North Dice 2017

The Dice from 2016 was one of the favourites from all our tests. Its versatility, responsive reaction and easy on-off power control makes it truly the one that makes almost everybody having the most fun on the water. The 2017 version has been changed from the 2016 at some crucial points in te canopy and struts which makes the kite feel a bit more rigid but also a bit less sweet as in 2016. Small changes, but noticeable. A bit better for direct response and aggressive riding style and it asks a bit more input than last year.

North Dice 2017
North Dice 2017

Dice 2017

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2016 (left) vs 2017 (right)

The ideas behind the Dice haven’t changed much the last three versions (’15, ’16 and ’17); a relative quick, responsive and multi purpose kite. More kites are aiming to have these aspects, but the Dice (next to for example the Enduro and the FX) are one of the few we think can claim this. It seems to be an attractive marketing term to get kites sold that “do it all”, but be aware the truth is sometimes far off (for example the Slingshot Rally). In this case North description is quite close to what we noticed; …between Freestyle / Wakestyle and Wave riding, which is an attractive quality that appeals to a very wide demographic of kiteboarders. We noticed that riders were moving from the Vegas towards the Dice, mainly due to its Freestyle abilities and overall range of use.

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To have the most fun out of it we advice to use the Dice with 22m lines, four and not five lines. A five lines set up is possible but we tried it and it make the Dice really different. Slower and less fun, and as we understood it is optimally designed for the four line set up.

Although it may be one of the kites we really like, we do have some (mostly minor) comments. As always North states, even on the kite, that it should be pumped to 6 Psi.DSC_0784 It is too low and nobody stops pumping at this low pressure. Anyway it feels a bit like getting an terrific new car which says on the dashboard “do not drive above 80 km/h”. It is stated for warranty issues, but it is a bit silly.

The typically North valve hasn’t changed from ’16 to ’17. It works, but it just isn’t the one we like most. It requires some turning (both the cap as on the inside) which in combination with sand is not ideal.

struts with more (blue cloth) stability in 2017 (left)
Struts with more (blue cloth) stability in 2017 (left)

What clearly (see the blue cloth in the picture) did change is the support for more stability on the struts. It may just be one of the most clear changes which can be the cause of the difference in feel between ’16 and’17. North also changed the panel lay out a bit.

Bar and lines

Make a bigger knot on the bridle (as the left one)
Make a bigger knot on the bridle (as left one)

We have seen some lines come off (mostly the steering lines) due to slipping from the knot. The knots both on the front lines as on the kite are pretty small. We would advice to add a bigger knot both on the bridles and the power lines. And – as we wrote before– be aware when using alternative bars; the Dice requires a high split point bar (around 6m from the bar). Using a low split will influence the performance negatively.

The four line 3 strut Dice has 6 battens (on most sizes, similar to previous versions) and comes with favourite pulleys without any moving parts (pulleys with wheels in them damage the lines, an issue on the F-one Bandit).

Dark blue on the right on the 2016 version and on the left at '17
Dark blue on the right on the 2016 version and on the left at ’17

A strange move from ’16 to ’17 the standard Quad bar colors have been changed (nothing else really). The dark blue bar part was on the right side in ’16 but in ’17 it moved to the left! Not really handy when you are used to automatically look for this dark blue color when grabbing the bar again after a spin.

From 2017 on you can also choose for a new type of bar. North calls it the Click bar. It is marketed as a game changer, and that is a bit over the top. The system to (de)power is completely new, and the below the bar swivel is so smooth it untwists by itself. Read further details in our review.

The test

We have tested the 2017 version (several sizes) back to back to the 2016 version a couple of times. We even made sure we had a relative new 2016 version, since a well used one could be influenced by the usage. There are small, but distinguish, differences between the two versions. The 2017 one needs more input from the rider, is stiffer in feel, and isn’t any better in its low end. The pop is more aggressive and the kite loops are better. The best word to describe the difference is that the ’16 version feels softer as the ’17 version. The Dice moved a bit more to the Vegas. Don’t forget the Dice is still an easy power on and off machine, which is such a relieve compared to the Vegas which needs lots more work when overpowered and doesn’t release the power as the Dice does. Intermediate to experienced kiters will love the feeling you can handle huge amounts of wind and still be fully in control. In combination with the changes in 2017 from 2016 those people will love the Dice even more since it will get less out of its shape.Most heard reaction on the beach when we tested the 2017 Dice? Wow it really has such a nice shape when it is in the air.

