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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12 thoughts on “North Dice 2018”

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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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