North Dice 9m 2016 (3rd version)

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North Dice 9 meter 2016

Probably the nicest surprise of 2015 was the North Dice with it’s quick response, direct, light, wide wind range and an amazing quick depower on the bar made this truly do it all kite almost everybody’s friend. No wonder we were very curious for it’s offspring. The 2016 Dices were released in the beginning of september and luckily we were already able to get our hands on a 9 meter.

We were so excited to test the Dice 2016 we took it out the first time the wind did hit the coast. Unfortunately the wind was very light with just 16-17 knots of real on shore wind and big waves compared to the strength of the wind. So we did not expect we could take out the 9 meter, but curiosity killed the cat. Our lightest test kiter decided to give it a try and didn’t come back for at least an hour. Needless to say she liked the 2016 Dice and the kite already had an amazing low end in 2015. After she came back I could not resist to give it a try myself, 25 kilograms heavier then her, and even I could ride the kite in this light weather conditions. The low end is definitely better than last year but what more has been changed?

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the 2016 Anti Snag is added (in red/blue)

2015 versus 2016

On the riding quality of the 2015 Dice we didn’t had much to complain. The low end of the Dice 2015 was already perfect and it seems that of the 2016 model it got even better. The kite has a slightly deeper profile with bigger wingtips then before. The valve is re-done completely, this is what you feel when you screw on the cap. The bag is missing the long sleeve for the inflated struts but that is not a real big problem with such a big inflate. The three struts are now thinner which makes the kite a bit faster and it improved its jumping capabilities. Also there is a new Anti-Snag design on the tips of the leading edge to ensure the lines and bridles won’t get tangled in an crash.

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Small changes in one pump connections

On the water

We were lucky to ride the Dice 2015 for 10 months so the third generation Dice already felt very familiar with a twin tip. Very playful and dynamic when we tried it in different conditions than the first time. It challenges you to do all the tricks you want to do, direct feedback with and an improved hangtime. The power development is a bit smoother than last year, linear and very predictable with a soft increase on the bar. The 2016 Dice has three different settings instead of two like last year. The recommended setting is medium – that’s how the kite is delivered and suitable for all conditions. But if you want to do some freestyle tricks it’s better to ride it on the Hard Setting as pop and stability are key here. The average freerider, uninterested in unhooked tricks but wanting a very comfortable and easy going kite, the soft setting is the right choice.

Quad bar 2016

Split of front lines, left 2015 right 2016
Split of front lines, left 2015 right 2016

Yes, North also realized the 2015 front line split wasn’t perfect. A new split point system (metal tube) has been introduced in the 2016 North Quad bar. A question immediately rose on this system is why those two front lines join a few centimetres apart. It means the front lines are not 100% equal in length, which will create issues when ever buying new front lines. Needing a new front line on the Quad bar, means ordering it at North, with detailed description on colour and year (the 2015 front lines are the same length).

 

Overall

After a couple of days riding the Dice 2016, 9 meter, from as little of 17 knots till well over 25 knots, and with using the Dice 2015 version it wasn’t difficult judging it’s changes. It got better, not way better, but just better. It is a bit smoother and consistence in its power delivering, while being still quick and responsive. We had difficulty passing the 9m Dice on to the next tester, as we liked it all so much. Its improvements tot 2015 are most clear in its low end. It will get you going just a knot or 2 sooner than the 2015 version. Most features (like it’s on- off feeling or quick depowering, fast response, easy kite looping (with an circle a bit smaller than average) are not noticeably different changed from 2015.

Settings 2016 Dice
2016 Dice 3 settings on the tip

The Dice is positioned by North next to the freestyle aimed Vegas. This might scare less experienced riders, which is a shame. The Dice really is a friendly kite if you tune it the right way. Kites which come close to the capabilities and feeling of the Dice are the Cabrinha FX (which is lighter on the bar), the Ozone Catalyst (with 25m lines a bit less responsive) and yes also the F-one Bandit 8th version (worse at low end but slightly more aggressive).

There are still some points of the Dice which are less perfect but not a direct reason not to choose for it. All though it has a superb low end, the Dice can suddenly give up and completely stall in really low winds. It is not at it’s best in gusty winds. Since it is quite a direct kite, it will let you know when it is gusty. This has improved somewhat from 2015, but it still belongs to its behaviour.

