F-One Bandit IV (2011) Hot
The Bandit IV has a brand new shape, they’ve modified its span, wing-tips, profile and leading edge diameter and changed the number of struts to three. All this in order to get a kite that excels in all conditions and in all disciplines. The Bandit IV has an increased C Shape but still features the same Delta as the Bandit III. The Bandit IV is hugely stable, has masses of depower and still features the auto-relaunch system. Three struts enable you to have a lighter kite which is smoother and more dynamic. The square tips offer options for the positioning of the rear lines to tune the turning characteristics - the aerodynamic shape gives increased support whilst it turns.
Average user rating from: 4 user(s)
Great kite - terrible bar
I couldn't be happier with the kites. They are very stable in the air, but turn on a dime with little input. Launching seems to be mindless, just pull in and go. Really, really LOVE THE KITE. I feel that F-One put a lot of money and research into developing and manufacturing their kite.
On the other hand the BAR IS TERRIBLE. The chicken loop is VERY large, and the donkey dick is fairly flimsy. What this combination leads to is the bar unhooking on its own and inopportune times. Twice I had the kite unhook while launching. I figured that the first time was a fluke, the second time I learned my lesson and started launching with one hand on the bar and one hand making sure the chicken loop wouldn't unhook. It also happened on the water during water relaunches.
I was not alone, it happened to a friend that tried out the equipment. I have two bar sets and both have a tendency to unhook.
Aside from the oversized chickenloop, I found the depower line and toggle would typically wrap itself around the trim lines. If I needed to adjust the trim I first had to unwrap the multiple twists in order to do so.
I sold both bars bidding the good riddance. I don't need the possibility of getting lofted on the beach whenever I am launching due to a faulty chickenloop.
- Light Wind
I'll keep it short
The kite's great, the bar is a bit rubbish due to the chicken loop not having a spinner/ push away quick release, and the actual micky-mouse line swivel doesn't work 100% of the time. After a session involving a lot of rotations my centre lines are often tangled.
I hope f one design a more up to date bar next year!
bandit 4 9m
the performance of the kite is unbelievable amazing! very smooth with huge hang time and depower. great upwind abilities, and un hook or hooked moves are awesome. for me is one of the best kites on the market.
the build quality is very good, the kite seems solid and well built. the only issue is the bar. some problems with corrosion of rubbers. But f-one are replacing all the bars of 2011 to 2012. You go to a retailer, and he solves the problem offering you the new bar of 2012.
Bandit 4 Review
At a Glance
With a pedigree running bock to 2008 the Bandit has arguably been the making of F-One. It turned thorn into one of the big international players in the industry. They now sit amongst the heady heights of the top 5 kite brands in the world in terms of sales. A lot of that has to do with the Bandit, and the chances are you have already heard of it and probably flown one over the years. So let’s cut to the chase, how do you go about making one of the most popular kites on the market even better? Tough call, but Raphael and the crew have approached it with their usual vigour. The Bandit IV is not just a tweak as you might expect, but a complete redevelopment of what was there before. The profile has changed, the canopy arc is different, there are two struts instead of 5 and the wingtips hove been squared off. Oh and if you always wanted a trim option your kite then this has now been provided. Just a bit of an update to the kite then!
The new bar from F-One is still in the production stages, we got to see a sample of the now one piece aluminium moulding and we can confirm it is super light and really stiff. What we did get to try on our test 11 m we brought home with us was the new rigging set up on an old bar. The now chicken loop still uses the Velcro release system but this year sees a moulded plastic release handle, the same handle is on the end of the depower strop which is again above the bar. As over it is a beautifully simple system and the bar feels totally uncluttered. Whilst we liked the new chicken loop release we did feel it rubbed a bit on your hands every now and then. Perhaps with time it will soften up.
In the Air
Launching the Bandit IV you immediately notice the three-strut layout, and this is perhaps the most important aspect of the kite. The Bandit has always had good range, but by removing two of the struts the kite has become much lighter, the panel layout actually uses less Dacron in its Force Frame than the older versions too. The weighs loss means there is much more bottom end as the kite is keener to get up in the air in lighter winds. This then allows them to narrow the arc profile to give the kite more of a C-Shape. In turn that means the kite turns in a wider arc rather than pivot on its wing tips and develops a much more exciting loop curve. Does all this work in reality? Yes. The kite is very lively in the hands and the wider loop arc yet foster turn allows the kite to really loop like a C kite, it is also really easy to get the kite back up above your head for smoother landings. The wider tips make the turning speed come alive and the bridle, which is actually very similar to last year doesn’t detract from the “fool” of the kite too much. Perhaps most impressive is the stability in the air. We really thought that the loss of two struts would affect the canopy stability somewhat. But even in gusty conditions the kite is solid as a rock, considerably more solid than last year. In terms of the performance the kite is a blast to fly, the jumping this year is insane, we were boosting so high in strong winds we never felt we would come down! And the kite is so well behaved as well. Last year the Bandit Ill was a kite for everyone, this year it definitely has more of a performance edge to it. The kite loops, unhooked riding, speed and jumping capabilities are all notable. So is that going to leave the not so confident rider wanting? Well, no it shouldn’t, remember the Bandit IV is still a Delta, and that means whilst it has the performance to impress the best riders it is still a very stable shape that is so easy to relaunch it is perfect for people learning. Last year some riders felt the Bandit lacked a little in top end performance, this year they won’t be disappointed...
Classic F-One build quality and design, faster, lighter and more responsive than last year the top end of this kite just stepped up a gear.
Our only bug was the chicken loop release was a little annoying on the hands, being hard plastic it sticks out a bit. Other than that we really couldn’t find fault.
It looks like F-One have another winner on their hands with the Bandit IV, we wondered how they would improve it, but improve it they have, get a ride on one soon...