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Bandit XI (2018) 11m & 9m review

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Created by Yakari 6 months ago, 12 Apr 2018
Yakari
QLD, 5 posts
12 Apr 2018 12:08PM
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Hi all,

Here is a genuine, un-biased review of the F-One Bandit XI (2018) 9m & 11m, for those looking for new gear.

- Disclaimer: I'm a passionate rider, no affiliation to any brand, I buy my gear at the local shops like most of us, where I also get to demo occasionally some new gear every year.

- My usual program: I like to free ride on twin tips, old school big jumps with board tricks / rotations, a bit of wave occasionally, not much unhook and I haven't tried yet tried foiling.

- I am 75kg, been kiting for 11 years, I like riding oversized kites for bigger air time, from 12knots - 45knots+

- I hadn't tried any F-One since the Bandit 1, wasn't my cup of tea at the time. Though I heard recently that it's the most sold kite/brand in the world so they must be doing something right, so when I got a chance to ride one on the Gold Coast, I gave it a try with an open mind. They just don't have a very big presence yet in Australia compared to Cabrinha and North.

Those Bandits are perfect all rounders, they do everything super well, best depower I've tried, accessible for beginners and all the firepower you need for advanced riders, awesome kitelooper, good upwind, massive wind range, great jumping height ...
Trying those was so worth it that I bought the 11m and the 9m

- Favourite other kites I tried earlier this year : the North Rebel 2018 10m, the Ozone Edge v9 10m. Both slow as road trains alas but best big air & long floaty jumping kites I've tried (tried both in 28-30knots), I love them for that... just for that though.
I also tried a few other kites including the Naish Pivot from last year, but it wasn't my thing. Almost no power in the kite loops frustrated me a bit, even though the jumps are nice and long.


The LINX BAR (2018):
I really like it: very simple, thin, adjustable width at the end for smaller kites sizes, perfect bar. Only comment: they forgot the slider/stopper to do hands-off-the-bar tricks such as the deadman... I'll have to find a solution for that, any suggestions? That won't bother many of us though. 4.5/5


THE BANDIT XI (2018):

- Conditions: I tried the 9m in gusty 25-40 knots and the 11m in 15-30knots, both in the waves and flat water.

- Set Up / inflation : very fast and easy, unusual pump connection called the Reactor Valve on the kite but it works great. Self launch & land easy, relaunch is very easy. Bag and pump: good and strong, who cares? 5/5

- Materials : The kite feels strong and light. Most big brands like North, F-One, Naish... seem to invest in their R&D and even though kites performance haven't improved radically in the last 10 years (the best kites back then), the materials definitely have. They have a good reputation for durability and seem to have the right balance of reinforcements and protections over weight. So I'm happy with that. 5/5

- Stability and behavior : The Bandit is very stable and I felt straight away at ease in all conditions, easy to understand and to pilot as well as getting some very high performance out of it in no time.

- Turning speed: very fast turning, easy to steer, medium/light bar pressure for the 11m and light for 9m (I only tried the medium settings though, there is a lighter and a heavier setting on the kite back lines attachments), easy to control with one hand while feeling where the kite is without looking at it. Perfect. 5/5

- Kite loops: This Bandit is a kite loop machine, so much fun, easy to get a fast turn with steady gentle power to finish a jump or trick, and also easy to get lot more grunts if you pull a bit less hard on the bar and get a slower turn. It invites you to be more playful and adventurous. Perfect. 5/5

- High End: They depower instantly when pushing the bar, it's very impressive and so convenient. That allows you to ride big size in very high winds without being worried. The Rebel and the Edge V9 have that great depower too, excellent high end. I tried the 9m in 45 knots gusty winds and it was so much fun, jumps forever. 5/5

- Low End: I tried the 11m in 14-15knots and it was easy to go upwind, do some jumps and small tricks. Not a dedicated light wind kite or a low end grunt machine but excellent for me. 5/5

- Jumping: It's a great jumping kite, goes high with a great boost/lift and lands gently with or without kiteloop. It requires a touch of technique to go super high but it's easy to find the timing. The Bandit doesn't float as long as some other big air/floaty kites (Rebel & Edge), which are usually heavy and slow turning. 4.5/5 for air time and 5/5 for height.

