North Dice 2018

The biggest compliment a kite can get is to be the bench mark for other kites. That is exactly what we have been told during many of our tests; “could you compare our kite to the Dice?”. For 2018  two minor changes in the kite results in a something we would’t expect for the Dice. Did some of the Evo aspects get under it’s new tripled skin? Definitely more hang time and your Woo score will go up if you come from previous versions of the Dice.  But it is an bit of an unexpected development for a kite that used to give that quick, responsive but above all fun feeling.

Changes

Difference Dice ’18 (top) to ’17 (bottom)

The 2018 Dice is a few centimeters wider compared to the 2017 version. It sounds like a minor change. But in the kiteboarding sport such changes can have huge effects.  The longer Dice has gotten an extra panel between the struts. As a consequence the third batten has moved a bit more inward towards the middle strut.

Different batten location in the 2017 and 2018 (green) Dice
Different batten location in the 2017 and 2018 (green) Dice

There are more changes in 2018, like the option to choose which chicken loop you want on your North bar. But as with the wider inflation tubes those are not the relevant differences. It is the shape and probably the changes of the canopy (Trinity TX) that changes the typical Dice experience a lot.

left: 2018 new color "Carbon" and square logo below the strut
left: 2018 new color “Carbon” and square logo below the strut

Test

We have to admit we test the Dice more thoroughly, as we use it the year round. We also have acces to several sizes and used every version from 2015 onward. Which means anything written in this review is on a very solid base, but also a bit under a magnifying glass.

North Dice 2018 9m
North Dice 2018 9m

We love(d) the fact the Dice is quick enough to throw it around with a limited amount of effort, zero worries on controlling the power and still capable of a impressive boost. Its hang time wasn’t the best. But who cares if you are the one having the most fun.

While some kites give the impression you are dealing with a truck, the Dice is more the opposite, like you are in control of a kart instead of a truck. With this friendly version of the Vegas you could not go wrong owning the Dice. It is a kite what should trigger for trying to do new stuff while still always maintaining that in control feeling.

Is this fun factor gone in the ’18 version? No it isn’t. But it just didn’t improve from 2017.  But let’s start with the positive points of the changes to 2018. What clearly did improve is its jumping abilities. It is the most outstanding difference. Which is easy to feel in a longer power momentum and more floating feel while jumping.  It results roughly in 20% higher and longer jumps on the Woo scores. Which is good for image building out of the water.

But now the less positive side of the new Dice. It needs more input, while it lost some of its speedy, reactive aspects. A radical mega loop is still on its list. But the turning circle is bigger and -again- the peak of the pull is later and has changed noticeably.

Specifically coming down from a big jump the ’18 versions needs a lot of steering to catch your descending movement. The power development is also quite different from previous versions.  And the peak of the boost is a fraction later. It can come as a bit of frighting feeling if you are less experienced. The Dice -even more as previous versions- lets you know exactly what the wind does. In gusty winds it results in a constant pulling and pushing of the bar, which may be its worst new character.

Trinity

The new canopy Trinity has three lines running in the direction of the leading edge and two in the same directions as the struts. Most brands are using the version with two by two lines (D2 Double ripstop), which North introduced around 2011. As far as we know only North uses the Trinity 3 by 2 canopy at the moment, although Core (Coretex 3 by 3) and Naish (Quad-tex 4 by 4 lines) are on a similar or even more radical path. Since these are rather recent development not much is known how much of the beloved lifetime extension will be met. But what we do know is that -apart from a theoretical weigh increase- it influences the kite feel. Roughly said it means the kite will be more firm and rigid. Which in the end probably is mainly a benefit for advanced riders. 

For the Dice it is no different. From a sweet and forgiving kite in 2015 the Dice has grown step by step to a more powerful and more advanced kite in 2018. Nothing wrong with that, but the type of persons who will love the Dice has also either changed or has grown with the Dice. Too bad this means it also losses some of the ability to give the rider a feel of challenge to progress in a fun and friendly way.

List price

North Dice 2018 9m (kite only)  1359,- Euro

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24 thoughts on “North Dice 2018”

  1. Hi Pawel,
    We never did that. But we did use the Dice in ’16 on 5 lines. It wasn’t a succes. Maybe good for more freestyle/wakestyle, but you loose a lot on all other aspects.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  2. Hey,
    I am just curious is it possible ride Dice with wakestyle bar – 5th line set up? If yes, what is difference?

  3. Hi Savvas,
    We prefer 22m lines. If you losse too much low end, you can always get 2m extensions later!
    ps the Click bar comes with those extensions.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  4. Hi dave,
    Thank you,very helpful replies.

    I am 174 cm and 74kg.
    Shall i choose 22m or 24m lines for dice 2018 10m?
    Thank you!

