After 4 weeks of comparing the F-one Bandit from 2015 (“version 8”) and the North Dice 2015, we have made quite some notes and remarks to fully evaluate the differences. We already made a description why we compare the Bandit and the Dice and what the similarities and differences are on the lines and bridles. This report is mostly on the performance (see below at “Details that matter”), the most important aspect of a kite. Any differences described here are on details. Both the Dice and the Bandit have much more in common than they have differences. We all felt very happy riding with both kites, whatever the rider or circumstances.
4 weeks in Spain, in and around Tarifa with up to 6 people (varying from 50 to 95 kg) riding 7, 9 and 11m’s at the same time in circumstance from a sunny, steady 17 knots, gusty 20 till 40 knots “Levante” and steady 35+ knots in the rain on flat to choppy waters and with waves up to 4 meters. In short: We came across all possible situation which provided excellent testing possibilities. They only aspect we are unable to test is the “durability”, since this will take months to discover.
Details which don’t really matter
We could go through a whole list of differences which don’t really matter. But some people are very sensitive on matters which don’t influence the performance, like the color options (F-one Bandit is available in nine colours. The Dice in just three colors), the size of the bag (bigger for Bandit) or the fact you can lengthen a guarantee period by 6 months (North Dice). So let’s list a few; The bag of the bandit is missing a bar pocket (you get a very sweet bag with it, which you probably use twice).
The amount of “extra’s” on the North kite (books, lines, spare parts for the one pump system etc.) is overwhelming. The deflate of the North is at the tip of the kite of the F-one at the middle. The Bandit (still) has a inflate/deflate connection on the middle strut, which has just one function: make you pump until you drop the first time you use the kite (it is open when you buy it). The Dice has a “lazy pump system” which will get you going roughly twice as fast as the old fashion one from the Bandit. The advised pressure for the Dice is 6 PSI for the Bandit 10 PSI.
The outline of the kites (see the pictures) is very much alike.
The Bandit has 3 possible settings for the steering lines, the Dice 2. The Bandit has 2 battens, the Dice 6. Those of the Dice can come out easily because it is closed by a piece of velcro, maybe a bit too easy. More serious, but still not really a major detail, is the fact the Bandit is making a very annoying sound from time to time, due to the shaking of the cloth at the back of the kite. Especially when the Bandit is going from one side of the power zone to the other it occurs a bit too much. The Dice is much more quiet. It might be explained by the 6 battens in the Dice but it could also be a different way of cutting the cloth (more tight?). We payed a lot of attention to this effect, but we could not really establish a negative effect of the shaken cloth, other than that it really is loud.
Details which matters
The Dice is quicker, needs less input and has a lighter bar feel. All though it is not really a huge difference, it is noticed by all riders. Even when the Dice is set to “hard” and the Bandit on “fast”, the Dice is still faster.
We did not really compare it, but we suspect the Bandit version 7 is faster than the Bandit 8. The bandit is a bit rougher than the Dice; The Bandit needs more input from the rider and is giving back a more on-off response. Where the Bandit is possibly a bit more suitable for freestyle, the Dice will be a bit gentler but also a bit more fun to the average rider.
F-one claims the Bandit 8 (among other improvements) that“The kite flies through the lulls as if there were nothing but constant wind.”. Since the levante winds in Tarifa “invented” inconstant winds; we could test this very thoroughly. All though it is quite difficult to test we cannot say it is noticeably different from the Dice 2015.
Both kites have a huge wind range, no limits in jumping, looping (set them to the “hard setting”!) or waveriding. It will suit most riders in any situation, and in our opinion will be both a good buy. Hopefully we have shown the differences so that it helps getting you a step closer to even more fun sessions on the water!
F-one Bandit 8 2015 9m, kite only: 1150,-
F-one Monolith Bar: 439,-
North Dice 2015 9m, kite only: 1159,-
North Quad 2015 bar: 459,-
Do you mean the inflate opens? This can happen on a Bandit (even on a 9th version) since is has the old fashion small inflate. Slingshot sells a device to make sure that doesn’t happen; it is called a valve clip.
Basically it has to do with the general state of F-one Bandit; it isn’t the most durable kite. The wheels in the bridles, lines and inflate aren’t as up to date as some other brands are.
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Why is my bandit 8 6m deflating every time it is smashes on the water?
Does anybody else has this problem?
No problem to ask us.
I think you made a good choice. The Dice is at least as quick and as the RPM. It will allow you more freedom since it is a bit less raw or more friendly.
