Duotone Dice 2019 9m

The Dice transformed over the years from a sweet lady to a tough brother. A bit challenging but a very rewarding kite. Less sweet and less forgiving but with a stronger pop and more aggressive potential. Very appealing for the advanced rider. We enjoy it very much. Each year when the new Dice arrives we sort of fear any changes . What differences will 2019 bring for the Dice?

Duotone Dice 2019

Dice

For those who never used the Dice: don’t get distracted by any of the comments below in this review. If you are tired from just boosting around with a Switchblade, Rebel or any other kite with five struts. Or when you are looking for that bit more grunt and want to take your bump and jump with a Bandit or Evo to the next level? Take the Dice! Not because you are going to break your Woo record. Neither will it add any low-end power. But it will reward you by adding more fun into the kite game. Take some time to read the Dice 2018 review, since this will explain very well what the DNA of the Dice is all about.

Duotone

One major marketing challenge is the change from North to Duotone. For sure the boys and girls from Boards&More, owners of the Duotone and former “renters” of the name North Kiteboarding, have been busy explaining the world nothing significantly changed the past few months.

2018 on top of the 2019 Dice
2018 on top of the 2019 Dice
The battens line up exactly the same
The battens line up exactly the same

The first hunch that nothing dramatically changed was confirmed when we put a 2018 and 2019 version right on top of each other.

The most obvious difference in the structure
The most obvious difference in the structure

The only visible difference is found in the trailing edge (see above). And yes, we had a real proper look at the two.

Duotone Dice 2019
Duotone Dice 2019

The first impression was that the so called changes are only colour wise. Speaking of colours. Just like last year the Dice has a three colour scheme with a black spot. But just about everyone is asking what that outstanding black spot is doing in the middle of the canopy? Is it a stain? Is it a fault? Apparently it is supposed to be an impression of a landscape.Ugly dark spot on the Duotone Dice 2019

At first sight there are no major changes. But Duotone does claim some improvements; “The wing tip area was updated last year to allow for a more dynamic turn and improved handling”. Most people- understand these words are likely to be influenced by a marketing machine. Which in this case is working at full steam. About half a dozen of pages of Duotone are present in almost each kite magazine lately. Another -less impressive- statements is the “2 cm longer pig tail at the hard setting for making it the perfect set up for Freestyle/Wakestyle moves, offering massive slack”. How about we just depower our kite 2 cm? Same effect. So this is not innovation. This is marketing which is needed when you introduce a new version of the Dice each year.

Dice 2019 vs 2018 performance

Out on the water it takes a couple of sessions switching back to back with a (fresh) 2018 version to figure out if there is any improvements. As we did not spot any evident differences on land, it is kind of surprising that all testers agreed there is a performance distinction. It is a subtle difference and hard to explain, but let’s try it: the power build up is softer and comes to a -fantastic- peak, but a fraction later with the new 2019 version. Another big improvement in 2019 has been achieved in the way it loops. A megaloop feels so good. It goes round with less effort, smoother and catches you better at the landings.

In general the Dice 2019 seems a bit sweeter. The feed back of the kite gives the impression that the kite has a different aspect ratio (shorter from tip to tip and longer struts) compared to its previous version. Which isn’t physically true, since they are exactly the same in length and width. Important to tell is that those performance differences are just a fraction different. What is unchanged is its playful feeling. Pop the Dice at the very right moment and you will get a big reward. That is one of the reasons why it needs an advanced rider to get the best out of the Dice. So in short the Dice DNA isn’t gone for sure and for well over 90% unchanged. Luckily!

Wishes

The Dice 2019 is -again- a very good kite for most of us. But some changes could have been introduced. For example at the lines and the advised pressure. Duotone didn’t change it’s -too low- advised 6 psi policy where brands like Naish already passing the 11 psi mark. That makes it seem like Duotone is behind at this subject to possibly increase the Dice’s performance even more.

The lines haven’t changed either. We did not test a 2019 bar but we know those Teufelberger Fl-10 lines (unchanged on the North bars for over 5 years now) are not the best that are available. Although the breaking strength seems pretty high at 330kg, those lines still break way too early. Stefanie Marisch from Teufelberger admits that the current catalogue offers better products. On top of that Evan Kruger, a line replacement specialist from www.infexion.nl points out that the Teufelberger lines with 8 strands loose more strength when spliced compared to lines with 12 or 16 strands. Interesting details but something we will get back on in another review. Let’s just say for powerful and demanding riders the lines will need a proper upgrade asap.

List price

Duotone Dice 9m (kite only) 1379,- Euro

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30 thoughts on “Duotone Dice 2019 9m”

  1. Hi Ilias,
    Your feed back is very much appreciated!
    Let us know any updates if there are any.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  2. Hi Dave , thank you for the new Dice review . I carefully follow your dice tests every year . I got the impression the 2017 dice was the best dice produced in terms of performance but fabric was not so strong .

