Duotone Dice 2020: a love song?

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Duotone Dice 2020
Duotone Dice 2020

Let’s set the tone for the Dice 2020. I’m not gonna write you a love song (the unchanged lines ruins it) Or you’re on your way (to become perfect next year?) I’m not gonna write you to stay (we searched but we didn’t find a better substitute)
Babe, I’ll walk the seven seas when I believe that (first we need to need to forgive you for being powerless in windholes)
There’s a reason to write you a love song (yes there is one; the brilliant power build up)
Today, today. (we admit, we are in love)

Duotone Dice 2020

Okay, now let’s cut the crap. Of course we couldn’t wait to test the new versions of what can be considered to be the benchmark. The kite for kiters who love to throw their kite around. For the 2020 version Duotone has been brave enough to really alter a couple of elements on the Dice. Not because there were issues with the 2019 version. But -to our judgement- to refine the Dice even more.

Duotone Dice 2020 vs 2019
Duotone Dice 2020 vs 2019

Three points have been changed in 2020; The trailing edge has been made lighter by using less canopy. Seconds it went from 6 to 4 battens (in total reducing the weight of a 9m with 5% to just a fraction under 3kg’s). Ohw and let’s not forget the bag where they added an extra protection under the zipper to prevent any canopy is caught and destroyed by the zipper. But probably the biggest change has been ‘achieved’ by removing the pulleys.

Two questions

Very frequently people ask us two things about the Dice. The first one is if it is really the best kite of all? Answer: No. Yes. Well, not with the lines Duotone is providing. It is something in between a shame and shame full. It is Duotone’s achilleshiel. They make really good kites but some how their bars -or better; their lines- didn’t grow with them. They did not change them the last five years. But the rumour is out that in 2021 they will finally at least change the lines.

Duotone Trust Bar 2020
Duotone Trust Bar 2020

Some tips on the Trust bar: Check your depower line, center part and the knot which goes into the metal part at the V regularly. Make the knots on te back lines bigger. Same goes for the pig tails on the bridle. Make sure you never have any tension on the red line which runs down to the iron heart. Moderate to frequent users will need to change (parts of) the lines within 6 months. After that: get stronger ones from a specialist.

 

The test

The second question we usually get on the Dice is about the changes. But let’s first explain to some one who doesn’t know the Dice about its typical and successful DNA; very low bar pressure, quick to respond on input, easy and quick to depower and some light backstalling issues. Although the Dice did change over the years (2020 is version 7) the Dice still is known for these features. What did change over years is that its high end use got more impressive. Users Particularly love the aggressive pop. If you are an experienced kiter which likes to have the perfect combination of quick and sharp power with more control than kites like a Vegas or a GTS this is your kite. While still being more exciting than a Bandit 2020 for example; black versus red pepper would explain it. Liam would understand it.

Duotone Dice glowing in the sun
Duotone Dice 2020 glowing in the sun

But the love song is not only full of praises. The Dice 2020 has gotten even more susceptible for wind holes and not everybody is fond of its low bar pressure. The quite sudden back stall issues -particularly in low winds- remain. So far we haven’t seen negative issues of leaving out the 2 battens. But we fear that -in combination with less canopy on the trailing edge- over time things might get a bit more ‘flappy’ on the trailing edge.

In 2020 there is a tiny increase in bar pressure. The air time improved slightly. But the biggest improvement for sure can be felt best in a mega loop. It feels even more close to perfect. The best feeling ever. Leaving out 2 battens and the pulleys worked out very, very well. The result is a even more brilliant power build up. Like a hot knife that cut its way through butter. More wind? More excitement! And it feels like it has no limit on the high end. It has the best combination off unlimited extreme performance while still having an easy handling. It is the 2020 benchmark.

List price 2020

Duotone Dice (Kite only) 9m 1439,- Euro

Duotone Trust Bar with 22m lines 449,- (excluding chickenloop)

35 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks Dave,

    I’ll get more to the point: between Duotone Dice and Evo 11m, which one do you think is better for side-on waves and occasional boosting. Which one is faster turning? Which one has better drift?

    Best,

    Dirk

  2. Hi Dirk,
    We did ride the Evo 2020. But not on a wave board. The Evo now is without pulleys to. A bit strange maybe but we are not sure this is such a succes. We found the Reach really something which should work for a big size and a wave board. The Evo still isn’t so quick to turn and the Dice may not be much different.
    We rode the bandit 2021 on a twintip 9m. That one has as much higher bar pressure. Similar as the Neo. And much more over the Evo. That is something you need to like. The Reach is much softer.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  3. Hi Dave,

    Thanks, nice review. The 2020 information on Dice vs Evo has been difficult to find, specifically relating to performance on the waves, and I hope you can shed some light on it to guide my next purchase decision.

