F-ONE BANDIT '21 9M
BANDIT '21 9M
TESTED BY: Bully & Jim
TESTER BIOS AND TEST PARAMETERS: Here
Last year the original ‘one kite to do it all’ split to become the Bandit S (for waves and freeride) and the Bandit Twenty-Twenty (for performance twin-tip freeriding). As always with a Bandit, the Twenty-Twenty had great low end and top end performance, but delivered a more physical steering experience; turning and looping more powerfully. A year on, the Bandit 2021 is now cleaner in its relationship between steering, sheeting, lift and loops.
BACK TO BEAUTIFUL BANDIT BASICS Meatier looking in the sky, the Bandit 2021 seems even more boxy and powerful. There’s zero slippage between the gears and a constantly smooth interaction between rider and kite. While the Twenty-Twenty model was incredible for loops, there was a bit of sheeting management needed to squeeze lots of lift into a jump before sending a loop. Now the Bandit 2021 charges forward with a really positive feel and tension in the back lines the whole time.
The ‘21 is also firmer in the steering than the Bandit S. Not so much ‘heavier’, but it holds more power through the turns and you engage with that throughout all the kite’s movements. This is the most jumping and loop oriented Bandit to date, though there is still the famous Bandit security of incredible range and being able to turn the power off in a nano second.
For riders wanting to feel confident in strong conditions and have a responsive kite that delivers epic sensations when you throw it around, the Bandit 2021 is excellent. Quick response and good depower mean that you can step into wave riding, but you need to be flowing with it through its more powerful turns; utilising the kite’s movement rather than trying to fight against it. The power is less off/on than the Bandit S, but if you’re a good kite handler you can certainly take advantage of the kite’s good bottom end and rapid response for a great wave session.
The pure jump height and hangtime is better than last year. This year Raphael and the team have obviously spent their time tweaking the relationship between sheeting and steering, which now blend excellently into a very linear feel with zero stalling. Last year, we just felt that the sheeting and steering feel had lost a little of its joined up Bandit connection in the Twenty-Twenty model. The Bandit 2021 gets into first gear and off the mark super quick, no hesitation and now flies forward with constant power and connection. You can send it with 100% confidence and, although is slower round the window than the Bandit S, the 2021 still travels quickly, but drives forward around the tips, rather than inward at the bottom of the window, delivering more feel and power throughout. For some inexperienced riders the Bandit 2021 is going to feel heavier in the turns and perhaps a bit too sporty. Its natural setting is to deliver more torque and higher revs, so anyone who does enjoy the feeling of sending a kite back through the window to jump, rather than just sheeting overhead, will really enjoy this.
LINX BAR The Linx bar remains unchanged from 2020, which was 99% the same as 2019 apart from colour changes and some minor tweaks to some of the smaller components. Those include the more rounded shape of the splice so it moves more freely and the V box on the line splitter has been locked in position better and the two holes are bigger for smoother running lines.
Simply, easy, safe, comfortable, effective and available in 52/45 or 45/38cm widths for the Bandit (there is also a 5-line 42/35cm design available for freestylers using the WTF kite).
“there’s now also a return to the gorgeous Bandit feeling of the steering and sheeting working so beautifully together. The Bandit 2021 delivers good amounts of power from the moment you move the kite. It’s the best performance twin-tip riding Bandit yet.”
"The Bandit 2021 delivers good amounts of power from the moment you move the kite. It’s the best performance twin-tip riding Bandit yet."
SUMMARY: Last year’s Bandit Twenty-Twenty gave you a legit loop, but there’s now also a return to the gorgeous Bandit feeling of the steering and sheeting working so beautifully together. The Bandit 2021 delivers good amounts of power from the moment you move the kite. It’s the best performance twin-tip riding Bandit yet. KW LIKED:
Incredible range combined with constant forward flight and clean connection throughout all kite movements. KW WOULD CHANGE: Very little. This is a shining example of how a modern C shape hybrid kite for good twin-tippers looking for high levels of freeride performance should feel across a huge range of conditions.
BANDIT 2021 BALANCE POINTS: Build quality: 9 Full package: 9 Low end: 8 Top end: 8.5 Steering speed: 7 Turning circle: 7 Bar pressure: 6 Water relaunch: 8.5 Drift: 8 Boost: 8.5 Hang-time: 8.5 Unhooked: Good Crossover: 7 Ease of use: 8.5