I just had the chance to demo a 7m Bandit 5 for a few hour session. Wind was mid to high teens at the start and low to mid 20s at the peak. I was riding a 6' surfboard and weigh 175.
First of all, when I went out I didn't think a 7m would be enough. I would have pumped my current 9m kite. The Bandit has a very small leading edge and is a light kite. I was surprised when I went out that I had plenty of power to go upwind and could ride waves in either direction. I have never ridden a F-One kite before so cannot compare to previous generations, but I can honestly say it is the nicest kite I have ever flown.
The kite is FAST, but predictable and precise. Good power was generated in the turns, but its a very smooth and linear power. Its hard to describe, but the best word I can think of is smooth. Depower was amazing. I am not a fan of complete depower because it is usually too on/off. The Bandit 5 has incredible depower in a very short amount of depower rope, but its also somehow smooth and linear and just felt perfect. I could bottom turn with speed and depower enough to not be pulled off the board. The kite also goes upwind incredibly well. I was on a smaller kite than most guys out at the start but was able to go anywhere. When the wind picked up, there was no change in kite behavior except some added power.
And then I rode a left, which I was unable to do well on my previous kites at this particular location because they would pull me off the wave with the wind direction. With the Bandit I was able to get into the pocket of the wave like never before. I think it was the combination of the high upwind tack and then being able to easily control the kites power/depower while surfing the wave. I could not get the smile off of my face.
I have to say, although it was only a few hours, I loved the kite and placed an order immediately for a 7 and 9. I have flown most brands over the years and for my style, I believe I have found the perfect kite. I'll post a full review once I get the other kites and have more days on them.
For now, I'd strongly encourage people to demo one if you can. I'm still smiling from that session 2 days ago.
PS, I have no brand affiliation and pay for my gear. I've been riding 9 years and ride strapless surfboards most recently.
Thnx for the review
Maybe you could give me some advise !?
I'm thinking of getting a quiver of Bandit5's but are wondering what sizes to get, and how many
I'm 90kg/190 lbs and ride both TTs and surfboards.
Currently I'm having a RPM 12 and 8 and can cover most days, even if I could wish for a14 m some days.
I haven't had the chance to try the Bandits yet, but were originally thinking of 14, 10 and 7 even if I like the thought of just having to carry 2 kites around....
I just changed my ozone Reo 10/8/6 quiver, as although nice kites for my onshore wave riding I didn't like the fluttering when de powered. I tested the Bandit 5 and it does all the things that the Reo did just a lot smoother. It has a better bottom end, I have just got a 9 and 7 as I ride surfboards, if I had a TT too I'd have a 12 as well, I'm 85kg.