The silly 6 PSI advice is still there, which is kind of ridiculous as we had stated before (so pump the Dice, just as any other kite, rock solid if your not a beginner). The inflate is still, all though claimed to be improved, not as bomb proof as we have seen on many other brands (Ozone, Best etc). And last, but not least, the depower line will still wear out in a session or 30. We have seen some easy solutions, like a plastic cover and still come with an stopper ball which can move on the fly. Are these major issues? definitely not, we loved every minute using the Dice and we think 90% of the kiters out there will feel the same.DSC_0025

List Prices

North Dice 9m Kite only 1289,- Euro

North Quad bar 479,- (including safety leash)

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54 thoughts on “North Dice 9m 2016 (3rd version)”

  1. Hi Guillaume,
    thanks for you compliment and question.
    Indeed it is a hard one. I own a 11m Dice ’17, with 22m (click bar) lines. I need 18 knots (I am 80kg) on a twin tip (with boots) to properly kite. This would suggest to match you Rally to take an 11m. I don’t know which bar you will take, but the click bar comes with 2m extensions which you can use to get a better wind range.
    I hope this helps a bit?
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  2. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the great reviews, really helpful in particular when it comes to change the quiver !

    I come from a 10 – 8 – 6 quiver, Slingshot Rally 1 & 2nd generation (the best !!) – really don’t like the new ones (totally agree with your review). I have always been really happy with the wind range coverage, my weight is 60kg, 10 years of kiting. In light wind the 10 often saved the session while others remained on the beach even with a 12 ! It’s not what I’m looking for (light wind) of course but somehow it still just happens sometimes and being able to kite is very nice (when travelling, on new spots !).

    Now my 10 and 8 just broke, RIP. The Dice seems to be the right next move for me. I’m just hesitating on the sizes, because I read a lot about the low end of the Dice not that efficient. Do you think that with a new 10 and 8 Dice quiver I will cover the same wind range as with the Rallys ? I was actually thinking of a 11m instead of the 10 … your input would be much appreciated 🙂

    Thanks in advance and keep up the great work !

  3. Hey Dave, thanks for the quick answer. What do you mean by it take a bit the fun out? Is the kite more stable and less responsive?

    NB: thanks for the quick answer and keep going I love your review!

    Cheers
    Lionel

  4. No sorry never tried that.
    A fifth line vs fourth line wasn’t making the Dice much more fun. Maybe for freestyle it works. For average riding it is not recommended, it takes the aliveness or fun a bit out of it.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  5. Hi Lion,
    No sorry never tried that.
    A fifth line vs fourth line wasn’t making the Dice much more fun. Maybe for freestyle it works. For average riding it is not recommended, it takes the aliveness or fun a bit out of it.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  6. Hello,

    Has anyone ever tried a wakestyle bar with the Dice? I have already a 24m for my Dice ( 7m / 12m ) and I was looking for a 9m and thought maybe I could buy a 22m to use it with my 7 and 9, but I was wondering if the wakestyle bar could be good (or not). I’m oriented freestyle but I’ve read that 4 lines is better for the Dice but the wakestyle bar looks sick to have more kite stability and more pop/slack on line.

  7. Hi again,
    The Dice is not aimed specifically for beginners, but most kites that are Will have things like easy relaunch. But they Will be less good for you quickly. A Dice Will be Just fine and Will be your kite for as long as you Will do kiting probably.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  8. Hi Mads,
    Welcome to this great sport!
    The kite size depends also a lot on how much wind you are going to get, but generally a 8 and a 11m will cover most winds.

    Dave
    We Test Kites

  9. Hi Nick,
    that is why we write; to make sure people are challenged, improve and above all have the most fun out of their kiting. So we like it when we get such feed back!
    Boosting and setting on the tips is a good question. To our opinion hard settings will improve the freestyle performance for sure, but if the big boosting wil het better we doubt it. Personally I put -for sure the ’17 version- on the medium/middle setting. This is mainly to make sure the kite is to both giving good feed back but also keep some reaction quickness.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  10. Hi There, great review(s)! I’m in New Zealand. I love this kite (I’m on older Dices), so playful and inspiring to try stuff, it’s taken me from just going back and forth with some below average jumping to doing downloops, going toeside, small surf turns, now kiteloops, etc. in a season. My boosting is getting better but I want more, I know this is not this kites strong point, but to give it the best chance of going biggest, which setting would you put it on? I was thinking it would be the one furtherest away from the tip (the hard setting) to give the kite the biggest sheeting in & out range, would that be right? Cheers

  11. Hi Lyndsey,
    Thanks for asking. My GF and I share a quiver of dices 5/7/9/11. She is about 55 kg’s and can happily kite with that quiver from 16 knots till 40.
    So to answer you question we would go for a 7/10m (with one bar) setup. Buying just a 9 could mean you might screw up the ideal set-up for two kites, so we wouldn’t advice that.
    Hopes this helps?!
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  12. Dave, you seem to be the font of knowledge reference the North Dice and wonder if you could offer a view on which size kites I should go for. I’ve finally made the decision to buy the North Dice and was planning on a 2 kite quiver. I thought I would be ok with a 9m and 7m, as I’m 60kg and looking to kite in 15-30kt winds in the UK. A friend has questioned this decision, he thinks I should go for either 12&8 , 11&7 or maybe just the 9m and see how I get on. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Lyndsey

  13. Hi Martin,
    I guess you refer to things like build quality? That side of a kite is not easy to test. You will need to have those kites for at least a year to see any structural wear out.
    Due to the fact we have a lot of North and F-one kites around in our spot we know F-one has definitely some more weak points than other brands. For example the lines are not very strong, the pulleys on the bridles have wheels which damage the bridles, breaking them within months.
    Function wise Slingshot, Naish and F-one have unsafe bars to our opinion, mostly due to the fact the depower line cannot be untangles manually while kiting. Which means front lines will be crossed (after loops) and safety functions don’t work any more.
    Hope this some what answers your very broad question?
    Dave
    We Test Kites.