Winning a Woo air time competition with the Dice is more or less out of the question. For that an Ozone Edge or North Rebel is much better, but compared to a Dice they are to be seen as boring kites.

The Dice does boost up in the air brilliant with a boom. So winning it height wise it will depend on the strength of your legs mostly, next to some howling amount of wind.DSC_0753 (Medium)

The downside of this design of the Dice (basically all versions) is that it will tend to stall when a under powered situation is reached quite suddenly compared to other kites. Only way to learn to (unnaturally) react in this situation is to push away the bar. When doing some unhooked tricks (which the Dice really invites you to do!) make sure this stalling doesn’t happen by de-powering just before you make your move. And since the standard Quad bar in this depowered situation often will get its safety line in the way when re-hooking. The new Click bar, where the safety ring cant come down on the chicken loop wouldn’t be such a bad match at all.

List prices

North Dice 9m 2017 (Kite only) 1319,- Euro

North Click Quad Control bar (with 22 or 24m lines and safety leash) 649,- Euro

North Quad Control bar (with 22m lines and safety leash) 489,- Euro

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54 thoughts on “North Dice 2017”

  1. Hi Stef,
    Thanks for the compliment.
    understandable questions.
    Although wave is not our major knowledge some answers:
    – Leave the SB and Evo for what they are, too slow for wave and too soft for tt moves. The Pivot for sure, way too soft.
    – consider indeed the Enduro (different settings on the bridle!) it does has slightly more bar pressure as the Dice and Bandit (including thicker (feel) on the bar).
    – Neo, Reo or Drifter haven ‘t been properly tested (yet).
    – Sizes 7/9/12 should be perfect.

    Try to test some of your mate’s kites if you have the chance (Dice is probably second best choice after Enduro) or from a completely different brand; Airush Union or the KSP Phantom?!
    And when chosen: love to read your feed back to help us all to get honest and independent impressions, free of al the marketing talks.

    Dave
    We Test Kites

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for your honest opinion on a couple of major selling kites. Very helpfull in the ongoing search for the perfect gear :)Love to see more reviews from you!

    Question. I’m planning to buy a fresh 3 kite-quiver. 85 kg, now still on my first set, 9/12 Cab Radar, Northsea, hooked in jumping and carving on twintip, also waveboard. Not planning to get into freestyle, rather like to improve on waveboard. So looking for a kite quiver that’s nice for both twintip (50%) and waveboard (50%). An allrounder.

    I want to buy 2017 material, pricewise more interesting than 2018. Tested a 2017 Bandit. Liked it, but no soft bar ends, small inflate and 2-line safely is no go. In your opinion the Dice and Enduro are comparable. Is a Dice the best option? Or the Enduro (nicest bar+finishing imo, but a bit more grunty and less wavy perhaps)?

    Or, as I’m not into freestyle, will I be better off with a more wave specific kite like Neo (‘wave/freeride’ according to North) or Reo, or Drifter, or Pivot, etc..? Or just a ‘boring’ freerider like Evo, Switchblade…

    Another issue I’m split over is quiver sizes. Is 8/10/13 set-up best for my weight? And then maybe add a 6 later on? Or is 7/9/12 still nicest for the job?

    Luxury problems 😉 Thanks in advance for your reply!

  3. Hi Tony,
    thanks for asking.
    We used the 2018 model (a 10m) only for a few minutes. It looks like indeed the Dice got a bit more mature ie more C-like pop as before. I am not sure if this is the best combination on a foil board (never properly used one).
    For sure it is again much nicer on 22m lines than on 24, but the low end is better (of course) at 24. I would choose for the 2018 click bar, in that way you have 24m lines ánd 22m (2m extensions). Evo for 13 is indeed a good option icm with the 8 and 10 m Dice!
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  4. Hi, Dave!

    I am planning to buy new Dice 2018 but not sure about sizes and bar line lenghts. What do you recomend for bigger guy (about 90kg)? I was thinking about 8,10,13 with trust bar 24m. Or it will be better to have Evo 13 as biggest kite. Also my boards are TT 145/45, 138/42 and foilboard.

