kite that drifts for days, super smooth through gusts with high turning speed that makes it perform really good in the waves.” // Matt Kargl

Meet Our Testers

TKB Says:

This year the Bandit platform has been divided into two distinctive kite models based on sizes. What was simply the 2019 Bandit is now the Bandit-S and the 2020 Bandit. The Bandit-S was optimized to perform as a surf kite and the 2020 model is designed to perform as a big air megaloop freestyle kite. F-One had been valiantly attempting to optimize the Bandit for multiple disciplines, but having taken their ‘one size fits all’ kite to the limit, the surfers now get a dedicated surf platform in the sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10m. The Bandit features the Reactor inflation valve which offers a high flow connection that twist locks the pump hose to the kite for easy and super-fast inflation and deflation at the push of a button. F-One was one of the early proponents of this design and has been using it on production and prototypes reliably for five years now. The system works great; just be sure to remember to tap the push button into the closed position (sticking out) before inflating or you will lose all your pressure when you remove the hose. The Bandit-S comes with a single setting front bridle that utilizes two pulleys to help change the kite’s angle of attack. The Bandit-S bridle attachment pigtails have a knot and the wingtip pigtails also use a knot. The wingtip utilizes a bridle that has two knots for adjusting the effective center of effort point forward or aft on the wingtip. The top knot moves the connection back and lowers bar pressure and increases maneuverability. The bottom knot moves the connection point forward and increases bar pressure and reduces maneuverability. The stock steering setting comes with the bridle counterpoint set to be farther back.

The first thing we noticed about the Bandit-S is that it takes some of the design tweaks from the smaller 2019 Bandit kite sizes (these sizes were already optimized for surf) and carries those qualities forward into the Bandit-S. The S offers a very comfortable light to medium bar pressure that is slightly lighter than the 2019 models with the difference being most apparent when compared to F-One’s freestyle version, the Bandit 2020. The steering response continues to be one of the crispest and instant on the market with a smaller tighter radius steering path that pivots around the center of the kite which makes the Bandit incredibly agile and easy to place wherever you need it, confidently creating power in any part of the window. The Bandit-S demonstrates a longer bar throw, meaning that the bar travels a great distance over the bar’s throw, but it also offers 100% depower at the end of the stroke. The power delivery along that stroke feels exceptionally linear and progressive with smooth depower that is highly intuitive. F-One likes to talk about the concept of ‘lateral pull’ and when you compare the Bandit-S and Bandit 2020 you’ll find that the Bandit-S deals with the pulling power a bit differently. When you hit a gust on the model S, if the kite is placed a little deeper in the window, it will load up that power and will pull hard if you hold the bar sheeted in. Let the bar out, and the Bandit-S releases all that pull and hovers deep in the window. The power delivery is finely tuned to the bar’s sheeting position. Unlike the 2019 Bandit or its 2020 brother, the Bandit-S can’t be pushed to the edge of the window by edging your board; it will continue to pull until you release the bar. The Bandit-S shines for surf because it will happily hover deep in the window and riders can use the progressive power control to dial in the perfect amount of power. The Bandit-S offers better drift and impressive depower which make it incredibly well suited for choosing whichever line in the surf you want, handling slack and delivering both power and depower on demand. When it comes to boosting big airs, the Bandit’s crisp steering and sheeted in power is no slouch and thus makes for exciting and fun airs. We thought we’d find a significant difference between the S and 2020 siblings in terms of boost, but the vertical lift difference is slight and more apparent in terms of steering arc and how the sheeting/power delivery feels. The Bandit-S might be a surf, foil and comfy freeride machine, but it’s also very capable of taking you up into outer orbit. The relaunch on the Bandit-S remains very responsive. With just a bit of bar input, the kite will roll onto its side and release from the water for a very reliable relaunch every time. The Bandit-S is only available in sizes 4m-10m, but if you need a bigger canopy, we recommend looking at the Breeze for lower wind surf sessions, or to give the 2020 new Bandit a try. Many of the surf-oriented qualities that have been instilled in the Bandit S are also qualities that make it great for the casual cruising kiter and foilboarding. The crisp turning, linear and complete depower and lighter bar pressure make for a kite that is really comfortable and user-friendly with precision handling that will resonate in the hands of dedicated surf kiters first and foremost but will also bring smiles to the broad spectrum of freeride kiters. The Bandit-S is sure to prove to be a milestone product in the F-One lineup.

The Bandit came with the Linx control bar, a dual adjustable length bar that comes in two sizes (38/45cm and 45/52cm) and features a single centerline safety depower that flags the kite on one line and an option to switch between a low and high V (high V for the Bandit kite and low V for the Furtive/Breeze). This year the bar’s color-coding got an upgrade with a more subdued orange on the left and dark blue on the right (the previous version had watermelon red and lime green). The center lines end in loops and the outside lines end in loops as well; the flying lines do not have any built-in extensions. The Linx features an above the bar cleat for adjusting power and a plastic-coated trim/throw line for durability. There is no sliding stopper and while you cannot adjust the length of the bar throw along the plastic, you can adjust the distance to the power tuning cleat. The quick release features a built-in swivel above the push release which also works as a quick-release travel guard. The release and reset process is a two-handed process. When you slide the release handle away from you it locks into position; to reset, you place the loop back into the gate, then raise the release handle with one hand and use the thumb of your other hand to push the locking gate down while letting go of the release handle to slide back into place. While it’s not automatic, with some practice it becomes intuitive, reliable, quick and easy. The below the bar stainless steel ball-bearing swivel rotates easily and allows you to untwist your front lines after rotational tricks with no problems. Testers commented about the seemingly narrow length of the Linx bars but noted that the kites were highly responsive. The bar ends feature integrated floats with retractable bar bungees and the outside lines can be adjusted for stretch. The Linx comes with an additional float above the center lines; this is to maintain positive buoyancy if you become disconnected from your bar. The bar ends have inserts accessed from the bottom that are used to adjust the effective length of the bar as well as tune the outside line lengths between five knots. The grip has a rubbery feel with fine texture and the grip is fairly narrow in diameter with an asymmetrical ridge on top. The grip feels firm underneath and a bit more cushy on the top where your fingers wrap around the bar. Testers highlighted the Linx’s lower weight and simplicity and gave it high marks for comfort and function.

Visit for more info on the bar: www.f-one.world/product/linxbar-2/


Want to view all our 2020 Freeride, Light Wind and Wingsurf Gear Reviews in one convenient digital guide? Get free access HERE. If you’re already a subscriber, thank you for your support! Log into your account to view our 2020 Freeride Gear Review Guide.

 

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