  5. Hi Richard,
    The Vegas hasn’t been in our hands (properly) since 2015. We have to leave this question to others to respond.
    About the combo being heavy and the Dice we haven’t had any specific complaints, so no more or less responsive compared to comparable kites.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  6. Hi Dave,

    What are you thoughts on the 2018 Dice verses Vegas for a 100kg+ guy, riding boots? I’m confident looping/basic unhooked/basic handle passes. Looking at riding twin tip 85% of the time, surf the rest. I’ve heard in the past that the Dice hasn’t responded well to heavier guys however it looks more like older vegas’ in terms of shape this year.

  7. Hi Jim,
    Thanks for the feed back, that is what keeps us going!
    If you will take a Click bar which has the 22+2m extensions, your wind range might even be better as with the bandits before.
    We own 4 dice’s 2018, and dont like anything bigger as 11m either. Those kites still can be fun for some unhooked sessions or trying new tricks, so we understand where you dislikes are referring to.
    So although more expensive, we would advice to take the 2018 Click bar with it and you will be very happy on it.
    Let us know how things work out!

    Dave
    We Test Kites

  8. Hi!

    I’m really thankful about your reviews because i find it really difficult to test most of the kite-types and sizes as an ordinary kiter, specially when all of your friends ride with almost the same brands.
    My plan is to switch from F-One Bandit (2015) to North Dice (2018) and I was wondering if the same setup 8m/11m will be fine for the same wind range (with 22m lines) after the change?
    I’m 70kg and I ride with my 8m 70% of the time even when others (+10kg) go for the bigger kites. It seems like the Dice covers slightly smaller wind range, but I don’t like slow and”big” kites (12+) . Do you have any experience on this topic?

    Thanks,
    Jim

  9. Hi Valantin,
    As your are experienced by your landkite experience and it sounds like you will be looking for more excitement. In this case the Dice is on a large part much more fun. The Evo is mainly easier, jumps higher en with a bigger wind range…but once you get it right with the Dice the reward is much higher.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  10. Hi Dave,
    thanks for the advice. I’m 24. I have a few years of landkite behind me.
    In the future, I want to do some jumps, kiteloops and rotations.
    I think the Evo will be good for me but on the spot the Dice seems to be more popular

  11. Hi Valentin,
    Thanks!
    As you are just riding 3 months our guess is that you can still go perfectly with the Evo. The Dice can be more fun, yes, But it also has some more difficult handling and a smaller wind range compared to the Dice.
    If you are really young and learning fast and already pushing it (and going for more difficult tricks), it will be a different answer.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  12. HI,
    Great review !
    I have a 12m Evo 2016 and i’m looking for a 9m.
    I don’t know what to choose in 9m between Dice and Evo. The Evo is easy to use but i read the Dice is really fun.
    Can you help me in my choice please ?

    My level: 3 months of kite. I know how to go upwind and now i want to learn jump, riding toeside etc.

  13. Thanks for sharing… So I think 2017 is the pinnacle of the Dice then. I will be curious to see how the New 3-struts Evo will blend in. I might go 7-10 dice and 13 Evo as the 13 Dice is a good kite but in lighter winds, I find it more finiky to go upwind. BUT the Dice 13m is a fun kite for the 12-18 range… Not so much in 8-13…it still does it with a big bord but more atally that the EVO.

  14. Hi Hendrik,
    we are testing the Enduro’s V2 this week, looks very nice already from the first day!
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  15. The gap between 6 and 9 can be an issue yes.
    The 8 would be fine from 24 knots.
    It is not a miracle low end kite, you will need the 2m extensions for that.
    Dave

  16. Hi Martin,
    The 11 kn is pretty light. It probably really needs the 12m and 24m lines. So the click bar would give this and the 22m option. The 7m can be used very well on average in 30 knots. But you are pretty light. So there is some doubt but the 12/9/7 option looks better or take a 6 instead of 7?
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  17. Hi Dave,

    would you go 6/8/11 or 7/9/12 on the Dice at 63kg/140lbs? Riding anything from 11-30 knots and having a Nobile Split and a FW Evo.

    Cheers Martin

  18. Hi Markus,
    We will be in Tarifa this month to test gear, and we will try to contact F-one.
    No promises so far…but we keep you updated when we have it.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  19. Hi Stian,
    Thanks!
    Yes there are some updates;
    We broke our front line again after a free warranty replace. Breakage occurred below the iron heart. The line is not well protected.
    We asked for the ’18 protection part, which is unanswered.
    We don’t know if is possible to put this on the ’17 version, but the split from ’18 can be put on without any problem.
    As said the main issue is at the end, but North is not telling us (yet) if the ’18 part can be ordered.
    2018 and 2017 difference under the iron heart
    Will be continued
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  20. Hi Hendrik,
    Thanks for the compliment! We are trying to get the Enduro II but do far no Luck.
    We Will announce it when we got it.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  21. Great review guys! Keep it up!
    Btw any news on last years click-bar, whether they’ll compensate for broken lines due to the v-distributor

  22. Thanks for the amazing review guys really helpful!

    Have you guys tested the new enduro v2 yet? Or are you guys looking at reviewing them in the future? Would love to see a side by side review between the enduro v2 and dice 2018

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