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F-One Bandit III

Apr 2, 2010

Author: Shane Thompson

Size Tested: 7, 9, 12 m
Style: Four-line Delta C-Shaped kite.

Kite Design Features
Back for the third year of evolution, this Delta C-shaped design received some major tweaking, with an increased aspect ratio, a new EVO compact bridle system, and one pump inflation system.

Control Bar and Safety Systems
The redesigned Bandit III bar has a smooth EVA foam grip and shows improvement with new bar floats replacing the adjustable bar ends of last season. The new chicken loop has a below-the-bar swivel which enables untwisting of the front lines and houses the leash attachment through its centre. The trim line adjustment features the traditional above-the-bar pull trim system. The “life line” safety system works by engaging the two front V attachments which pulls the leading edge completely forward, placing the kite on its back. The New EVA bridle system is much more compact than last year’s and allows all four steering lines to be of equal length this year.

On the Water
The Bandit III’s dramatic reshaping and redesign show some marked improvement over last season’s DOS in the areas of upper wind range, and direct steering response. Although low-end power remains excellent with solid pull and stability, the new Bandit is more stable through gusty and turbulent wind conditions than experienced last season. The more advanced Test Team members appreciated the steady C-kite pull and solid unhooked performance. Also, many noted the increased turning speed and the ability of this kite to deliver powered Kite Loops or powered transitional turns, as well as quick pivotal turns with less pull. There isn’t much that the Bandit can’t do. It pulls fast and sits forward in the window, sucking up gusts with ease. It can boost big airs and provide excellent hang time and glide. Depower comes on easily and progressively at arm’s length, and the bar and trim system works effectively without the extreme reach out. The 9 m received the most praise for its overall feel, well-rounded performance and quick pulling speed. This model size of the Bandit III comes as close to being the most versatile unmatched one kite quiver available today. The Bandit is close to becoming the Delta kite against which all others are judged.

Reality Check
The hard pull and full-bodied power of the Bandit may make it a Delta shape best suited to intermediate to advanced riders, but aggressive beginners shouldn’t shy away either.

Bottom Line
More grunt and more control from the new Bandit means high powered control applicable to a wide range of riding styles and disciplines.


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