Kiteboarding Review: Duotone Dice VS Duotone Rebel
Duotone Rebel Vs The Duotone Dice
There are two kites in the Duotone kiteboarding lineup that share some characteristics yet, appeal to completely different kiteboarders and riding styles. The Duotone Dice and the recently redesigned Duotone Rebel. Both offer explosive pop, both have a direct raw feel and both appeal to more advanced riders. Yet, while they share these traits, they actually couldn't be more different.
If you’re that rider looking to take your kiteboarding to the next level they are going to take a different approach that will seriously impact your time on the water and you progression.Today, we’re going to break down everything you need to know and help you decide what kiteboarding kite is the best fit.
Let’s Dive into some common attributes between these kites.
Let’s start with the wind range, The Rebel is going to be the clear winner here however, there is a catch. If you pull up the wind stats on the Dice and the Rebel, you’ll notice the wind range on paper is actually not that much different. With the Dice, you’ll lose a knot on the low end and roughly 2 on the high end.
The catch is the more experienced you are, the more you can close this gap. And vice versa, the less experience you have, the wider this gap gets. A very skilled kiteboarder is going to be able to work the Dice and while they will notice the difference in the range, they will simply sine the Dice to match the low end.
Here's a comparison on the wind-range
2019 Duotone Rebel Wind Range
2019 Duotone Dice Wind Range
A comparison of the duotone Rebel and Dice Wind-Range
Why did Duotone design these kites to have this variance in wind-range? Well, The Dice is a Freestyle Crossover Kite. Meaning it crosses over into freeride among other categories. While the Rebel is the highest performance freeride kite I’ve tested to date.
A concept I’ve mentioned before is most freeride kites have a massive wind range and an autopilot feel. The Rebel actually stands alone as not only does it have potentially the largest wind-range but it’s still a kite that loves rider feedback. More impressively, it does this while delivering a raw connected fee. Making for a big air machine and best of all, you’d be hard pressed to pick the wrong size as this kite jumps well even when you're scraping the bottom of each kites respective wind-range.
Conversely, the Dice, also has a more connected feel. In fact, it really becomes an extension of you on the water. This is the most direct feeling kite in Duotones line up next to the Vegas. The Dice is designed for high performance freestyle. I won’t pretend to know why designers have to make certain trade offs but I can tell you that all crossover kites sacrifice a little bit of wind range for unhooked performance.
The Dice appeals to riders who want full control of every aspect of the kite. Including riding upwind. When there is a hole in the wind, you’ll have to work the kite. I’ve mentioned before, this is a simple skill to learn and one you could become very proficient at in a handful of sessions. For the kiteboarder who wants to be in complete control, the Dice is a good candidate.
Final thoughts on the wind-range.
While the Rebel is easier and has a slightly larger wind range, Like most modern kites they do both have a good wind range. New Riders are definitely going to benefit from the Rebel while intermediate riders will have to fly the Dice a bit different when the kite starts scraping the bottom. That said, they won’t be too impacted. With a bit of practice, the wind range is not far behind the Rebel at all. Only by a knot or two. Not a big difference in the grand scheme of things and small price to pay for an even more connected feel.
The Duotone Rebel gets huge air effortlessly
This is another point that people are always keen on. And frankly can be quite confusing. Watch any product video on a kite and it will boast about how well it jumps. So between the Dice and the Rebel what one is better? Well, it depends on what you're looking for but the easy answer would be the Rebel jumps bigger.
There is a catch here again. For a skilled rider the Dice is also a high performance jumper but it takes a different approach and caters to a different style.
Chances are you already know its a big air machine. This kite is designed for big air and plenty of hangtime. It has an aggressive take off and you pretty much float. So if you like old school tricks such as board offs or hooked in tricks like double back rolls or creative kiteboarding. the Rebel is going to cater to you. Another interesting point is while the Rebel has a direct feel, it’s really easy to jump with. It does not take much skill or rider feedback to just send it.
With the Dice, the "stick shift" concept comes into play again. Meaning, you’ll be not only using kite power to jump but board speed and the timing of when and how you release your edge.These concepts come into play with the Rebel but unlike that kite they are critical on the Dice.
What this means is you have absolute control over your jumps. Rather than just being ripped off the water by your kite, you’ll explosively pop off the water and really feel that connection from your board to your kite. The Dice is designed to respond to all of the riders input. So if you want to go big, you’ll want to make sure you come into jumps with a lot of board speed and good technique. You won’t get quite as much hang time as the Rebel but that comes back to the design. This kite is designed with other disciplines in mind and will impact the kite.
Final thoughts on Jumping
Both kites will cater to aggressive and creative riders. Whether you like to keep your kite low to make tricks look more critical or you like to keep the kite at noon and go for maximum air time. Like the product videos say, they will deliver. There are just those differences to consider in getting there. Ask yourself if you want to be in control or if you just want to go big?
Struts make a difference in kite stability.
At the risk of being redundant the Rebel is also the clear winner in this category. Hold on to your butts because after this point the tide is going to turn. So I’ve hammered the stability point to death in my videos now. 5 strut kites are always more stable than three strut kites, three struts are always a bit more stable than a single or no strut kite. The funny thing is in 2019 even single strut kites are stable enough. Granted, they get overpowered faster.
The Dice is quite stable like all of its three strut counterparts. And like it’s freestyle crossover counterparts there are things to consider. These kite are designed to pop and slack as well as respond to rider feedback. This means in flat water, they are as stable as a kite could possibly be. Now take them in choppy water and they will be impacted by the edging of your board. The kite will respond in kind to the feedback. Making for small but noticeable changes in line tension. Nothing that will really impact control just something you’ll get used too when loading your lines for a jump in really choppy water. Even in choppy water It’s not that noticeable until you pair it with gusty wind.
