Best New 3-Strut
Size tested: 9m Suggested retail: $1,189.95; $1699.95 (complete)
Sizes available: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13m
Test Team Report
The new model in the North lineup, the Dice brings its own unique performance to the formidable North Kite line and fills a niche that will excite a certain pedigree of rider. The Dice has a light, lively and direct feel, with fast pivoting turns that are amazingly quick and reactive to bar input. It was one of the fastest-turning and most reactive kites of the nine-meters tested. The Dice has a familiar C-shaped platform that the unhooked freestyle riders will love. It has a fast and slippery pull that is both stable and lively but offers determined unhooked prowess.
The lightweight frame and ample depower also make the Dice a winner in the surf. With optimum amounts of balanced drift, quick pivots and solid reactivity to bar input, the Dice can put you into the right spot on the wave and get you out when you need it to. Often, the first-year model kite that comes into a lineup is accompanied with some skepticism on whether all the kinks have been worked out; but the new North Dice finds its stride instantly as a four-line, three-strut dynamo with a C-like shape that will work well for the wakestyle-oriented rider who also wants a kite with ideal performance in the surf. Any level of rider can have fun and roll with the Dice.
Not the greatest low-end power, and you still need to trim it slightly for unhooked freestyle.
Unhooked freestyle riders who want a lively and playful kite for loops and maneuvers, combined with great drift and control for strapless waveriding.
North Trust Bar—Quad Control
Suggested retail: $460
Bar length: 49 cm
Line length: 22 m
The Trust Bar in the quad set-up has a lot of great features and well thought-out and executed engineering. North seems to always stay a step ahead of the game, as each year it tweaks and improves different elements of its control system. The new Vario Cleat above-the-bar is even more streamlined and smooth-working this year, and the new stopper ball is very functional. The plastic, removable centre insert is also a great new feature that helps keep your trim lines from wearing out too quickly. Overall, the Trust Bar has many high-end features that put it ahead of the average control system.