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 Post subject: Re: North Dice impressions
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:05 am 
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Got a whole range of conditions in today on my 2nd run of the Dice 10m. It was the kite's maiden voyage since I came full circle and bought one from the company that scored me a rippin' demo of it a few weeks ago, Ocean Air in Avon. We had 20mph gusting to 30+mph. We had a light wind chunk of time (13-15mph) and everything in-between. One thing I can say about the Dice is it is very stable in high wind. I'm scratching my head how a kite pumped up to the factory 6psi can be so true in the air. It just doesn't feel as rigid as my Rally and Revs and Zephyr when I pump them up to 8psi. But yet it performs splendidly. With the fast flow inflation you are on the water in minutes with this kite. Simply put there is a fun factor with this kite. Long live the 3-strut design I think...

In the nukin' stuff I rigged it on the "hard" bar pressure setting for slower turning. I also rigged the bar for the narrower width between the steering lines for slower turning. Even though I was overpowered for most of the time the Dice stayed stable and I felt very comfortable. When I had the 20mph base wind strength the kite was dialed in. When the wind surged to 30mph I simply depowered it and rode it high in the air. Send the kite in this wind and up you go quickly. It reminds me of Dimitri's Screamer the way it shoots upwards when you send it.

I'm not saying this is the best thing since sliced bread but the Dice has a niche that few kites have. I can be critical of my own kites as well, the North Quad bar is not perfect. The plastic bar ends are cheap feeling and don't release easily when you pinch them to change to the wider setting. Visually I don't like the slack red line. It seems North could do something to get that line to stay taught no matter what the depower setting is. Maybe a bungee of sorts below the bar to pull it tight. It's the wind that blows it loose and slack. The whole velcro trim rope thing is inefficient IMO because who has time to depower, futz with dangling rope and velcro it while it's nukin'???

I'm still up in the air as to having a non-pulley direct connection to the kite - ala the Rally. But is this bridle and pulley the reason the kite is dynamic and seemingly "ebbing and flowing" with the wind instead of rigidly reacting to it???

So there was a lull for a half hour when the wind crapped out. My friend's were coming in on their 10's so I came in and rigged the kite on the outermost setting - "soft" bar pressure - fastest turning. I then changed the bar ends for the wider setting and maxed the turning quickness. I grabbed my 5'7" x 22" wide Fish twin keel and had a totally zen session surfing the large waves that had accumulated from a day of 20-30+mph wind. At times I was sine waving the kite and at times I was parked and perfect on this large flat board. It does not have "low end" compared to my Rally but it has quickness and lightness to make up for it.

I can talk about drift and jumping ability in one kite but it's more the fact that I did 15-30mph today on this kite and had fun!


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 Post subject: Re: North Dice impressions
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:51 am 
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Acute observations mark.

I have in the past never been a big fan of this particular mags reviews, but I sent the link below to 4 other riders of the dice and we all agreed it was really close to the mark.

http://www.iksurfmag.com/issue41/?page=107

Unlike a lot of you we have had this kite over here for a couple of months now and we have all had at least 30 to 35 sessions on the dice from 12m down to the 7m so listen up if ya keen to know something about this kite.

Here is a great example. Yesterday we were on the ocean 19 to 23 knots and a rising swell. Three on TTs, one on a SB. Extremely intuitive in the waves, people talk about drift all the time with all rounders but this kites forte is its drift. some Kites are good for park and ride, some fly and follow, this kite does both. This I think is one due to the stability of the wing, but more so I do think that slider works so that the first half of the throw there is a somewhat linear change in angle of attack, hence keep it pulled in and fly and follow. But the later part of the throw the angle of attack really changes exponentially, allowing you to kill the kite and park and ride.

What's more it will boost nicely on the way out. Look its no high aspect jumper like an edge, screamer even a higher aspect all rounder like a trigger, but it will go with the correct application of proper C kite boosting technique.

Rights today, wind easterly, flat water session on the estuary. Powered flat water hooked in freestyle plus some unhooked soft freestyle (rally S bend, none of us do the handle pass thingy, we are hoping the young bloke in our crew gets that down pat and it should be soon).

As mark said it isn't the be all and end all, it is what it is. An exceptional wave kite that can boost enough, and a ripper for freestyle for those that don't want a punishing C kite. It is apple wing and will appeal to a lot of riders. We are all powered type dudes, but there was even one guy today an older bloke cruising strapless on the new 5'5 north nugget. Actually on the nugget my mate has an old 2012 nugget we laid them side by side. That new nugget looks so much more surf able hey, a much sleeker design, just looks right hey.