    Let me tell you a bit about my current kite use and setup: I do mostly waves, side-onshore, and even if there are no proper waves, I try to hit the shore break or try some strapless jumps. I have almost stopped using a twin tip and use whatever I have for foiling with very low wind at the end of the day, but that’s not an important consideration. I have a 2017 Neo 9 and an 2016 Dice 11. The reason for getting the 11 Dice instead of another Neo was that I thought the turning speed of the bigger Neos was too slow and that, at that time, I planned on riding waves with less wind but also doing some jumping on a TT with the Dice. First time I tried the Dice in the waves, I thought it was really slow turning (had come from a Ben Wilson 10), but grew to like it eventually even though it still seems it doesn’t like turning with lower wind (f.ex. close to shore).

    Now I’m thinking of changing the quiver, a 2020 or 21 Neo 9 (which apparently will stay the same except for SLS version) and, and here lies the dilemma, a 10-11m Dice or Evo. The only Evo I tried, 2012 version, I hated: too slow, too soft. But apparently the new version has changed a lot and the literature and reviews don’t satisfy the question of which one is better in the waves with side-onshore conditions (according to Duotone they are both freeride kites that are good in the waves, freestyle characteristics notwithstanding). I’ve read stuff like the Dice is more of a down the line wave kite for side and side off conditions, but that’s all I have been able to find. How’s the turning of the Evo, pivotal or on the edges? How does the Evo compare with a Bandit? So, if you can shed any light on this or offer any other insights, it would be really appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Dirk

  4. Hi Anders,
    350 is really a bargain -depending on the state-.But yes the Dice really evolved a lot. I would say it has become more an advanced kite with less sweetness and more ‘epicness’. Depending on your budget (A 2020 Dice would cost you now probably 3 of those 2015 kites) and your demands I would choose.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  5. Hi!

    I found a brand new Dice 2015 for sale for 350 euro. Would you say that the fve years of improvments to the 2020 are anywhere worth the difference, or is the 2015 DIce pretty much the same kite ?

  6. Hi Thomas,
    Did you check the length of the lines you used? North/Duotone can come with 22 or 24m for example. 24 is almost impossible to loop properly. 22m is much better…
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  7. Hello Dave
    What a Quick reply, sitting here with my iPad on holyday at home bc the corona times, though nice sunny weather in Denmark, theres no Wind really …
    You see, in Dk we Only wave in wind built waves (no swell, sadly) so it Will alway be waveriding in hard Wind conditions.
    Therefore I proberly keep my boring 2013 Evo kites for that purpose, wich actually Will be okay, White wave riding its not needed to have a fast kite,,,
    Anyway, when I have lesser wind a 10 or 11 kvm Dice would be perfect as a flat spot Jump kite, for me at least, I think.
    I love do high jumps and backroll hooked in… Old School… TT riding…
    A hooked in megajump with kiteloop I have tried Only a very few times, and OH that went wrong… every time… when i came up high in the air, and tried turning the kite – it every time happend so that the kite didnt end its loop before I was trashed into the water like a stone, auuuuuw…
    So, I guees my dream would be doing a mega jump with kite loop with help from a 9m Dice on TT ofcourse…
    Do you know any good hooked in kiteloop instructionsmovie??
    Tnx for great site…

  8. Hi Thomas,
    Thanks for explaining how you experienced. Although the Dice is one of the most perfect kites for advanced kiters it should be mentioned that it is on a twin tip. Yes it is more alive and quick to respond than a lot of other kites. Like you want. But for wave riding drift is also needed. Although we have a lack of more than one experienced wave kiter in our team we dare to say you probably will find a different kite better for this. Which one is hard to say without telling more about your style. Is it strapless jumping you do?
    Riding a TT sometimes?
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  9. Hello Dave,
    So exiting to read about the Dice, as a 15 years experienced kiter – mostly with North Vegas kites and Also Evo set from 2013 –
    The North Evo which Btw was some sad boring slow kite. Funny enough, my best kite ever alltime was a pink 2009 Evo 9m. That kite was SO fun fast and brilliant jumper too. My Wright was then 90 kg so in hard Wind at was the best on the beach.
    The in 2013 I bought 3 new 2013 north Evo kite a 6-8-10 quiver primerily for waveriding. Oh what a sad experience. Unlucky I didnt test the 2013 Evo kite before the purchase. And those kite were just so damn boring as hell. Especially the 10 kvm kite is useless. Totally slow…
    Anyway now I believe I Will get the pink 2009 Evo 9m feeling back again if I buy the Dice….?
    Sorry to bother with my story – I just Think mY point is that sometimes a kite model suddenly can disapoint you were much,, LOL… And tears… and broken finances…
    Best from Thomas Denmark…