Range wise it is also a fraction better than a RPM. The Dice is more on-off when pulling/pushing the bar.
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Hi! Sorry to bother here but have a doubt about what kite to buy and no demo chances!.
I’m 84 kg riding a 12m RPM 2013 (2 seasons & my first kite). For several reasons I want/need to change my kite.
I still don´t do great things, some jumps, backrolls and want to have a do-it-all kite so I can continue defining my style.
For sure I don´t want to jump from my RPM to a really slow kite, that´s why I was thinking on a Dice (2015 12m). What do you think? Will I have the same range that with the RPM??
Thanks again Dave
I have to see how the Neo is like, but the Evo has a way better low end than the Bandit (both 2016). I assume (but did not test yet) the Neo is also better in light winds than the Bandit.
Thanks again for your opinion. I was thinking that a Neo for light winds may not be ok since I assume wind will be some how there when waves are there. This is the reason why I was thinking that a kite specific for these conditions may be good. Or just I drop the idea to kite below 12 Knt that may also be a decision to take. I’m essentially looking at freeride and waves wake and freestyle is not what I’m planning to do.
I would take one line for all kites, but that is just to be sure and a personal preference not based on any clear advantage other than that overlap between 2 the same types won’t occur.
Thanks DAVE. I will check around but in fact I was thinking if it make any difference to have one model in many size vs couple of kite models for each size and condition. As a sample a Evo/Bandit 12 m for light wind freeride and a Neo 9/8m for good wind condition freeride and wave.
Thanks DAVE. I will check around but in fact I was thinking if it make any difference to have one model in many size vs many models for each size and condition. As a sample a Evo/Bandit 12 m for light wind freeride and a Neo 9/8m for good wind condition freeride and wave
I cannot tell you much about the Neo, we haven’t tested that one yet. We did test the Evo this week and that is a better option for light winds than a Dice.
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Hello I would like to have your view between the Neo in 12 m and the same size bandit in less than 15 Knt wind. I know it is not the initail topic…
we will get back on this while testing the Bandit version 9. I understand what you are asking (the bar never can get any further than the split point). So we need some strong winds to see how it deals with that (since that will be the critical situation a safety release is needed…
We haven’t got much wind lately so hopefully this will change soon!
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How was ctivating chicken-loop release on the Bandit? did the kite de-power, or keep pulling like a train……as it sits up on its leading edge, instead of falling back on to canopy?
Thank you for the answer! Bookmarked and liked at Facebook!
So I’m very much looking forward to seeing the results of this test.
thanks for the message.
Congratulations with the Dice’s. We just got a 9m 2016 for a test. We are waiting for some wind tot test it. I guess it will take about a week to have review on it.
PS see also our fb page, with some more informal messages on what we will test next.
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thanks for this comparison between this two kites. Helped me a lot and I bought the Dice 2016 in 9 and 12. Will there also be a test of 2016 Dice?
The 24 m lines will make the kite to slow and less responsive. The low end of the Dice good enough as it is even with the 22m lines. THe front line upgrade kit solves the scratching of black part. What still is a great mystery why North didn’t cover one of its lines with a sleeve.
It will break at this point within a year or so for sure.
picture north loine without sleeve
You can actually see it in their own picture. (light line upper left)
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Thanks for your fast reply Dave,
Can I ask you why 24m lines won’t be so nice? I’d like to hear more about that. I see a lot of people riding Dices with shorter bar (S/M) and 4 lines, but didn’t know about this difference between 24 and 22m lines. With 2 meters less, is the light wind condition going to be compromised a lot? Is it better shorter lines (22m) for wakestyle?
About the issue with the front line of the quad bar, I know NKB released an upgrade kit that has been sent for free to every customer (through official dealers). I’ve seen this kit in my shop, should be this one
Hope this helps Dave
very good questions! And thanks for also showing some feed back on how you like the different kites.
My personal opinion is that you probably have ridden the Rebel too long. It is so much not a kite that will let you try new moves.
The Dice is a perfect choice in your situation, the kite itself is perfect for it. I never tried it at 5 lines, but I have never seen people ride it with 5 lines. The quad bar is not bad, it has just one major Achilles heel; one of the 4 lines doesn’t have a pocket around its line at one end. It is one of the front lines attached to the safety near the split point, North has made a big mistake with this connection because it gets damaged really quickly. It will break really really too soon. Look at it with you sales person and Discuss this and ask for a solution. Also, put your steering lines at the hard setting, this makes a big difference compared to the soft settings.
