F-ONE Bandit 2021
A formidable performance freeride kite with improved Big Air credentials.READ MORE
F-ONE have always been a brand led by their hyper-talented team riders, and strapless freestyle has seen a huge evolution in the last few years with the GKA pushing the discipline in competition. From a performance perspective, this has meant higher jumps, more powered freestyle-derived moves, and the inevitable hard landings that come with that. Feedback suggested the discipline was beginning to demand a board that is quite far from a traditional surfboard construction, their design scope and intended use. The riders asked for a more compact shape, far slimmer, lighter, and with more pop for flat water take offs, and more comfortable for hard, powered landings. The Magnet Carbon is F-ONE’s extremely concise answer.
It comes in two sizes of 4’11 and 5’1, with a rider weight of 80kgs as tipping point when choosing between the two. The construction is all-new, and unsurprisingly F-ONE aren’t giving away a whole lot about the finer details, other than it involves carbon. The Corduroy EVA deck pad is suitably grippy and comfortable, and a front bump in the footpad ensures it’s really easy to work out where your feet are and prevents doing the splits on a hard landing. The outline is derived from 2020’s popular Slice, but that’s more or less where the similarities end. Immediately you see how slim and light the board is. A large double concave with a soft central V shape runs through the majority of the flatter section of the board, fading into a flatter section in the tip. A cheeky final flip in the nose will overcome chop well.
On your inaugural session, what immediately strikes you most about the Magnet is how light it feels both to handle and under foot. From a simple practical perspective, the thumb grip running along the rail makes it dead easy to carry one handed, but this obviously translates into an ultra-obvious grab area to aim for when airborne. The grip and power loading you can garner when riding powered is truly impressive. The combination of a stiff Futures fin system, ultra-thin rails and boxy rear outline work together seamlessly. You can push a kite forward in the window as well as you can with a twintip, and you can feel the flex and response in the deck making the power release simple, consistent, and, most importantly, predictable. This is where it runs rings around traditional surfboards.
Once you’re in the air, it’s most definitely Magnet by name, Magnet by nature. It’s so light and flat it sticks exceptionally well to your feet, even if you are a little more clumsy than twinkletoes Mitu. Coming in hot, the bottom shape of the board and flex combination disperses the water on impact admirably. Where you’d normally land with slap and bounce out, the Magnet just seems to take it in its stride. When riding the Magnet in a more traditional wave riding scenario, you need to remember you’ve not got much volume, so as long as you ride powered and kite led, you can achieve a decent and very grippy set of turns, throwing a rooster tail of consequence. It’s reminiscent of an old school Mutant and definitely brings a smile. What is great about the Magnet is that whilst designing a board for their pros, F-ONE haven’t forgotten the average rider with the Magnet. It pushes the boundaries of what’s possible construction-wise and redefines the limits of what the average human can do on a strapless board.
In a sentence: The Magnet will massively aid the initial stages of strapless freestyle with its ease of use, opening up a plethora of tricks, and anyone with superhuman abilities is going to trick even further than before.