Kitesurfing Magazine: It wasn’t that long ago that F-One’s Bandit was the only kite in the lineup. Will we see the lineup grow even more?
Chloé Scamps: If we tell you then it wouldn’t be a surprise would it? No, to be honest we now have kites to fulfil our needs in every discipline: freeride, freestyle, waves, foil, big-air, speed. We are keeping this lineup and making each kite even better than it already is.
Kitesurfing Magazine: What was the most challenging performance attribute to achieve in the new Bandit? What’s the secret to designing a kite that is great for freestyle and the surf?
Chloé Scamps: The work we put into the Bandit is all about offering the best flying feeling possible. We are constantly trying to reduce the lateral forces you feel when kiting. This year we managed to find the right balance between good traction power and pull. There is no secret actually; it takes hundreds of hours of testing, for each size, in all conditions. It is also important for us to test with our team, as they give feedback about their needs.
Kitesurfing Magazine: How has the early popularity of foil boarding in Europe influenced the F-One product line? Why do you think foiling was so quick to take off in France?
Chloé Scamps: There was a crucial need for another discipline in Europe as we don’t get much wind in summer and we could not stand going to the beach without riding. Foiling became the solution for the 8-to-12 knot slot where we didn’t really know what to do. So we started foiling and we discovered a new world rich with opportuny. We worked for a couple years before launching the collection which would fit the foiling needs of the riders.
Kitesurfing Magazine: The new Linx bar with single line flagging is a major change for F-One. Can it be used with older Bandits? How does the V height influence kite performance and design?
Chloé Scamps: Our new bar is definitely a big change for this new collection. Not only do we have a new One Line Flag Out safety system, but we have also added a manual swivel on top of the chicken loop. There is a new stainless steel ring on the front lines so riders can choose to run the front lines either through or outside the ring to have a short or full front V.
Kites like the FURTIVE perform better with a full front V while the Bandit flies better with the short V. The new LINX bar is also adjustable from 52 cm to 45 cm. You just need to pull on the tab and flip the internal plastic insert around to tune the bar.
One bar fits all Bandits, FURTIVEs, BREEZEs and TRUSTs.
Kitesurfing Magazine: Alex Caizergues just broke the kite speed record 57.97 knots using F-One gear. He was using the F-One FURTIVE big air kite. Was it a fully stock setup? How involved is the F-One R&D team in projects like speed trials? Does having the trials location close to the office help?
Chloé Scamps: In 2014 Alex Caizergues asked us for some custom kites to beat his own speed record. The design brief was to reach a maximum speed by riding overpowered with a 6.5 meter with an average of 50 knots. This is when the FURTIVE was born; a high aspect ratio kite with five struts for the 6.5 meter up to 10 meter. Alex for this record was riding a fully stock setup: a 6.5 meter FURTIVE along with the AC21 Pro Model speed gun. The R&D team is always listening carefully to what Alex has to say about his gear, but the FURTIVE goes through the same testing process as the Bandit for example.
Kitesurfing Magazine: What other big projects are you working on for 2018?
Chloé Scamps: Foiling is definitely a big project for us, as we are finding more ways to satisfy all client needs. We really want to participate in the development of this sport in a more accessible way, so all kitesurfers wanting to foil can find the gear that matches their needs. You will soon be hearing all about it.