10 years of BANDIT!
- This is the tenth model of the BANDIT!
- A kite model remaining a best seller for so long is such an exceptional and rare feat!
- The BANDIT is probably the best selling kite in the world!
- How can such a success spread over all these years be explained?
- How has the BANDIT been able to navigate through all the trends and fashions?
- Could the BANDIT be like a diamond which gets crafted over time?
First of all, this success proves that opting, ever since the first edition, for the DELTA C SHAPE concept that we developed and patented, was the right choice over the long term since this has really answered the demands of the users. The flight behavior qualities brought by this design, its relaunch abilities and its safety have carved the longevity of the BANDIT when other concepts have required re-design or have simply disappeared.
We also pay a lot of attention to the trends of our sport and the BANDIT has always followed these evolutions.
Our design brief is very exacting, with a very wide array of performance and flying abilities, which is rather uncommon for a individual kite. The complete set of tests and checks that we perform on every single prototype of each collection is truly uncompromising therefore pushing the kites to the maximum with no settling for second best.
Year after year, every aspect deemed as slightly under performing is improved, while keeping all the qualities achieved to that point.
When designing the kites power is always prioritized when developing the larger sizes while strapless and wave riding are the main design criterions for the smaller sizes.
We work to make sure the whole range is fully consistent so that every different size can be handled with confidence with no adaptation required. Every size benefits from the same level of quality and performance as the others.
Micka and I have been the unique developers since the first BANDIT ! We have therefore been testing this kite together for the last 10 years while Robert GRAHAM joined us 4 years ago to take care of the design and reach the level of accuracy required to keep improving ever more.
During the 10 month long development period, our R&D team remains constantly focused on the evolution of the BANDIT. Between 70 and 80 prototypes and a lot of testing days on the water (more than 200 this year) are required to create a new generation. As an example: one week of tests in Cabo Verde represents 450km per tester on the water to test between 5 and 10 prototypes.
Unlike what can be heard here or there, the BANDIT isn’t a compromise resulting in average performances and missing the single top qualities…. No, the BANDIT actually excels in many disciplines and can be found on numerous podiums whether for comparative reviews or actual competition events.
It’s easy to explain that our kite is the best in the world through the use of all the superlatives… but explaining why and how is actually a lot more interesting.
Yet, the usual question still remains: what have you improved on this new collection?
The BANDIT features many qualities, which sometimes appear to oppose each other and this is where the challenge lies. How can we get power but keep the high range? Hang time and boost but with some comfort? Make the kite maneuverable but keep it stable? Build it light and always robust?
All the R&D work lies in these opposing characteristics that are nevertheless all required when you kite. To be honest, gathering the impossible and transforming all the sensations that this piece of fabric provides is what we like so much. So we can take on a lot. Not taking anything for granted and leaving no stone unturned is essential.
For its tenth edition, we wanted the BANDIT to keep all its qualities but become even easier and more comfortable to fly. Because, whether we are thinking of the pro-riders, ourselves or our customers, having a more comfortable and intuitive kite is a bonus whatever your level.
We remain focused on the core values: the feeling and the enjoyment brought by the kite. To make sure each session is enjoyed whatever the conditions and to make sure you keep improving your riding and enhance your passion and motivation.
Most of our work has been focused on traction and speed. For its tenth year, the new BANDIT provides a unique traction.
Powerful enough to achieve early planing, the kite seems to self-regulate naturally to pull you effortlessly. What is most surprising is that we have got rid of the lateral pull so that you can ride with less pressure on your back and in your legs. Riding upwind is amazingly easy, traction is softer and totally regulated.
Why speed? We started from the idea that everything gets easier if we can ride slower. Things like absorbing the chop, edge and load before jumping, surfing… so pretty much all we do while riding. The novelty is that the BANDIT X will pull you with less speed without losing its other qualities such as power and boost when you need it.
When over-powered, it keeps its performance and the profile remains clean with no distortions. The BANDIT remains stable, comfortable and efficient even in impressively strong winds. All these qualities will benefit all kitesurfers but they will be even more appreciated when riding strapless.
You will also notice a change in the shape: the wingtips of the BANDIT X are slightly wider and squarer. This brings more maneuverability and a lighter feel. Each size feels a little smaller and more responsive while remaining very intuitive.
It’s hang-time, boost and lift during the jumps have also been improved. It is easier to send the kite to the zenith thanks to the better control we get when edging and the boost is powerful and clean. The improved profile brings a lot of lift when gliding down.
Kite loops are even neater and faster for maximum thrills and ease of use.
The bar is what links you to the kite so it is therefore an important element to preserve the steering qualities of a kite. For this 10th BANDIT, we have improved the progressiveness of the bar pressure as you sheet in. The pressure rises step by step as you sheet in giving you a very clear and accurate feedback on the power available.
The bar angle required to turn the kite and steer it is low and this allows us to use shorter bars. The pressure rises also together with the angle and there is no gap or delay. You know exactly where is the kite without needing to look at it.
You feel like you are in direct grip with the kite – everything feels very natural and intuitive. There is therefore no period of adaptation needed and you feel confident straight away throw your latest tricks.
Year after year, the construction and reinforcements are improved based on feedback from all over the world. The BANDIT X is delivered as the fruit of a long and unique development process offering flawless manufacturing quality.
Safety is also part of the design priorities: the impressive range of use and control offered by the kite, together with its construction quality, its relaunch ability using the Delta C Shape concept and its efficient safety release which enables an easy reconnection to relaunch and carry on riding in any situation, all contribute to the safety level offered by the kite in everyday use.
The BANDIT X is an exceptionally thrilling device and our motivation to improve it year after year is limitless. It is not the latest, marketing based, trendy kite with fancy but useless accessories. It remains pure/untouched/authentic and the fruit of our passion for kitesurfing and R&D.