    Thanks!

    Tony

  5. Thanks Dave! it is hard for us to judge between years after a couple of hours of testing on different days. Sometimes the improvement is big enough to wait. 2018’s models are just around the corner already… 🙂

  6. Hi Francis,
    Thanks for the compliment and your comment on the extensions.
    We understand what you are referring to, but this -silly- statement to get the extensions below the V is from North, not from us. Just to show that even a big brand like North is not perfect. Just like the Click bar; it is 95% perfect, but it wears out to quickly below the QR and at the V.
    As for your question, get the 2016 version. The difference is not big enough to pay so much more. Hopefully it will still be possible to get your set up (in m’s) as you want?!
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  7. Hi,

    I like your reviews, sometimes advices make sense but are hard to do like extensions before the V, you need a huge line and play with the safety… A pain.

    SO, regarding Dice 2017 vs 2016, right now we can get right now 2016’s at 35% off and barely used for close to 50%. Is it worth it or should dump a few thousand more on 2017? I would prefer to keep some cash to travel rather than paying too much for a kite.

    Thanks, keep up the good job.

  8. Hi Erik,
    Thanks for asking.
    We would suggest to go for the 6/8/10 set up. We have a lot of experience with the Dice (’17) and the 10m will probably give you even more low end compared to the Bandit. For sure if you would take the click bar (which has 2m extensions to be used in lighter winds which makes it possible to go on either 22 or 24m).
    The 11m will be a bit too slow and bulky for you (pretty light) guys.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  9. Hi,

    I (70-75kg) currently ride (TT) Bandits in 8m and 10m but this year I want to switch to either Ozone Enduro or North Dice. However, this time I want to share a larger quiver with my gf (55-60kg). I mainly ride in the Netherlands (>15 kts) and Dakhla. 8/10 has served me fine and gf was usually fine on a 7 Radar in Dakhla.
    What size do you recommend for the Dice: 7/9/11 or 6/8/10?

  10. Hi David,
    If you are on a twin tip, NO.
    You Will need a 10m Dice at least.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  11. Hi Dave,

    I am 68kg and a experient rider, dou you think i could ride with a 2016 8m Dice at 16knots?

    Best regards

  12. Hi Francis,
    We never saw this combination before. Indeed this wake style bar has a low V, but also 5 lines. So based on that we would guess it will loose some of its nice Dice’s aspects like its responsiveness and quickness when throwing it around.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  13. Hello,

    I saw some folks using the DICE with the wake style bar. that bar has many advantages but a low V… Any thoughts on that combo?

  14. Hi Carlos,
    You are welcome!
    We didn’t test the Dice on a wave board, but since it has gotten a bit stiffer and more “C” our guess is that it did not get better with the Dice from ’16 to ’17 for wave riding.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  15. Hi Dave,
    Thanks for all of the info,
    I would like to know how the 2017 Dice compares to the 2016 on the soft setting for wave riding.
    Best Regards,
    Carlos

  16. Hi Tomas,
    Thanks for clarifying the service point.
    Good luck with improving your skills and let us know if the Dice did full fill your expectations.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  17. Hi Dave,

    Many thanks for your reply (and also for all your kite gear tests)
    Hope Dice will be good choice for learning my first jumps, tricks, etc..

    Regarding my comment about service it is fair to make it more clear. I had in mind distributor service. My local North dealer shop is very close to my home, have many spare parts on the stock so it is very easy to access anything I need in few hours. And this is exactly what my local Best dealer don´t have. So this is the reason. To avoid any public speculations I am not from Germany, it is only my holiday spot.

    Once again thank you!

    Tomas

  18. Hi Tomas,
    Thanks for asking.
    The size set sounds pretty good. In windrange the Dice isn’t that much different as the TS. It will be more reactive or quicker as the TS, which in my opinion is more friendly. Don’t worry about the back stalling; you will have enough kites to switch to a bigger one before it really becomes a problem.
    I am surprised you say North has better service. As far as I know Best has, although it has some quality issues, quite a good service in general.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  19. Hi Dave,
    I want to buy new kites and I would like to ask you for your recommendation.
    Presently I have Best TS 2015 size 9 but I want to switch to North because North has better customer service in my country.
    Although I am still learning (since May 2016) I like my TS for my freeriding because of its agile behavior.
    I have 82kg body weight and ride North X-ride 2016 141×42.
    Now I want to buy North Dice 2017 size 9 and 12 and North Juice 2017 size 15.
    Sizes 9/12/15 is most common set in my favorite spot – Rugen island (Northern Germany, Baltic Sea).