  14. Hi guys! What do you basically think about the built quality of North Kites compared to say Slingshot, Naish or Ozone?

  15. Hi Rafael,
    the differences 2016/2015 are very minimal, but which kite to take is very depending of the wind. If it generally above 23kn on a twin tip or 21 with a wave board I would take 8m, otherwise 9m.
    Dave

  16. Thaks again for your comment.
    You said that the dice 2016 pull more than the dice 2015 and It’s even faster.
    So, for my weight (67 kg), would you take the dice 2016 8m or 9m?
    For wave and freetyle (no tricks unhooked)
    Rafael

  17. Hi Rafael,
    I would take the Dice. The Bandit may be quicker but is less firm in its response. Also the lines and bridles of F-one break sooner than those of North.
    Dave

  18. Hi Dave
    I sold my dice 2015 10m because it was too big for me. I live in Fortaleza – Brazil (Wind 15knots to 25 knots normally). Im 67kg.
    I use the kite for freestyle and wave.
    Im not sure if i buy a dice 2016 8m or a bandit 2015 9m, both kites are new, but the bandit is way cheaper.
    I tried the bandit 9m and compared to my dice 2015 10m i thank its faster and rough.
    Which one do think would be a better choice?
    Thank you

  19. Hi Saban,
    Thanks for asking. I would choose for the 11/7 setup with your weight!
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  20. Hi Stafano,
    We haven’t tested the Mono yet.
    We did test the Evo this week which is better in it’s low end but a bit indirect.
    I will warn you when we have some news on the Uno ok?
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  21. Hi! I’m very interested to noth mono, the new kite of this brand! Is it possible to have a comparison with the north dice? I have a doubt about what I’ll buy ( I like free ride and some wave)! thank you!

  22. Hi Alexander,
    Nice to hear. The bridles on Bandit’s cannot be adjusted so that is not possible.
    Dave

  23. Thanks!!!
    Hope I’ll find dice 15 or 16 for test, but if don’t I think I’ll take it.
    Yes, I’ve tried Bandit on most “heavy” settings on wingtips (may be there another one on bridle which I havn’t tried?)
    and it looks like almost there, but in this case kite is too fast for me ))
    Always trying to find “golden mean” it’s so hard ))
    Thank you for your help!!!

  24. Hi Alexander,
    Thanks for asking. I think you will like the Dice in this case. I must say you should set the Dice on it’s “hard” setting. Don’t expect a huge difference with the RPM in aggression. I am also curious if you set the steering line of the Bandit on the most heavy (backward) setting when testing? Dave

  25. Thanks a lot, for your answer.
    Actually I realized that 14m is not so intresting.
    It’s too slow and not fun at all.
    Also with my 75-80kg I realized that I don’t have better low end, compare to 12m rpm 2015.
    in this case I thinking to make a choice between rpm/dice/bandit in 12m
    I’ve tried bandit8 12m and I don’t like it’s bar feeling.
    the pressure is too low.
    i’ve tried 2015 rpm 12m and it feels much better.
    at the same time rpm is not so aggresive as bandit
    I can’t get dice for test so if it’s realy feels between rpm and bandit it would be great

  26. Hi Alexander,
    I understand you want to know how a Dice is compared to a RPM, for a bigger size?
    I think the fun factor with a Dice will be a bit higher than a RPM. The RPM is a bit rougher and less smooth than a Dice. The low end is not much different, and if there is one it will be slightly better for the Dice. Hope this helps?
    Dave

  27. Hello,
    Can you compare it or Dice 2015 to RPM 2015?
    I planning to change my 14m to 12m and thinking about RPM/Dice/Bandit
    currently I have RPM 2015 14m

  28. Dear Dave,
    First I would like to thank you for the great reviews on the North Dice 2016 / 9m and Best TS /10m and 7m. By now I own a Best TS /8m and waiting for 2016 models to come out. The TS has pleasantly surprised me and is a great upgrade from My Best Kahoona. I am considering adding a Dice 10 m following your review and wondering if the RP / 2015 bar by best would work on the dice ?
    All the best / ilias