Oh and use 22m lines! 24 will be not so nice. no doubt about that.
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my name is Paolo and I currently ride Rebels 6-9-12 in almost every conditions, from flat to storms, from 12 to 45 Kn, but i’m more oriented to wakestyle when the conditions are good. For this upcoming 2016 season i’m leaving my rebels, it’s a great wing that helped me a lot learning to kitesurf in the last 2 years and progress in this wonderful sport, but now it’s time to change, I want a more wakestyle oriented wing.
I’m going to stay with NKB, so I choosed to buy the brand new 2016 Dice 6-9-12.
Some reviews says that it’s a great kite for wave and wakestyle too. What do you think? I know it isn’t still on market, but let’s consider it similar to a 2015 Dice. Would it be a good choice for me that I’m a beginner going to intermediate in wakestyle? I just have a few tricks, like perfect railey, unhooked backloop, and I’m working on Railey to blind and S-bend (rebel doesn’t help at all)
I mostly ride with boots for wakestyle.
Another question, what about the bar? is it better a S/M 22m or a M/L 24m? Or both? But more than lines lenght, does it flies better with a Quad bar or a 5th line bar for wakestyle?
I don’t want to go with Vegas, I know it’s a wonderful wakestyle kite, I also tested the 2015 it for a week. Beautiful, but it’s too much for my level, it’s a pro kite I think.
Thank you so much
The Dice and the Best TS are way different. The best TS has lot’s of aspects which experienced riders will like. It is definitely not a choice for beginners. So yes, it has little low end, little bar feedback etc.
Sorry, we haven’t tested or used the Evo yet.
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I tried a Cab SB 2014 yesterday, also around the 10m range. I am definitely not one for a park and ride, slower kite. I will try arrange another Dice demo and make the call. I love the F Ones, but maybe the dice will just be a little bit smoother and easier than the Bandits.
How would you compare the Dice (2015) to the Best TS (2015), I have heard mention that these two are quite similar, but I didn’t get that impression when I flew the TS. The TS had less low end power, didn’t give the best feedback (because of its super light bar pressure). I would appreciate your thoughts?
Since these reviews, have you had any experience on the Evo 2015 vs Dice/Bandit…. That is really the only one I haven’t been able to demo yet.
Thanks for the question.
It is not an easy one; On one hand you should not worry about the C-aspects of the Dice, but on the other hand it is only so little softer or less aggressive than a Bandit. I would say that if you enjoyed the demo, go for it.
Fly the Dice (2015) with the steering lines on the fast/softer settings and you probably will love it. An option you may consider is the FX from Cabrinha, it is clearly a step towards a more softer and gentler kite but you need to like the little bar pressure.
Hope it helpes,
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I have been flying a 10m Bandit 6 (which I am lead to believe is very very similar to the bandit 8, except for material). I love the fun factor but sometimes its a bit aggressive for me. I am seriously considering the Dice 11m because I want a larger gap between my kites and I enjoyed a demo of a smaller Dice (the only demo I could get).
I am a beginner to intermediate rider, just starting to jump and get proper control of everything, living in Cape Town.
I have read quite a bit that the Dice isn’t a beginner kite and the “C-kite” profile worries me a bit.
Do you reckon it would be an easier kite to fly and progress on than the bandit?
Hi Bart,I think the differences are not that big. So my answer would be “no”.
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Hi, I want to upgrade my Bandit 6 10 meters to new Bandit and I think to change it to one meter down (9m). I wonder if due of modernisations 9 meters would be as powerful as old 10 meters. Have you any experience with that?
Hi Wesley, The Bandit will be a very good kite for this. Apart from some noise of the kite, it will give a very nice boost with plenty of hangtime and a super depower when needed if it is giving a bit too much power when trying, But I guess 25 knots will be the minimum for a 9m Bandit to go really big.
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Nice review! Im looking for a new set of kites and the bandit is one of the candidates. How will the bandit 9m hold with loops in 25+ knots? I like the big boost&hangtime but also want to master the loop! Thanks!