- Waves: I didn't get a lot of time in the waves but it felt versatile and awesome for that, it drifts enough (not as much as a pure wave kite but I find those hard to use for anything else that wave downwinders). Though mono-directional boards are not (yet) my field of expertise, Mitu Monteiro would be a better reference to show what this kite can do in waves :) 5/5


CONCLUSION:
So overall, the Bandit XI is an amazing combo of high performances, I've never ridden a kite that does so much so well. There's usually a trade off if you want a specialized kite for waves, or jumps or un-hooked,.. and this one hits the best notes in the disciplines I prefer, and probably too in those I'm not venturing (yet) much into. It's such a fun machine.
I think I'll use the 11m for < 35knots and the 9m for > 30knots for optimal fun and boost, even though they'd be fine outside these wind ranges. I could do 99% of kiting here in QLD solely with the 11m if I wanted a one kite quiver, but I know that my gf will love that 9m when she gets back into it, so one stone / two birds.


As always, I suggest not to spend too much time reading the marketing blabla of the brands, the best way to chose your kite is unarguably to demo it if you get the chance! I know the F-One national dealer does demo them on the Gold Coast, otherwise ask your local kite shop.

Good luck and have fun!

Fredos
2 posts
16 Apr 2018 1:19PM
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Hi mate,
Thanks for your input, great review. I've also heard a lot of great stuff about those Bandits but haven't had a chance to try one yet. I see quite few of those on the beach here and I must say they seem fun. I'll see if I can borrow one.
I've been riding Rebel for ages and I agree, they're slow as and jumping is heaven. It really depends what your into and there are no kite that do everything the best. I also tried the Ozone Edge v9 and it jumps better than the Rebel, only by a notch but it's even heavier and slower.
For me it's time for an upgrade, Bandit is first on my list.
Cheers

lynxmo0
WA, 55 posts
16 Apr 2018 2:25PM
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Great review! I have been riding Bandits for 11 years, tried so many other brands and always come back to it. I completely agree with everything you say; this kite is extremely fun, performs very well and is so easy to control. I do a bit of wakestyle and foil as well and it works extremely well too.

I'm quite surprised you take your 11m in up to 35 knots though . I usually switch to my 9 from 20-25 knots and I'm 85kg... probably because I am more focused on wakestyle and kiteloops than hang time. My preferred conditions are 30-50 knots with the 9m, it's so much fun...

Yakari
QLD, 5 posts
17 Apr 2018 8:09AM
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Hi Lynxmo0,
Thanks. Yes you're right, I use the 11m in up to 35knots because it is great for airtime and old school big jumps and tricks, I'm a bit more careful on the kiteloops in the upper end :)
The wind range per size you suggest would be the most comfortable and recommended use I think. I just like riding overpowered.
50knots must be fun in the 9m! Can't wait to try that out but it doesn't happen very often in SE QLD.
WA seems more generous with high winds than here.

Have you tried the 12m?

lynxmo0
WA, 55 posts
17 Apr 2018 2:11PM
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Yeah, I got 9m and 12m and don't need anything else due to the wind range this kite can offer. I use my 9m 90% of the time but I usually don't bother going out under 20 knots ... WA can indeed be very generous!

mazdon
799 posts
17 Apr 2018 11:43PM
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Please post just prior to your next 50kn session on your 9m in WA, and I'll scoot down and watch.

Greenarrowz
NSW, 254 posts
18 Apr 2018 7:06AM
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+1 This reveiw sounds as desparate as the Buzz thread already....same poster opens 2 new accounts at the same time.
That doesnt carry any real weight ........

Fly on da wall
VIC, 623 posts
18 Apr 2018 1:04PM
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There's been more bandit reviews this year than Cauncy has posted about his fixation with Plummet and sheep.. Sheepzas!

Yakari
QLD, 5 posts
19 Apr 2018 4:49PM
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Hi Greenarrowz,
I like those conspiracy theories. Though it's a genuine review, I bought my gear recently from Briskites in Brisbane from Jason & Travis (I got the last ones), nothing suspicious there.
I've been reading the seabreeze forum for a while and getting sometimes good info out of it, and I finally contributed with something worth sharing.
I see you regularly sell some Switch gear, big fan or rep I don't know and it's cool to support a brand, be open minded that some other toys can be really cool too.
I haven't tried those yet but keen to test if I see one around.