  29. Hi John, yes I was speaking of the turning speed. I understand your question. See it as the Bandit has a bit more rough edges. That is what I mean with ‘more alive’. I need to ride the Bandit 2016 more to fully come back on it.
    Dave

  30. Dave,
    Excellent! Thanks so much for the comparison between the two 11m kites. One last thing – you mentioned in the 2015 Dice/Bandit comparison that the Dice was definitely faster and quicker than the Bandit. I assume you are referring mostly to turning speed? Would you still say that is true of the 2016 11m versions of these 2 kites? Just threw me off a bit when you said the Bandit may feel a bit more alive….
    Thanks so much!
    John

  31. Yesterday I had a go with both the Bandit 9 (11m) and the Dice 11m 2016. It was a short go but my first impression is as follows:
    The 2015 and 2016 Dices are not much (or not at all) different from each other (except for the 3 settings instead of the 2 at the tip). The bandit 9 is also 11m not much different. Compared to the Dice it feels smaller (lowend is not as good) and the cloth is (still) shaking when looping or sheeting in hard with the kite. But the Bandit may feel a bit more alive.
    I would say the 10m Dice comes closest tot the Bandit 11m.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  32. Hi Dave – Did you get a chance to get out for a ride on the 11m 2016 Dice yet? I’m still holding off on my purchase decision in hopes that I’ll get your opinion on the larger new Dice!
    Thanks in advance!
    John

  33. Hi Matu,
    This is a good question; if you are young and (a bit athletic), don’t mind harder beatings and are getting into competitions the Vegas is the choice.
    The Dice would be the choice if you want quicker depower and a bit less punishments. It probably also means you need lees kites with Dices. (but do set in on the tip at Hard settings).
    Hope this helps.
    Dave
    We Test Kites
    ps like to support

  34. Hi Marc, they could be right. 2016 large sizes are not much different as those of 2015. In the smaller ones we did find a small difference in the 2016 to 2015. The low end of the 2016 compared to the Bandit 2015 is like one meter more. So a Bandit 12m is like a Dice 11m.
    Hope this helps?
    Dave
    We test kites

  35. Hi,

    Some shop dealers around me claim that the Dice 2016 is almost the same than the 2015 one and the power has not changed ! Do you have a noticeable change in lowend power ? How is the lowend power comparing with a bandit 2015 ?

  36. hi, i ride on a lagoon, usually with wind gusty wind. i like to do unhook tricks i´m no advanced but i m improving. I´d like to know what s best kite to choose, vegas or dice? thanks!!

  37. OK great, thanks! Maybe also comment on the wave-aspects of the kite? Compare drifting abilities 2015-1016? Thanks!

  38. Hi John, from Tuesday on our autumn storms are heading for the Dutch coast. We gonna have winds up to 40 knots (so 5 or 7m winds), and later this week maybe some wind for the 11m.
    Keep you posted…and thanks for the like.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  39. Liked and following on FB! Thanks for the comments. I’ll definitely try to wait to get your thoughts on the 11m Dice and the new Bandit. Any idea when to expect those (not that you can predict the wind, but at least the kites…)?
    Thanks again!
    John

  40. Hi Strekke, Thanks for the compliment!.
    Yes North claims it is changed, but we haven’t noticed a clear difference. We will try to focus on it later, and get back on it, okay?
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  41. Nice review! You mention that the new dice has a “deeper” profile – does this influence where the kite is positioned in the window? In other words, does it also sit deeper in the window than the 2015 Dice? Basically what I am asking is if there is a difference in upwind ability between the 2015 and the 2016 🙂

  42. Hi John, thanks for the compliments.
    We just have used the 9m, but we will use a 11m soon. After we have used the 11m we will let you know what we think.
    We also are going to use (and review) the Bandit 9 soon, so stay tuned for that (please like to support!)
    IF you are in hurry and want a first glance of what it will be like, than we maybe need to explain how much difference there is between a Bandit (for us we know the Bandit 8 vs Dice 2015) and that is there but it is not a huge difference; An 11m Dice 2015 is about the same in power as a Bandit 8 12m.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  43. Outstanding! Thanks so much for the review. I’ve been checking in every day to get your unbiased opinions on the new Dice. I’m replacing a 12m Bandit 7 (2014). In my opinion, 2014 was a VERY underpowered year for bandits, and I’m not thrilled at all with the low end on my 12m. Time to give North a try! Do you think I’ll be happy with the low end on the 12m Dice (2016), in comparison? Or would you recommend the 13m Dice (2016)? As for turning and looping speed, would the 12m Dice (2016) be comparable to a Bandit, or slightly quicker (as you mentioned in the 2015 Bandit/Dice comparison)? How would you expect the turning/looping speed and responsiveness of the 13m Dice (2016) to compare to the Bandit 12m?
    Thanks so much for some of the most honest and insightful kite reviews online!
    John

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