North Dice 9M 2015

North Dice 9m 2015 kite test THE HYPE:
The launch of the Dice last year saw magazines and riders alike appreciating its playful nature. The low end of the kite has been improved this year; by opening up the profile the kite now generates more power in lighter winds. This open profile has also added more stability at the top end of the kite’s range too. It’s still great in the waves with the impressive drifting capabilities, but it is perfect for freeriding and freestyle as well. To ensure it excites the freestylers and freeriders out there North have made the kite more aggressive for improved lift and jumping characteristics. The handling and manoeuvrability are still there and the 2015 Dice is exceedingly precise and responds to rider input, immediately offering an unrivalled feel at the bar. There is no need to take a gamble on the Dice; it’s quite simply one of the best kites on the market right now, perfect however you like to ride!

North Dice 9m 2015 kite test
North have been doing their thing for so long now that you can almost predict what you’re going to get in terms of quality, looks and feel. Their quality and attention to detail is very good indeed and year on year is a sensible and worthwhile step on from the year before. Their bar, as far as we’re concerned, is the absolutely business in terms of feel, quality, accessories, functionality, ease-of-use, safety and features and yet is one of the cleanest and lightest on the market. The kite is very well made, strongly reinforced and remains at the pinnacle point in terms of materials and obvious factory processes. In terms of the look of the gear it’s also quite predictable – it’s not cutting edge in that respect, but it’s always real quality.
So, with that out of the way, let’s get onto the kite! The air frame is medium to high aspect, there’s minimal bridling and minimal struts. The Dice looks the most C shaped of all the kites this issue and always just very tight and assured in the sky. In all honestly we thought the Dice was a little bit bland last year in its attempt to be an all-rounder. This year it feels much more as though it has grown into itself in its mark two version. The Dice 2015 is eager, energetic, gets up to speed quickly and seems to turn the ‘noise’ down in your kitesurfing while turning up your performance. The balanced energy that it provides means that you’re never fighting it, and instead you feel light and able on your feet. Quickly into its sweet spot whatever the situation, one of the best things about this kite is its consistency in feeling the same whatever you’re doing. The gust management and delivery of power is incredible and offers a huge sense of control. The turning circle is moderate and you get an okay loop from the Dice. Retaining a bit of power throughout, the kite is always trying to work with you rather than against you, delivering power that seems to help, rather than hinder. There are better kites for boosting and hang-time, but the Dice isn’t trying to take you to the moon. You go up the same speed as you come down and just feel very connected all the time in terms of all-round control and manoeuvrability. It’s a very invigorating feeling. Unhooked the poise of the Dice is very nice indeed, the pull at the bar is constant and positive and as the kite drives nicely forward in general there’s no back stalling. The Dice feels very light in the hands too, there’s no jerking and the performance is very predictable and helpful. The relaunch is rapid and easy and this is as close as we think we’ve come to finding one kite for all jobs. We’d be happy using this in waves too, even though it retains some power in turns, but because it’s responsive and very alert it would be a lot of fun and very usable.

The Dice is for the progressive freerider and allows a good rider to do whatever they want. It may not specialise in unhooking, or jumping, or super powered kite loops, but it delivers all-round feelings of fun at a consistent level that good riders will enjoy without feeling frustrated in any one style. No issues, it does the job and with an incredible balance and feel without dumbing everything down. If we had to describe our session on the Dice in one word, it would be: ‘energised’.

Phenomenal balance, feel, speed and power with just enough directness to give you plenty of feedback and involvement without being tiring at all. If you’re the kind of rider that enjoys everything that kitesurfing has to offer, this is a real weapon.

The Dice doesn’t have oodles of sheeting power at the bar and the huge boost that some people want. You still need some skills and efficiency in moving a kite around to really enjoy this and get the most from it.

Build quality: 9
Full package: 9
Low end: 7
Top end: 8.5
Steering speed: 7.5
Turning circle: 6
Bar pressure: 5
Water relaunch: 8
Drift: 8
Boost: 7
Unhooked: 8.5
Cross-over: 8.5
Ease-of-use: 8
SIZES: 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4m

More on the 2015 North Dice kite and more at:

Here’s the official North Dice 2015 product video:

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