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Registered: 06-2007
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Eagle Vs Shark... er I mean era vs bandit!

Just my opinion so far!

Got out in the seriously gusty south today on the bandit 9. Have tried the bandits now a bunch of times, but today was the first really powered session. Its a great kite but it is tough to measure up to the stoke I got from the royals. Had well over an hour well powered up to get a good feel for it so here is how I feel they stack up so far

Stability: Not arc like, but way more than functional. Both kites are amazing overhead. Makes getting in and out in Kingston nice and easy. Got to say the waroo is really pretty good in this department too, but both the era and bandit are an improvement on that. The only problem,,, the bandit is a bit heavier due to a lot of dacron. Bomber built, but in real low winds its tough to keep in the air. Add to that really small wingtip area and it can easily end up on the water if you let it get over to the side in a real lull. Just wont pull up like the era and waroo. That SLE design has much bigger wingtips. Add to that the fact that the era is SUPER light with every weight saving measure imaginable and its definitely the most nimble, especially in light air.

Turning: The Royals are faster, Bandit is really good (it's a small kite) but it's got a bit of lag when depowered, nice and responsive when sheeted in. The 9m bandit turns about the same as the waroo 9. The 10m era is noticeably faster than both.

Power: Royal again. The 10m era produces a lot more than a meters worth of power compared to the 9m bandit. The claims that a bandit 9 is as powerful as other 12's might hold true for older C kites, but the range is stated as starting at 15 knots,,, the same as the waroo 9. I'd say that is about right. The era 10 starts way way earlier. In fact the era 12 is ridiculously powerful. That is for sure my light wind kite for the next wile! The bandit has done well to get pretty much the same low end out of a C kite design that last years SLEs were getting. Big feat for sure, but then Royal and probably others have somehow gotten another 2m worth of power from their kites.... To my thinking, royal are the only kites Ive riden so far that actually come close to the low end claims that are thrown around out there.

Depower: The bandit, mostly because the depower throw is sooooo !@#$ long. Way too long and I'll be moving the stopper down toward the bar a good 6 inches. The bandit for sure can handle a ton of wind and probably quite a bit more than the era 10, at least in the comfort zone. The balls on the era kinda shift its wind range down so yeah you start way early for its size, but correspondingly you hit survival mode on the era before the waroo. Would rather be out in 30 on stock waroo 9 or venom 10 than an era 10! I think most of this is due to the relatively short depower throw on the era. Which incidentally I really really like! Definitely no poo stance riding the eras.

Boost and float: Both kites absolutely rock. Both kites get you up there and hold you up there long. The float on the 9 today was so strange for such a small kite. My venom 10 dropped me like a rock compared to both the era and bandit. Again noticeably faster lift and a bit longer float than my waroos. Haven't had double lifts like I did today since my old guerilla 13 in high winds.

Unhooked: No balls for it today. Both kites resist stall well when powered. The era is the kite I will be using most in winds I'm comfortable unhooking and have had fun unhooking in it mid range. As my high wind kite, the bandit will probably not see a lot of unhooked riding, but from the feel sheeted in to the CL it would be fine as it is slower to stall than the era.

Bars: Tough call, I like both. Like I said the bandit's depower is way to long. Will move the stopper down, but still to adjust the strap (cleat actually) you gotta fly the kite up pretty high so you can reach it. Not a big deal as the kite had so much depower you really only have to set the strap once or twice a session. Apparently you can get a shorted depower set up for the bandits but thats a pain and it should be kick ass right out of the bag. Still,, something I will do in a hearbeat if I end up using the bandit day to day. The era had some niggles at first, but a little work and they are remedied. Namely the cam the depower line ran through was too sharp and shredded the safety line, the leash came with a plastic clip, and the chicken loop release was too sensitive. Fixed all of those and have had nothing but joy from it since. The era bar comes with 20+5m lines which I think is great. The bandit comes with a very proprietary line set up with fronts having a swivel way up where the single front line splits. The fronts are also a few bar wraps shorter than the rears due to the long but simple front line bridle. Weird and harder to replace, but it does make mixing up your lines near impossible. The era bar is slightly thicker than most on the market, I like it, many might not.

Over all bar feel. The era has less bar pressure and yet is more responsive. The bandit has a bit more pressure (not too much) but has a slight lag in turning sometimes. The Bandit also has less lift in the wingtips so it tends to drop without constant pressure on the up side of the bar like many C kites of old. The era just seems to go straight even more so than the waroo. Initial impression... I like the era feel a little better, but its basically a more responsive version of what I'm used to from the waroo. Didn't mind the switch to the bandit, but you gotta keep it from heading down if you ride with your kite low like I do.

Overall: Both are great kites, but they are very different in everything from construction, to ride and feel. I'm pretty happy with the era's as my day to day kites and the bandit as my heavy wind kite. The heavier construction of the bandit makes for a more sedate feel which is nice when its blowing 30 knotts. Its plenty fast, but definitely feels a bit more solid at the end of your lines and requires more deliberate bar input. The era is suited to getting the most fun out of its low end as long as you are adept at not oversheeting. They are lighter in the hands and combine stupidly good stability with flick of the wrist response. I love that and can easily put up with the easy stall in light winds. Once powered they are a no brainer, but careful the response and power might prove too much for many on earlier stages of the learning curve. For those that fly kites really well, the era is fantastic. I really think that kites are still evolving really nicely. No doubt three years from now they will all be that much better. The improvements in performance of both these 08 models has me convinced we are heading in the right direction despite the two totally different designs. I'm sure the 08 waroo, nemi HP and probably most other brands out there will all take a decent step in the right direction. So far I've had a good time on both the era and bandit and thought you might appreciate the comparison.


10/3/2007, 3:32 pm Link to this post Send Email to brent4336   Send PM to brent4336
windego Profile
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Re: Eagle Vs Shark... er I mean era vs bandit!

Hey B
Your detailed review is awesome.
I only have the era12 as my new benchmark and holy !@#$ it it is an eagle. Very good at keeping itself in the wind with power to spare at all times.

It will not hindenburg!!!! Repeat!!

It is FAST in the turns bigtime. You need to grab the bar tight to the cl for normal backrolls or you will probably get a spanking kiteloop reality check!
The era construction is tough where it needs to be. Heavy kites are not always stronger so it will be interesting to see how the era holds up. From other late moel 07 kites I have seen it is comparable in details.
The plain jumps on the 12 in 20knots scared me more than I have been in a while.
Be warned it is a eagle.
It is a super nice piece of kite engineering simplicity....yum

Ok I just got a new kite and I'm happy hahah

Wind tomorrow!!

Stan aka windego

10/3/2007, 7:15 pm Link to this post Send Email to windego   Send PM to windego

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