Sept 20, 2011
Author: SBC Kiteboard Test Team
Size Tested: 11 m
The Volt is F-One’s new three-strut Delta C kite that electrifies the learning experience with simple flying character and steady low-end pull. With good depower and handling, the Volt will help the progressing rider develop skills quickly, with plenty of high-end performance for a quickly advancing skill set.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
The new Airlite Aluminum Monobloc bar is free of any clutter and represents one of the most streamlined kite bars on the market. It features an aggressively narrow, smooth and comfortable EVA grip that feels light but solid in your hands. The one-piece aluminum gives it a solid feel and polished finish. The above-the-bar trim cleat system is reliable and easy to adjust on the fly. Underneath the bar floats, there are adjustable-length leader lines so you can effectively tune any back-stall from the kite. The Velcro quick-release system is an effective, if not underrated safety system. It avoids the downfall of most systems, which, if underused, unkept or grunge-filled might be prone to seize, corrode or fail. The safety handle can be set on either side of the chicken loop, depending on your preference. It would be important to keep the safety knob on the same side for consistency. The mini fifth line engages full flagging of both the front lines of the kite.
• Stable and smooth pull with easy access to power
• Easy boosting with good positional feedback
• Simple water relaunch
On the Water
The F-One Volt enters 2011 as the acclaimed Bandit’s aspiring little brother, with some formidable performance that almost any rider will appreciate. It has easier-to-access performance than the Bandit and pulls smoothly with reliable positional feedback from the back lines. Positive back line pressure is vital not only for beginners to develop flying skills, but also for the more advanced waverider or freeride booster who needs to know where the kite is while spotting a landing, pulling into a face or smacking the lip. The Volt’s lightweight three-strut design is solid and stable in the air, and this kite travels easily to the apex of the window and holds itself together with little to no tendency of back-stall. The steering performance is direct, giving smooth, pivotal turns with good power delivery throughout the arc. The Volt also has plenty of depower when sheeted-out fully, and it safely kills most forward pull on demand.
All these features point to the fact that this is an ideal kite to learn with and progress into advanced level riding. From the first steps of riding to some big jumps and the odd unhooked manoeuvre, this kite will fully fill the appetite of the everyday rider. The test team had some sunset sessions on this 11 m, fully powered with other 12-metres in the test and boosting some big air. The unhooked performance is as to be expected, with a fully bridled, high depower kite, but with some trimming, it can generate decent pop whilst unhooked. With its easy water relaunch and nimble, light weight and stable power, this kite is also extremely wave-capable.
Unhooked, the kite can run away with the back line pressure.
The F-One Volt would be a good choice for the first-time buyer, as well as the intermediate rider who wants a new kite to amp up their waveriding skills or work some smooth, big-air maneouvres and transitions.