Great session on Tuesday in Brighton with the Bandit 11m in Brighton in 15-30knots winds. This kite jumps really high and actually floats even better with 1-2cm of depower on the front lines (full power seem to over-sheet a touch). I had so much fun with board off tricks and some other old school moves I didn't dare trying before with other kites.

Cheers

Basaurus
QLD, 4 posts
31 May 2018 9:49PM
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Select to expand quote
Greenarrowz said..
+1 This reveiw sounds as desparate as the Buzz thread already....same poster opens 2 new accounts at the same time.
That doesnt carry any real weight ........


Desperate as can be. Heap of turd. 11 year old design with 3 pulleys and a bridle that still wraps. Might as well buy a best nemesis.

Livit
WA, 385 posts
1 Jun 2018 3:29PM
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Select to expand quote
Basaurus said..

Greenarrowz said..
+1 This reveiw sounds as desparate as the Buzz thread already....same poster opens 2 new accounts at the same time.
That doesnt carry any real weight ........



Desperate as can be. Heap of turd. 11 year old design with 3 pulleys and a bridle that still wraps. Might as well buy a best nemesis.


Have you tried it? Loving these kites and never had the bridles wrapping...

eppo
WA, 6584 posts
2 Jun 2018 1:52PM
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The new bandit is a terrible kite, terrible at everything.

Disclaimer: I've never ridden a bandit kite before.

Thought I'd just add some more of the usual great information you get on here.

lynxmo0
WA, 55 posts
13 Jun 2018 5:34PM
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Select to expand quote
Basaurus said..
Desperate as can be. Heap of turd. 11 year old design with 3 pulleys and a bridle that still wraps. Might as well buy a best nemesis.

Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong again:
- the design is reviewed and improved every year
- 2 pulleys each side
- bridles do not wrap on latest versions and very rarely did it before
- Best don't exist anymore

Fly on da wall
VIC, 623 posts
13 Jun 2018 8:59PM
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Select to expand quote
lynxmo0 said..

Basaurus said..
Desperate as can be. Heap of turd. 11 year old design with 3 pulleys and a bridle that still wraps. Might as well buy a best nemesis.


Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong again:
- the design is reviewed and improved every year
- 2 pulleys each side
- bridles do not wrap on latest versions and very rarely did it before
- Best don't exist anymore


But have you tried the latest Toyota Yaris? Heaps better than previous model's with heaps of changes and no deadly air bags so there shouldn't be any unforeseen injuries to buyer's! Bit like those kites with the deadliest history in kites to date. Just Google it.. Ffs..

Bossstyle
89 posts
4 Aug 2018 8:07AM
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For those that have actually tried the bandit 2018's have you played with the lone settings? I always used to change my rear lines to the third setting furthest from the wing tip or heavier baroressure setting as found that best setting for good jumps and loops and stopped the canopy flap or whirring noise through loops a little. Does the new bandit still fly better on that setting and jump better on it or is it better in the middle setting on this newer one?

Yakari
QLD, 5 posts
27 Aug 2018 4:42PM
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Select to expand quote
Bossstyle said..
For those that have actually tried the bandit 2018's have you played with the lone settings? I always used to change my rear lines to the third setting furthest from the wing tip or heavier baroressure setting as found that best setting for good jumps and loops and stopped the canopy flap or whirring noise through loops a little. Does the new bandit still fly better on that setting and jump better on it or is it better in the middle setting on this newer one?


Hey mate,
Good question, haven't tried yet those settings. Jack the F-One dealer on the GC said not to bother with changing those rear line attachments as the middle setting is the best. Though, like you, I found in the past that most kites jump higher on the forward settings (heavier bar pressure too, which I don't like). I'll try this setting and let you know.

Macster
VIC, 210 posts
30 Aug 2018 10:02PM
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Select to expand quote
Bossstyle said..
For those that have actually tried the bandit 2018's have you played with the lone settings? I always used to change my rear lines to the third setting furthest from the wing tip or heavier baroressure setting as found that best setting for good jumps and loops and stopped the canopy flap or whirring noise through loops a little. Does the new bandit still fly better on that setting and jump better on it or is it better in the middle setting on this newer one?