  10. Hi Dave,
    I also love the Dice since a long time but I switched to the Evo for 1 year (just top try something else) and then came back to Dice this year and still love it. My programme is loop, loop and more megaloop. The top end is awesome but the low end… I think that kite needs 1m² compare to others. With my 83kg, I don’t have fun under 27 knots with the 9m² which is the kite I use all the time unless it’s 35knt++.
    It’s a bit annoying to have to pay for a 7, 8, 9, and 10m² to enjoy every session but I guess it’s the price to pay to ride the Dice.
    Thinking about switch to a 8, 10, 12 quiver instead of 7, 9, 12…

  11. Hi Johan,
    You are welcome!
    The fx we tested (2018) is sweeter and a bit less aggressive compared to the Dice. A very fast and playfull kite which is very good and so much fun to ride.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  12. Hi, thanks for a nice review. How is the Dice compare to Cabrinha Fx. Loops? Boost? And gusty winds? Kind regards Tok

  13. Hi Chris,
    Take the Dice, 100%. The loops are so brilliant that I am sure you will be so happy once you got it going in the right wind conditions.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  14. Thanks so much Dave; so you recommend Dice over Evo even without ambition for unhooked tricks but for looping and old-school.?. Duotone’s style-finder does advise the Evo. But I hear your concerns and a kite that is too “soft” or “friendly” would certainty not be my favourite (also given that I am 85-90kg). Would love to try both, but will potentially not make it to a testival or similar in the next months.

  15. Hi Chris,
    Although for board offs the Evo is the easiest, the Dice seems like your next step. The Bandit is too much alike your Union. For looping the Evo it circle and reaction is a a step backward. Spice it up and take the Dice. If you feel you need more hangtime with that one try it with 24m lines but 22 is our favorite.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  16. Hey Dave, I Love big airs and practice Old school Darkslide, Board-offs and Kiteloops on my Airush Union (2016). I would like sth with better lift but still decent looping capabilities. Would you prefer the Dice over the Evo? Or maybe a bandit??

  17. Hi Fabiano,
    Yes indeed you have seen that correctly. Since we consider it to be one of the best kites it is needed to have it tested and compared each time in the same conditions as the kite we will test. The benchmark. We bought -like previous years- those kites ourselves. No gifts from Duotone.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  18. Hi Dave,
    Instead of comparing kites of different types…To understand what I mean, just switch between the knots on the ears of the kite(one kite!) and look at bar pressure and time to respond.

  19. Hi I had the same problem. my line catches on the edge of the kite and tries to loop. I had a very very scared student. Not too sure about the new Dice as far as safety is concerned.

  20. I just rode a Dice 2020. 7 mts and 8 mts. And have problems with the two of them.
    The new bridle or the attach knot, stuck in the end of the leading edge and the kites try to make a half mega loop and I almost get hurt.
    It happen to you ??

    I’m gonna send it back to the dealer.

  21. Muchas gracias for the quick comparison with the Nexus, I was exactly looking for a bit more lift and float than the Dice but more fun to fly than the Evo. XR is too close to a Rebel, good kite lots of float but not as fun to whip around.

    Thanks a lot.

  22. Hi Igor,
    On the contrary. Most low bar pressure kites are faster and quicker to respond. To understand what I mean think of the opposite side; a Slingshot Rally has a high bar pressure and is quite slow in reacting.
    But there are also kites like the Ozone Edge with a low bar pressure kite that reacts slowly. So it can be any combination between high bar pressure and how quick a kite responds.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  23. Hi Francis,
    We did use the Nexus a few times. Compared to the Dice it is a bit less radical. More lift and longer jumps but also less extreme pop. The Nexus works better on a directional over a Dice. Overall the Nexus is easier and more friendly.
    Hope this helps!
    Dave
    We Test Kited

  24. Hey guys, you ne er tested the Nexus right? I was wondering how it stacks against the Dice… this comparison is hard to find…cheers!

  25. Hi Max,
    Most of our readers are not into unhooking.That is why we don’t really test it for unhooking. This version of the Dice is not much different on this aspect. It might be tiny bit less adequate for those moves as there is less slack on the lines.
    We don’t know any one using a wakestyle bar on the Dice. So no idea of this makes sense.
    The click bar on low V will break your line very quickly on the exit of the plastic tube. That is why we don’t recommend to use it like that.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  26. Hi guys, No words in Unhooked performance? What do you think about pop and slack on this kite? And do you think one can improve it by using the wakestyle bar or the click on low V?

  27. Hi Thomas,
    Thanks for the feed back!
    We did think of removing the pulley of older versions. Just to see how it would work. But is actually is les simple as you may think. The line+knot needs to be attached at some point on the bridle. The place which should be ideal is difficult to choose. But we will have a try. And yes one of the testers has a 2017 version…
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  28. Hi ! Thanks a lot for all your work, it’s always a pleasure to read you and see all the passion in your lines. Finally a change that makes me want to buy a new kite.

    One question, do you think it would be a possible to remove the pulleys on a 2017 Dice ? I would love that you test it for me haha.

    Completely agree with all your comment and advices on the trust bar and lines.

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