The F-ONE mono-strut staple Breeze reaches its third version. With F-ONE a brand with such an extensive and successful hydrofoil range, it would be daft not to have an exceptionally capable lightwind kite like the Breeze.
The Breeze has had some light fettling from the V2 in the subtle and incremental way F-ONE tend to develop on their product ranges. It seems to share little in common with either of the current Bandit ranges, and is very much a bespoke lightwind solution. We’re presented with a higher aspect mono-strut kit with quite a complete arc, and a liberal sweep to the back of the wingtip. The bridle system has two pulleys per side and balances the load up the leading edge well; these pulleys also allow the kite to twist a little to make for pivotal turning particularly without much rear line tension, which is important on a 15m beast like this. F-ONE’s new 160g intermediate cloth makes an appearance enabling a little weight loss on the previous generations and replaces standard Dacron where practical. It looks like some attention has been paid to the trailing edge as this is beautifully fettled to provide a slight dart where each canopy segment joins. The iSUP valve now handles inflation and deflation and is a joy to use on a larger kite like the 15m we tested.
The 15m is a big old unit, and there’s no denying on launch there is a lot of canopy above you. The well-implemented and relatively short bridling does a great job of giving a kite with all that power potential excellent mobility. When the wind really drops back on you, the Breeze has a magical ability to remain in an upright position rather than tip out. Those big swept tips clearly balance out any tendency to front stall and make a marked improvement in overall stability.
From a hydrofoil perspective the 15m is a good bet to get you through your first steps, as it is super stable at zenith, particularly for a bigger rider. A quick whip on the bar and it pops you up on the board with ease and drives upwind to the edge of the window well to shed wind if you do get overpowered. There is also plenty of power dump available on the bar, and you can eek a surprising amount of top end out of it before things start to vibrate; this has certainly been extended from the V2. In the larger sizes, you need to pay attention to size choices if the kite is going to sit above you, and tailor it to your body weight and intended usage.
On a twintip, the 15m makes a lot of sense in lighter airs and heavier riders need not worry about deformation. The reverse launch from the water is exceptionally simple, pull both back lines and it winches up all that canopy gracefully. The Breeze continues to be a lightwind favorite and this 15m is a versatile quiver topper that is going to get you out in freakishly light winds and what’s more provide some entertainment.