I tried moving the bridal connection points from the middle to the end today (quickest turning) on a 2018 11m Bandit.

It was a bit of an anticlimax and made little difference. The kite is already insanely fast and so extra turn speed wasn't really required nor that noticable along with any change in bar pressure.

When I have tried this on other delta kites it has allowed the kite to sit higher in the wind window and give you better lightwind performance and upwind attack angles. This did occur somewhat on the Bandit. I noticed that my kiteloops when jumping were slightly more elevated like a heliloop versus being deeper in the wind window.

So for me if I was foilboarding or trying to get upwind further I'd consider this setting but for twintip riding I'd leave it as is.

I dont usually fly the Bandit and own the Vegas, FX and Flysurfer Soul so take my comments as a casual rider of the Bandit with about 6 hours in total over the last few days.

My other thoughts on the Bandit:

Let me also say that it is such a fun and forgiving kite that gives you the confidence to throw kiteloops on new tricks and in high winds that I would usually be too scared to do. It has an incredible wind range. I have been flying the 11m it in 12 - 30 knots and I weigh around 80kgs.

Because the kite is so agile, light and can build up apparent wind quickly, the 11m can almost hold it's ground against the 15m North Juice if you do heaps of loops and know how not to choke a delta kite on the upstroke.

The height on jumps and hang time is great.

Not so great: I hate the inflate / deflate design but that was cause no one showed me how to use it and I kept dumping all my air when trying to pump the fricken thing up! There's no reinforcing patch where the valve rubs against the canopy when packed in the bag and the kite I used had worn two pin holes in the canopy from the hard plastic valve.

The canopy flaps a lot. Looping it has everyone looking at you from the beach, sadly not cause you're doing an awesome trick but cause they're wondering what the hell that noise is! Maybe put the batons back in?

Unhooking: you can do a railey or unhooked backroll on any kite I guess and the same goes for the Bandit but I cant say it's well suited for it as it drifts so easily and is so agile that you need rock solid control to avoid sending the kite up.

Lastly, I noticed a bit of minor back pain on this kite. i think deceptively cause there's so little bar pressure you dont realise how much lateral pull is running through your harness. I also wonder if the improved upwind angles I have been acheiving on the Bandit stretched my old bones in new angles they're not use to? Anyway, Im sure time on the Bandit would iron out my aches but just interesting that over the last two weeks of riding over a dozen leading brands that this is the only kite that gives me a bit of back ache...?

Anyway, awesome kite that I would happily add to my collection but not necessarily sell my Vegas, Fx or Souls for but that's mainly cause I hardly ride in waves and like to throw the odd unhooked trick.

Macster
VIC, 210 posts
30 Aug 2018 10:20PM
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Another thought: maybe the back ache is cause I've been flying an 11m in upto 30 knots?! Id usually be reaching for my 8m Vegas or FX in that wind!

cauncy
WA, 6373 posts
30 Aug 2018 8:30PM
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Select to expand quote
Fly on da wall said..
There's been more bandit reviews this year than Cauncy has posted about his fixation with Plummet and sheep.. Sheepzas!


ive heard your a bit of a bum bandit, size and year doesnt matter

Bossstyle
89 posts
3 Sep 2018 7:05AM
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I think you moved the knots the wrong way. moving towards the wing tip makes it lighter turning and not so much feel. I meant moving the to the position more towards the centre of the kite. stops it being so noisy in loops etc. higher bar pressure. better for jumping and tricks. I have been watching the videos on the flysurfer soul. I really want one but they are so dear. I want the 15m. What size do you have and what do you think of them?

Macster
VIC, 210 posts
4 Sep 2018 11:01AM
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I have the 8m and 12m Soul. Awesome kites for their intended purpose. Some people use them on twin tips for mowing the grass and jumping. You'll get amazing lift and hangtime but unless you're doing old school hooked in tricks, I'd find that a bit repetitive and boring after a while.

On a foil board they are magic! I wrote a more descriptive review in a seperate thread for the Soul.

Bossstyle
89 posts
16 Sep 2018 3:06AM
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I got the soul 15m. Bloody awesome kite. Still loving my bandit 2018's though.



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"Bandit XI (2018) 11m & 9m review" started by Yakari