    My questions:
    Can you recommend set 9/12/15 for me?
    Is gap between sizes ok? Or there is some special recommendation for Dice?
    You wrote that Dice tends to back stalls. Is it similar to all open-C kites or Dice 2017 tends to stall more than other brands? Especially compared to my TS. (I have no problems with back stalls with my TS)
    Also you wrote that TS is sharper than Dice in its behavior, is that right? If Dice is more users friendly it should be benefit for me. But it is not important point for me.

    Thank you for your time!
    Tomas

  20. Hi Thiago,
    Best option is to buy the click bar, it Comes with 2 m extensions so Both is possible.
    If you have to choose I would use 22m.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  21. Hi Dave,
    Thank you for your review.
    I would like to ask which length lines you recommend for dice 12m 2016.
    22m or 24m ?

  22. Hi Dave, I guess ’16 or ’17, I have to check prices… I use 2 bars on 3 kites, and that works OK.
    Thanks for the feedback!
    G

  23. Hi Dario,
    I never used a 13m Dice.
    My guess is that the 22m lines are still the best. You may wanna go for 2 m extensions if winds are really Low?
    The click bar Comes Always with that set up; 22 + 2.
    Dave
    We Test Kites.

  24. Thanks Dave for the reviews, and the answers to to questions, they are very helpful.
    With 76kg, I currently use Rebel 12 /9 and a Dice 7. But I started foiling with the 9, and the Rebel feels heavy, and doesn’t have enough drift -on the other hand, is incredibly stable-. Do you think a Dice 10 / 7 would be a good quiver for recreational foiling? I also use the sails with a twin tip. Thanks!!!

  25. Hi Dave, I tried the 9 and 11 mt with lines from 22 mt and it ‘fantastic, at 13 mt what do you recommend? thank you

  26. Hi Saban,
    11/8 would serve your needs with winds around 16-30 knots. I think that will be a good choice.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  27. Dave, do you think 11/8 combo would cover 65kg person?? 🙂 o have rpm 11/7 now and i am ok with them. Thanks

  28. Hi Ollie,
    I think you have put it at it’s best with 13/10/8!
    ps take the 22m line setup! And try to change the tip settings to feel which one you and your partner like best.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  29. Hello Dave, what ’17 Dice quiver would you recommend for a 60kg and 97kg couple? We have a 17m Zephyr and consider going for a 6m Neo for her top end… I am thinking of 13/10/8? (for me I don’t really need anythings smaller than 8m).

  30. Hi George,
    22m for sure.
    ps if you buy the Click bar you get a 2m extension (always for free) with it.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  31. Thank you for your review.
    I would like to ask which length lines you recommend for dice 8m 2016.
    22m or 24m ?

  32. Hi Marek,
    Thank you for the compliment. We look forward on your feed back. Please check details like bar type/line length and setting at the tip etc.
    It actually a good question why North chooses for a high “V”. We have no direct acces to North, but we do have interesting comments from other designers.
    We got the feeling there are different opinions on the split point, which makes it difficult to answer your question. What we do know is that most North kites change significantly in behavior when you use a different (low split) bar.
    Dave
    We test Kites

  33. Thank you for great review! I am going to test new Dice 2017 this week so I will post some informations here in comments. There is something that still surprise me in North kites – the high position of single point. It’s still hard to use any of North’s kites in kitesurfing school, because of the split is situated too high to untwisted the lines using the bar, when the kite is wrapped around. You cannot simply catch the split to do this. Does anyone know, what are adventages of having the split higher than in other kites?

  34. Hi Panagiotis,
    Thanks for the feed back!
    As for the 5th line (on a Dice ’17) I can’t tell you from experience yet, sorry. On a Dice ’16 it was loaded.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  35. Hi Dave,
    as always excellent reviews and food for thought.
    One question from my side. Is the 5th line loaded in the 5 line set up? (I guess so otherwise: how could it influence the flying behavior?)
    Cheers!