    By looking at the new Duotone releases it’s obvious very little change has happened for 2019 apart from the graphics .

    I have a 9m Dice , (2018) a 12m dice ( 2017)
    7m dice ( 2017) and 10m Vegas ( 2018) a gambler TT, and whip directional . first time in a while I decided no gear upgrades this year 2019 with the exception of a clickbar that I might get .
    Thank you for your tests and keep them coming .
    Best
    Ilias

  3. Hi Mike,
    Yes exactly. And set the 13m in that case on “hard setting” (back lines) to get less movement of the kite and stronger pop.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  4. Would you consider it a better option to pick a 13m for freeride/freestyle (unhooking) and a 9m for kitelooping?
    Thank you Dave

  5. He Mike,
    Thanks for asking.
    Looping a 13m (and also a 12m) is not the first thing we would consider to be fit to practice. Both are indeed missing speed/agile. Usually people on a 12/13m Dice start to practice their unhooked skills rather than the kiteloops.
    So if your really need to choose between 12/13m it is better to use the 12m. But a 12m won’t do much in 13-18 knots winds though. Solve it by using +2m extensions, which you need to take off when practicing loops.

    Dave
    We Test Kites

  6. hey,
    i would like to know wether i should get a 12 or a 13m 2019 dice . i bouce between 83 to 90 kilos and would use to it for everything and to learn kiteloops in winds between 13 and 24knts was wondering wether i should go for the 13 or 12. would the 13 be agile enough?

  7. HI Richard,
    You are welcome.
    Indeed this is the way to ease down the Dice and to get more slack on the lines. Also they would probably set it on ” hard settings” on the back lines.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  8. Hi Dave,
    many thanks for your reply. I saw North pros in pictures riding the Dice with the clickerbar on low V setting. Would the characteristics of the Dice with low V go towards a Vegas?
    Cheers,
    Richard

  9. Hi Richard,
    No. The split of the front lines on an Eleveight bar is low and on a Dice it is working best at high (6m) split.
    The Dice will get more like a freestyle kite with this bar.
    Dave

  10. Hi Dave, will the Dice work with an Eleveight Vary bar with unchanged functionality/characteristics?
    Cheers, Richard

  11. Hi Alex,
    FX is the fastest of those. So a good choice. If you want more hang time when snow kiting make sure you get 2m extensions. For Ozone be careful you normally get 25 without extensions. Better to get 23+2m which is possible. But you will not regret the FX.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  12. Thanks for the (very fast) reply!

    The two main things I’m looking for are
    -a quick kite: more fun and better for learning kite loops
    -decent hang-time: I do a lot of snow-kite and safe/soft landings are a plus 😀

    Is there any significant hangtime difference between fx/enduro/union/bandit? Or should I just go for the better price? I can get some 2018 demo fx’s at a 40% discount …

    And thanks again for all your work on this website!

  13. Hi Alex,
    Thanks for asking and welcome to this great sport. You are indeed pretty close to what we are thinking.
    But make sure your style matches the dna of the chosen kite. For example a Bandit is only a match to users who are a match for a pretty quick kite. The XR5 – for example- would suit some one (older?) who only is looking mostly just for floaty (easy?) jumps.
    As for the Fx; comes just right in between the Enduro and the Dice (a really quick and sweet kite which can be used to do about just anything!).
    The Union is also like the Enduro, but with a bit less bar pressure.
    The Pivot is a hard one. We only rode a Pivot years ago. At that moment we couldn’t agree right away on its characteristics. Very soft in response and floaty but again this was years ago. In general we hope to find out more about the kites from Naish (11.5psi and quad tex are new and interesting details) but we haven’t been able to get any Naish kites yet.
    Personal guess for your aim; an Enduro or FX.
    Hope it helps a bit?!
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  14. Hey Dave,

    From reading your reviews I get the impression you classify around-kites as
    -beginner-friendly: Bandit and Evo (maybe XR5?),
    -mid-pack: enduro,
    -more advanced: dice, GTS.

    Is this about right? Where would you fit the FX, union and pivot?

    Now that I can go upwind easily, I’m buying my first real kites (was using an airush dna). Trying to find something accessible enough that won’t get boring. The dice sounds a little scary, any recommendations?

    Thanks,
    Alex

  15. Hi Tim,
    Good question.
    This sounds a bit like the same suggestion as North/Duotone has in a video from Tom Court a while back. If you are okay with a little less bar pressure (which means you have to get used to get less feed back where the kite actually is, a more aggressive pop and a bit more chance on back stalling in low winds, you will love the Dice. No matter hooked in or not. You may even get so comfortable and secure you start to unhooking later. Which is far more unlikely this will happen with the Evo. The Dice is a very logic step after a Bandit if you look into more action.
    We know a lot of people who have switched from either a Rebel, RPM or Bandit to a Dice. None of them unhooks but all of them are super happy with the switch.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  16. Hi Dave,

    Question: talked to my local shop and told them I wave and do hooked in tricks plus a lot of jumping. They basically said that if you don’t do unhooked tricks you are better of with the EVO than with the Dice. I currently use bandits. Do you agree with them? And why specifically?