Effectively an unskilled rider would accidentally load and release their lines causing the kite to respond in kind. Now, while I’m going very granular on this trait I really need to point out, experienced riders are not going to be impacted by this at all. In fact unless they are actually paying attention they usually don’t even notice! The Dice is my choice kite in 2019 and the only reason I became cognizant of this quirk is because I’m constantly testing kite back to back and looking under a microscope. With this in mind, I’ve never batted an eye about taking the Dice out in choppy water or gusty wind. It fits what I’m personally looking for on the water and is just too fun. I’ve let some of the locals Demo my kite in some awful conditions and they came back with a huge smile on their face.
The Rebel is made to deal with the worst conditions mother nature can throw your way. It’s actually a bit of a surprise to me. The reason I say this is when it comes to the most stable kite, they almost always feel delayed and disconnected from the rider. This is what really keeps you comfortable on the water is gusty and choppy conditions. Not only is the Rebel a rock when it comes to stability but it maintains a raw connected feel to the rider. Not as raw or nearly as connected as the Dice however. And that is the trade off for stability. That said it's still surprising how crisp the kite feels for how stable it its. If you ride in awful gusty choppy conditions and getting big air is all you care about the Rebel is going to be amazing for you.
Now, the big trade off you're making here is while the Rebel has been a step ahead on most points so far, the reality is the Dice is a much more versatile kite. Here’s where things get fun.
The Duotone Dice is much better in the waves
The Dice is the clear winner in the category. It’s designed to excel in side and side offshore conditions. While it won’t drift as well as say, the Neo when it comes to onshore and side onshore winds. It’s so responsive so fast and connected. You can really improvise and work the kite while kitesurfing. I mentioned in the Dice review, when it comes to many kites in wave riding, You really need to move the kite before you make a move with the board. The Dice is awesome because it’s so responsive you get an “in the moment feel.” One that allows for spontaneity and creativity in the waves.
It’s also an exceptional kite for strapless freestyle riding as the the explosive pop and connected feel fit well for that discipline.
Now, the Rebel will work for the waves but it can be a powerful kite. The powerful low-end of this kite that gives it an advantage with the wind range but it does hurt it in the waves. I’ve mentioned before, if I take a freeride kite out in the waves, I’ll size down a little. This will help you for two reasons. First, it will take off some of the low-end allowing you to actually surf the wave. Second, smaller kites are faster. You’ll need to work these kites when surfing onshore winds. While checking the forums, it seems most prefer not to use the Rebel in the waves and I wouldn't disagree wit this sentiment. I suspect not because the Rebel is really bad in the waves but because everything else is so much better in modern times.
The Dice is better for kiteloops
The Dice is also the clear winner on this point. It shares attributes with the Duotone Vegas. These kite are designed with kite looping in mind. Whether you're an adrenaline junkie who likes to megaloop or you’re that stylish kiteboarder who just incorporates kiteloops in to their tricks. The 2019 Duotone Dice will be a good fit. It's fast, direct, responsive and powerful. The Dice caters to an aggressive rider and chances are if that's you, kite loops are a part of your style.
The Rebel will also loop albeit, from what I understand not as well as the Dice. There are people who do loop the Rebel however, it's simply not designed for kiteloops as well as the Dice. Don't be mistaken on this point. It's not my aim to tell you not to loop your Rebel. Simple that if kiteloops are important to you, this is something to consider. Particularly if agressive kiteloops are important to you. If casual simple loops and downloop transitions are more your thing either kite will be fine.
Rygo Testing the 2019 Duotone Dice in Brazil
This is the part of the Review where the Dice is really going to shine. It's designed for unhooked riders. All the weird little traits where the Rebel was just a step ahead. This is because the Dice is designed to pop and slack. So if unhooked riding of any kind, from wakestyle to freestyle are on your radar the Dice is the best fit. It’s just going to make your life easier.
The Dice is Amazing for Unhooked Kiteboarding
The explosive pop will help new freestylers learn their first unhooked tricks. The feeling of weightlessness and slack will make handle passes and blind landings much easier. It's the closest thing to a C kite without crossing over to that narrow niche. If you are an intermediate or advanced rider, the Dice is going to be an invaluable tool in your freestyle or wakestyle progression. I could go on for days about how good the Dice is in this category but I'm also quite biased. This is my choice kite in 2019.
I have friends who unhook with it but like many freestyle kite, it tends to pull forward hard though the trick. And frankly it’s just not designed for unhooked riding. It’s much easier to back-stall when you load the kite unhooked. So if unhooking is important to you, I really wouldn’t recommend the Rebel.
If you know what you want out of your kiteboarding hopefully this review cleared some things up for you. If you're completely new, the Rebel will make everything easier for you in the beginning stages and will really shine for big air tricks when you've mastered the sport.
If you're new and you want a more versatile kite the Dice is going to be more difficult at first but will not hold you back in other disciplines as you progress. That said, New riders who want something more versatile could explore the Duotone Evo as it bridges the gap between these kites.
If you're an advanced kiteboarder, you already know what you want! Have fun and shred on my friend.
Ryan (Rygo) Goloversic
Just a dude from a kite shop testing all the gear one session at a time.
Many people dream of quitting their job, traveling the world and pursuing their passions. Rygo is one of those people who pulled the trigger. Eight years into a postal career, he decided to change everything and travel as a freelance videographer & writer. This took him from coast to coast and a variety of countries. Nowadays you can catch him on the phones, doing lessons, or working on videos. Of course, he still makes a point to travel as often as possible. His mission is to help people and share the stoke with his customers and students alike. Get out there and kiteboard.
Producer of: Ride with Blake I Sessions I Versus I Destinations I Foil Fridays