  36. Hi Ilias,
    thanks again. Enjoy the kite!
    ps if you have ordered the click bar you always get 22+2m extensions! So you may choose what to use, but it sounds like you got the normal one.
    Dave

  37. Hi Dave
    Thank you for the comments on the four line quad bar vs the 5line set up in relation to the New Dice , as well as your feedback on your own 11m Dice with 22m line. I’ve already ordered the 24m quadbar . Looking forward to receiving the 2017 dice kites! .All the best and keep it up with these great gear reviews .

    Warm regards
    Ilias

  38. Hi Ilias,
    Thanks for your compliment and for the question.
    I am familiar with both the TS and the Dice, ’15, ’16 and ’17.

    The 2014 Dice is a complete different kite from the other versions. Adding you compared 2 different sizes on top of the version difference I guess you shouldn’t take to much from this comparing you did.
    I rode a ’16 version 9m both on 5 lines and on 4, same day same conditions. The Dice with 5 lines has more resistance and more grunt, but is also less alive.
    Adding the fact the designers made it work best with four lines, I would still recommend the four line set up. I can’t comment on how on other sizes it will work (as you ask), but I would still take the four line set up ( I ride a 4 line (22m) ’17 11m and the c-performance/freestyle capabilities are phenomenal, especially on hard settings).
    Hope it helps?!
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  39. Hi Dave ,

    thank you for the great reviews !
    After several years of riding best TS kites, I finally sold them and switched to North Dice 2017 models . I have ordered my kites and are soon to arrive . My quiver 7m , 9m, 12m

    While waiting for my 12m Dice to arrive my local dealer lent me a 11m (2014) dice with a 24m 5 line trust bar set up . Have to say on five lines the kite felt very responsive and stable .

    On the same day I tried my friend’s 2016 – 13m Dice on a 4 line set up and it was great but the 11m dice was more fun on the water , it had a different feel with a bit more bar pressure , I guess due to being the first model.

    Here’s my question . I’m wondering if it will be better to fly the 12m Dice on the five line trust bar and to go for 4-line quad bars On the smaller kites?The experience on the older model on five lines was amazing . The kite felt very responsive and more aggressive than the 2016 on four lines .

    Best regards
    Ilias

  40. Hi Thomas,
    The 9m will be way too small for 15 or even <20 knots. If you go for a 2 kite set up, 10/7 would suit you better!
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  41. Hey Dave,

    What sizes Would u recommended for an 85kg kiter- want to kite in 15-35 knots wind.
    I thought to go for 9 and 7m- using for wakestyle/wave/freestyle

    What do u think?
    Btw awesome review! Very helpful!

  42. Hi Mical,
    thanks. The best bar is the standard 50cm Quad bar with 22m lines, and split point (“y”) at about 6 meters.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  43. Hi Arnaud,
    Thanks for this nice confirmation. Very pleased we have an opinion which is backed up with people who know what they are talking about.
    Cheers!
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  44. Great review guys. And very accurate, too. I used to own the 2016 and now riding the 2017. Definitely agree it has a more solid and aggressive feel to it, although it becomes a lot friendlier again in the soft setting ;-). Keep up the good work!

  45. Hi Juan,
    What we heard that the 2014 may be lacking some low end compared to those of ’15/’16. ’17 is clearly a bit harder in feel and needs a bit more energy to ride. See it as about 15% changes, but now also has potential for more aggressive riding style.
    Another option is to try the FX which we also like for more friendly but still quick feedback.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  46. OK Dave, thanks. I guess and I supose the 2015-2016 soft touch is quite similar to 2014 version. But my doubts are about the differences you told between 2016-2017 about the sweet handle. ¿Would you think those differences are big enough to go to 2016 version?. (I can´t test 🙁 ).
    Thanks again for your help!!!
    (and excuses for my english)

  47. Hi Juan,
    We never rode the 2014 version, so that is hard to tell. But from what I understood the 2015 and 2016 version already where much better as the 2014 version.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  48. Very helpfull test.
    I love the soft touch of my 2014 12 m Dive.I will renove it now ¿do you think the changes you describe are enough to go to the 2016 version?
    Thanks!!!!

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