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I wrote this up to help anyone else thinking about buying a North Dice kite. There was non-committal or conflicting reviews out there.
My goals with the Dice were to find a kite that feels like the Vegas, loops like the Vegas, unhooks like the Vegas, but is much friendlier in the waves. I have had a quiver of Vegas and a quiver of Rebels in the past to get some drift in the waves and a great freestyle kite, but it felt excessive and a waste of space in my shed. I really want an all-in-one that does not compromise freestyle and unhooked.
I have ridden the 8m Dice for 3 sessions now in average wind ranges of 21 – 30 mph in the 4-line mode.
The kite feels 95% like the Vegas to me. Great loops, great unhooked, and much improved for the waves. It does everything I wanted and I am going to probably going to sell all of my 2014 Vegas kites as there is too much overlap and the Dice has the advantage in the waves and is more than sufficient at freestyle / unhooked. I am curious how I will take the 4-line setup as I have been on the 5-line Vegas for years now and really like the 5th for relaunch and flagging out, but I guess simpler is typically better. The only reason I would 2nd guess this is 2 fold.
1. Fewer struts on the Dice…this may allow the canopy to stretch out more quickly which will translate into a less precise kite. I would like to see North add back in the additional struts, but cannot comment for sure until I have ridden the Dice for ½ a season or so. While crispy the kite is very precise and responsive.
2. If I start trying advanced handle passes again, I would probably value the slightly additional slack that I have heard the Vegas can deliver. With that being said, I doubt most amateur kiters will notice as it is hard to properly slack a kite and take full advantage of the additional slack the Vegas would provide. The Dice was slacking plenty for me to throw simple passes like KL3, etc…
I am going to ride the Dice and Vegas back to back next session and will write up a quick update if anything changes.
The bar feels basically the same with small changes here and there. On a side note I saw the 2014 Neo on the beach last Thursday and evidently it is the wave specific kite for North this year. So if that is what you want, then maybe hold out and try them both. I guess as I work through my mid-thirties I am not as worried about the freestyle as I used to be and am willing to compromise a little bit to benefit everything else.
I am a team rider for North, so let that influence your interpretation as you may.
You sound very responsible.
Benicia Kite and Paddle Sports
4562 East 2nd Street, Unit J & K
Benicia, CA 94510
Thats funny, I switched to the 11m Chaos this year as my go-to kite. We will see how it compares to the tried and true switchblade.
As I work through my mid-thirties, I still pretend like I can do freestyle :)
You have a 650b Bronson? (I ride a Bullit and a Blur!) I have been meaning to try the mid-size wheels since I found the 29er wheels to "whippy" for heavy, aggressive riding. (You did mean a Santa Cruz Bronson, right Ollie?) Feedback about the bike?
It is such a nice bike. Rode up in Makawao Forest a few days ago. The biking here is nice and that Bronson is a great compliment
Hellz yeah, mine's on the way...I've been riding a carbon 27.5 Anthem lately and 650b is awesome...
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