Hi Stephane, thanks for your message.
nice to hear you agree with the review
We hope to get our hands on 2016 material soon, maybe they got even better…
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Just had the chance to test the Dice (11m) vs Bandit 8 (10m) back-to-back today. I am no expert but can do a few jumps etc., I’d say I’m intermediate/experienced but no jump-and-trick-wonder. In my opinion, both great kites – coming from Bandit 6, the Bandit 8 felt very familiar. The Dice however, although being not used to it, immediately also felt like a kite I had been flying for years – amazing! I am under the impression that the Dice is overall just “smoother” and easier, where the Bandit is just a tad bit more aggressive. The Dice will boost you up, float, and make you land softly, and you can steer the kite blindfolded, it is very predictable and I could always feel and know where it was without having to double check – just nice and easy! The Bandits will boost you up a bit quicker, but you also come down harder, which maked landings on the Dice easier for me. This could also have been due to the fact that I tested the Dice 11m and the Bandit 10m, but still, I think the slight difference would’ve been there even if I had the Bandit 11m. Both kites loop great (tried some small transitional loops and downloops), and are similar in power, fastness, and smoothness. In the waves they both drift great too, no real difference there. So I agree with the review above: the Dice is a little easier, the Bandit a little more aggressive. I’m going to give them both another test when I get the chance but for now, I’m leaning towards the Dice!
Thaks for your reaction.
You don’t mention the year of the kites you are looking for, but we assume it will be both 2015 kites. The Evo hasn’t been tested yet, but what we can say about the Dice 2015 is that it’s low-end clearly has been approved from 2014 to 2015.
Hope this helps.
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I’m looking to buy a new kite next week and I’ve come down to the Dice,Evo, or the Bandit.
Ive tested all three of them and i really liked the dice and the Evo.
Im kind of scared of making a mistake with the Dice because of its wind range and the winds that i have in my area 14-20 knots usually, knowing that the 2014 wasn’t the best in the lower wind range.
How do you guys think the new Dice would be in these kinds of winds? would the Evo be the better choice? (looking for a free ride/ free style kite)
Happy kiting this summer!
From March one we will be testing full on again, starting with some Best kites.
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Thanks so much 🙂 So I will keep my dices but go for a 7 bandit this summer. Keep going guys.
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the compliments.
We actually used the Quad bar 22m on a Bandit 7 and we have different opinions on it. Mine personalty is that it works okay (the North lines a are bit longer, but this is not really an issue). Another rider felt a difference, but we did not actually change it to a F-one bandit which would have been a real test. The swiffel is about on the same height, so in theory it should all be fine.
So I think you could use the bar without any problems!
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Really nice review, thanks for testing the two, cause thats extactly the comaprison needed 🙂 I have the Dice with 22m Quad Bar right now and I want to keep it. But I have the chance to get a good deal with the new BAndit. The question is, can I fly the Bandit with the North Bar?
Would be great if you could help me out.
We only tested relatively “old” (2013) Evo’s. They are much slower than the Bandit or the Dice. Probably this is indeed intended to have a more “stable” kite while doing freestyle unhooked tricks. Unhooked riding with the Bandit or the Dice where about the same. The Bandit is slower, and there fore more freestyle aimed. We don’t really like the slowness, but you might say it is a bit of what you are going for.
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Thank you and big up for independet testing! Yes, I can only inform about North from their site (and I’m thinking about switching from f-one to north). Btw, it seems like the Evo can be a more adequate competitor against Bandit (based on what I read on North’s website). Do you have experience on Evo as well? I’ll try to find a way to try these kites out, but some rider found Evo better for unhook tricks than Dice… What was your impressions about unhook (compare Bandit and Dice)?
Certainly not. I guess you took these numbers from websites?
In reality it is more vice versa; The Dice has a little bit better low end than the Bandit.
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Compare a 11m dice (“14-26”) to 11m bandit (“11-24knts”) is it really starts later (+3knots)? So, you can say 11m bandit has an earlier ability to ride with than a same sized dice?
Thanks for your questions. We certainly understand why you have been looking at both, since they are quite a like.
The Dice seems to have a bit of better lowend. Both in lulls or high end we did not see any differences, allthough. Quicker means indeed steering. Faster or better upwind is not really different. We chose for the Dice, mainly since it is more fun to ride. Cheers, Dave – Wetestkites.
Thanks for taking the time to review the kites, I have been looking at both for my next kite, and waiting (im)patiently for your review!
Which kite seems to have the larger windrange? How do they compare when in lulls or low wind? Which has best bottom end?
When you say the Dice is quicker – you mean steering? Which is faster on the water and better upwind?
Finally – which one would you all have chosen to ride with (or rather, if you had to buy one, which would it be)? 😀