    Rgds,

    Tim.

  17. Hi Roman,
    It would be nice if you let us know what you think, so thank you in advance for that.
    As for 2019 vs 2018 and 2017. You are a bit right. The 2019 version is a little bit back to 2017 in some ways. But the differences are small and we got used to the 2018 version after a while.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  18. Thank you Dave!
    I will try to test the 2019 model. Local shop got one for demo. I will write my comments after test.
    After reading the 2018 review by you, I got a bit sceptic about 2018 model. From your review it seems that is became a bit less fun compered to 2017 version. Is the fun back on 2019 or did I misunderstand the 2018 review?

  19. Hi Roman,
    The 2019 versions loop very nice. A bit better compared to 2018. The 2015 is a bit quicker and sweeter. The later versions are better for freestyle and unhooked tricks. The differences between the last few years are not that big, maybe for a financial reason you would take a 2018 version?!
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  20. Hi Dave!
    I have a 2015 Dice and am looking to upgrade my 9m kite.
    I will use it for freestyle (both hooked and unhooked), big air and learning how to kiteloop properly.
    How does the 2015 Dice compare to the 2019?
    Which year Dice would suit me best? My local shop have all years available.

  21. Hi Jeroen,
    The best answer of course would be to test both at the same time.
    If this is not possible the Evo is a save choice, but may be at some specific points not that perfect. Less challenging at the twintip and a bit wide (bigger circle) for radical kite loops.
    Nobody really complaints ever about the Evo though, that is why we consider it a save choice.
    Dave
    We Test kites

  22. hi Dave,

    thanks for your remarks! i am doubting between an evo and a dice. i have the feeling that the evo is a bit more foregiving and will therfore be better when progressing from intermediate to advanced. i mix a lot of styles (foil, twintip boosting and first kiteloops, some hooked in tricks plus wave riding.)

    what do you think?

    Jeroen

  23. Hi Andrea,
    The Enduro is much more like the Dice. There are some differences though. Most people get the Enduro with 25m lines (this is standard option from Ozone). On Dice this is 22m. This makes the Enduro have a better low end but (mega) loops are far better with the Dice. The bar pressure is also higher on the Enduro. Due to the longer lines the Enduro also jumps a bit higher.
    If you compare them with both 22m lines the differences are smaller. But the Dice is a bit more aggressive, stronger pop but less hang time and more slack on the lines for (better) unhooked tricks.
    Wave is not tested by us on those kites.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  24. Yes Dave, thank you for the answer :o)
    Another question: what differences you notice between the dice and the ozone enduro in the 3 areas (unhooked, wave, boost)?

  25. Hi Andrea,
    Understood. I think the Dice and the Edge are completely different kites. The Edge is designed for a few specific elements; jumping and speed. It results indeed in a different behavior like you describe. The design of a Dice is aimed for a bigger scope, to be able to do a variety of styles. Boosting big floating jumps like with a Switchblade, Rally, Rebel or Edge is not on top of the list. The floating in the air is less but the takeoff is much stronger.
    There is some differences between the years of the Dice in this area, but it is quite limited. Certainly compared to those kites mentioned.
    ON the other hand people that do wave riding will complain about a Edge about too little drift for example.
    Does this answer your question?
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  26. Hi Dave. I talk about the kite position in the wind window. The 2017 Dice fly forward in the wind window, in order to drifting in the waves. So when I want to boost sending suddendly the kite at the zenith the Dice first go forward and then over my head. This means loss of boosting power. Opposite, for example, the ozone edge that fly at the edge of the window. When i send the Ozone at the zenith it goes suddendly over my head maximize the boost effect.

  27. Hi Andrea,
    please explain a bit better what you mean by fly foreward?
    Do you mean back stalling?
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  28. Hi Dave, I have a 2017 Dice.
    I love it in unhooked moves or wave but it is frustrating in boost as it fly foreward in the wind window. Are there some improvements in boosting area?

    Thanks

  29. Hi Jeroen,
    The Bandit is also a quite responsive kite, but it is less firm and less explosive. So a Dice will give more firm and steady feed back compared to a Bandit. It also means that the Dice is less forgiving and a bit more difficult to control when you are powered up. When you will use them side by side it is easy to feel the difference. We would consider it the next step.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  30. hi Dave,

    Thanks for your review. I own a set op bamdit version 8ths. When you write, if you want more than just bumping an jumping aroud on your bandit. what do you mean exactly? what is the the difference you mean?

    thanks.

    Jeroen

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