Main Menu Search
Use My Location

iKitesurf News

0 search result

2019 Reviews All Posts Gear Reviews

Tkb Surf Test: 2019 F-ONE Bandit XII

On July 18, 2019   |   By

Sizes Available: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17m
Sizes Tested: 5, 7, 9m

F-ONE Says:

No matter what your level or style, the Bandit is the kite that delivers. Our primary focus is to develop the wind range, the lateral pull of the kite, the feedback and feeling at the bar and the maneuverability. After eleven years of constant enrichment, we focused on specific areas to channel our efforts and achieve our goals with the twelfth edition of the Bandit.

Riding range has always been a key are for the Bandit; a wider wind range means you can enjoy longer sessions in more varied conditions. There is a special link between the rider, wind and the water. Your connection to the kite is crucial, it is how you feel the power from the wind, and it provides the control as well. With predictable and consistent power delivery and incredible bar feedback, the new Bandit ensures every session is a good session. At F-One we believe that were happier when we are riding smaller kites. Youll find the 12m flies like a 9m and that feeling is priceless. The new Bandit offers the perfect balance between power and lateral pull, with fantastic low end and incredible comfort in the middle and at the top of the wind range.

Visit for more info:

TKB Says:

The Bandit lineage continues this year with the 12th version which sports the telltale Bandit delta shape with its three strut, medium aspect canopy and sweptback leading edge transitioning into square wingtips. The Bandit features the Reactor inflation valve which offers a high flow connection for 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 at least four years now. The system works great, just be sure to remember to click 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 features a medium length single setting front bridle which utilizes two pulleys. The bridle is just short enough to avoid wrapping around the wingtips and ensures that dropped kites will relaunch reliably every time. The wingtip uses a V-bridle that narrows into a single foot-long pigtail and allows the user to adjust between two settings that change maneuverability and bar pressure. The stock position is the ‘more bar pressure’ setting. The center bridle ends in a knot and the outside wingtips end in a knot as well, or in classic F-One fashion, a small red plastic ball.

The Bandit features solid construction details in a nice lightweight build that offers a really solid feel for top quality. One of the first things we always note about the Bandit is its solid turning response and speed in the smaller kites up through the 9m size. The bar delivers a ton of power in a fairly narrow movement of the bar with a lot of kite sheeting or angle of attack change in a small amount bar movement. This keeps your arms relatively close to your body while surfing waves and delivers complete depower well within your arm length this being key when surfing in side to side-off conditions. This setup also works well for smaller riders with shorter torsos and arms. One of the things about the Bandit thats particularly noticeable is its light to medium bar pressure that is really comfortable. The Bandit offers very nice, efficient and smooth power delivery even in the smaller sizes, whereas you typically expect smaller kites to be a bit more on/off. You can really feel this smoothness because the bar doesn’t have to travel quite so far. As we noted previously, the Bandit through all the sizes is a swift turner, with a fairly tight pivotal turn and thats really nice when youre riding waves, especially side on conditions. The Bandit is really easy to place where you need it and although the bar is relatively short in length the kite still responds with swift steering dynamics. Combine the swift steering with lighter bar pressure and you can really steer the kite easily with one hand. The tight turning radius and high turning speed is key in wave riding because if you need to do a downloop to get past a section and maintain line tension you can go for it knowing the Bandit will complete the loop and be ready to steer to the next section.

As far as drifting goes the Bandit gets really good marks for drifting. Going down the line maintaining kite tension was fairly easy. When it came to going upwind, the kite feels really efficient. There’s good range in terms of power when you move into some of the smaller sizes. The Bandit offers solid high end with excellent handling in gusty conditions yet also handles lulls really well without the tendency to stall when oversheeted. We tested the Bandit in the stronger/higher tension rear bridle setting, and while we felt as if the factory setting offered an excellent ballance between bar pressure and kite feedback, you could switch to the lighter bar pressure option. The Bandit, as it stands, is designed as an all around freeride kite with a strong lean towards surf performance and continues to score high marks as a user-friendly performer in the wave riding department.

The Bandit came with the Linx control bar which had a significant redesign last year. The control bar is a dual adjustable length bar that comes in two sizes (38/45cm and 45/52cm) and features a new single center line safety depower that flags the kite on one line and an option to switch between low and high V (high V for the Bandit kite and low V for the Furtive/Breeze note that you have to thread the entire length of one center line through a small piece of hardware mounted high up to switch modes). The center lines end in loops and the outside lines end in loops as well and 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 was also redesigned last year to feature a built-in swivel above the push release which also works as a 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 its 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. 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 with your bar. With some effort you can pull out the bar end inserts from the bottom and adjust the outside line length between five knots as well as the bar width. We really liked the grip on this bar with its smaller diameter and raised little hump under your knuckle with a smooth ergonomic grip and printed rubbery feel. The grip is firm underneath and a bit more cushy on the top where your fingers wrap around the bar. Our team noticed one improvement in particularl over last year — the rigging now makes it conceivable to self-land with the high V when the center lines are un-rotated. Overall, we are big fans of this bar with its many features while still staying true to F-Ones clean and simple yet functional approach to the user experience.

Visit for more info on the bar:

Read the full article: Tkb Surf Test: 2019 F-ONE Bandit XII