Easy to fly in the hands of beginners but also plenty of Potential for those further advanced.

The red 5th line slack allows for some front line stretching that will occur over time. But I agree it is a bit messy up there, especially when you rotate etc as much as we do. But hey you make work with what you have and it is functional enough the bar, well built and fuck me, until you exceed the wings potential (which most of us won't) I'm not complaining about the bar, it is fine.

Great kite along the sme lines as say the park, rally, bandit etc There are some bloody ripper wings out there. I can't wait to see what they do with the second generation dice, because they go the first one spot on already. Maybe a bit more low end. Each of these all rounder type kites have their forte, pick one that suites what you are trying to accomplish. For us it is waves and freestyle, this kite is ideal for that. You want waves and to boost, then I'd look at the rally more from example.

On that matter I am hearing a lot about the low end. As I have said we have been on them a lot longer than most and well we are not finding this a big issue as some. Its a C kite, learn how to fucking ride a C kite. More specifically utilise the upstroke as much as the downstroke. There is a lot of power in the upstroke, pull inthe bar come off your edge a little and use it. I see a lot of guys trying to generate most of their power from the downstroke and try and lock it off like it s a high aspect kite like an edge or something. This kite needs to be worked. Quick flicks of the kite back into the wind window, using the upstroke more, THEN lock off. And trust me once you have speed this thing will rocket upwind to your mark. Sometimes I think we have all been dumbed down by the delta/ bow revolution, its a C kite, learn to fly one.


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 Post subject: Re: North Dice impressions
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:28 am 
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Location: The Naki
demo'd the 10m dice today in 20 knots.

Its really really really smooth. Jumped well looped well, turned rode waves well. it did everything well. I had a ball.

Then I jumped back on my 10m c4. What a boring piece of shit by comparison.

hmmmm.


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 Post subject: Re: North Dice impressions
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:28 pm 
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What this kite has done for me is offer me a new "feel". It's a feeling of lightness, quickness, with stability. SInce I spend most of my time chasing the kite downwind on lake rollers in gusty wind this kite is perfect for me. When I shoot back out I can boost. Little things like the literally minutes it takes to get on the water, fast flow inflation, 6psi, 4-line quad bar make it so easy. Changing bar and kite adjustments is quick and easy.


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 Post subject: Re: North Dice impressions
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:42 pm 
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Hey mark, I shortened the back lines yesterday under the floats by one knot.

Huge difference hey. I noticed that on the factory settings even when I was pulled all the way in, the kite would still inch forward.

Now, although it doesn't stall it will stay in one place at least back in the window.

Gave far more float and glide and the pivot point to ride on the depower against your edge, was in the right place. I was finding that in the lighter stuff or on lulls I was having to pull all the way in and ride the bar right on the iron heart. Now its a 2 or 3 inches off and it perfect to bounce off and feel the kite, hence position it better in the window for what you want.

Give it a crack. Been meaning to do it for a while now. My mate has already had shit 50 sessions on his 12m and the fifth safety is now taught by some front line stretch. I was wondering why he was getting such float, glide and low end on the kite.

Reckon they have been set up for gumbies, I reckon I could almost go another knot forward actually.


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 Post subject: Re: North Dice impressions
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:58 pm 
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Interesting WestOzzie - In the lighter wind I noticed that too. Not too light mind you - maybe 15-18mph... Sheeted in right to the Iron Heart. But in that wind I'm so busy moving the kite to keep things going that maybe some extra power would help. WIll try this and report back.


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 Post subject: Re: North Dice impressions
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:17 am 
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Yeh man do that. I reckon I could almost go another knot actually. The only thing is I feel the factory setting is such that when you unhook you don't have to depower. Think I will need to depower a bit now, but hey that's worth it for the lower end. Felt as I said I could 'bounce' on the depower away from the iron heart, gives you a much better feel.

All my ozone kites I have shortened the back lines. Why not this one to. As the front lines stretch drop it back.


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 Post subject: Re: North Dice impressions
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:54 pm
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Location: San Francisco Bay Area
My goals with the Dice were to have 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.


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 Post subject: Re: North Dice impressions
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:52 pm 
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How does the safety work on the dice - does it flag onto a single front line or two?

Also does it have battens like my Vegas' do?


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 Post subject: Re: North Dice impressions
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:29 pm 
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Location: San Francisco Bay Area
barrybarryr wrote:
How does the safety work on the dice - does it flag onto a single front line or two?

Also does it have battens like my Vegas' do?


Not sure how it flags out as I ride with the loop through the iron heart but will check it out when I go to the beach next.

It does have battens. It looks almost identical to a Vegas but has a bridle.


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