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F-One Bandit Dos

Feb 5, 2009

Author: Shane Thompson

Size Tested: 8 m2, 10 m2 / Style: Four-line Delta C / What’s new: Redesigned front V bridles, shorter chicken-loop line, new strut placement

The Bandit DOS is redesigned this season with some refinements to its ground-breaking Delta C shape that took the kite scene by storm last season. It has flying characteristics that span all disciplines and skill levels by combining good depower capability, enhanced safety with plenty of advanced performance for big jumps, waveriding or freestyle.

Bar setup and safety systems
The simple four-line control bar has smooth EVA foam grip with smaller than average bar length and leader-line length adjusters on the bar ends. Above-the-bar trim straps are within easy reach because the PVC composite chicken line was shortened this year. The bar lines work in unison with the front V-line bridle connections on the kite. The left and right lines are different colours, and because of the long front bridal attachments on the kite, the back lines are 10 feet longer than the front set.

Key kite features
The Bandit is in a class of its own with a unique shape and bridle system. Some key kite features include Delta C shape for improved aerodynamic flow, EVO bridle system to access more depower and safety, Dacron frame and canopy reinforcement for robust build character.

On-water performance
Although visually similar to last year’s Bandit, the DOS has some definitive improvements over last season. The steering is more direct, with less lag in turn initiation and no tendency to lock into certain angles of attack. It feels more like a C kite this year, with plenty of grunt and equal amounts of depower as last year’s model. Bar pressure is moderate, with good positional feedback.
    The Bandit has excellent unhooked pop and kite loop performance that combines with high levels of depower capability. It pulls fast and smooth, and is capable of big jumps and huge glide. Fast pivotal turns are available, along with more power turns depending on how aggressively you pull on the steering line.
    In the water relaunch department, the Bandit gets top marks. The C-shaped leading edge and Delta cut let the kite rotate easily into launch position. The safety system works amazingly well by pulling in both front-line V bridles; it instantly puts the kite onto its leading edge. This is an ideal performance feature for self-landing on the beach. The Delta shape of the Bandit DOS reduces canopy drag and opens up its access to great amounts of speed.

Reality check
When depowered quickly or when tension comes off the back lines, the eight-metre Bandit DOS becomes less stable. A one-pump system would be appreciated by most riders.

Bottom line
This is a kite capable of dominating multiple disciplines with its speed, good unhooked performance and excellent depower capability. The Bandit DOS has proven that the Delta shape and V bridle setup can simplify the kiteboarding experience; it successfully delivers one model with one setup that can do it all.

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