2022 Duotone Neo SLS vs Dice SLS | Comparing Wave Performance

2022 Duotone Neo SLS vs Dice SLS | Comparing Wave Performance

The 2022 Duotone Neo SLS and Dice SLS are two very amazing kites, and they’re both a lot of fun for kitesurfing in waves. Yes, they are very different in design and have different strengths and weaknesses.

Here are some of our thoughts regarding: 

  • Overall power
  • Turning speed
  • Upwind ability
  • Downwind drift
  • Downloop transitions
  • Relaunch

The Duotone Neo SLS is More Powerful.

When it comes to overall kite power, the Neo SLS is the winner. I have yet to find a wave kite that offers this kind of low-end grunt while still being such a contender in the wave category.

This means that you can look forward to sizing down and flying smaller size Neos than you might be used to with other kites. I honestly didn’t believe that hype when the Neo first hit the market a few years ago, but I have since seen the light.

The Dice SLS is More Responsive.

Both the Neo SLS and Dice SLS are fast-turning kites. Of course, this is somewhat subjective, but I’m confident that any reasonable kiteboarder would agree to this. I was out on my 2022 Neo SLS 8m a couple of weeks ago and had an absolute blast in some chest-high swells. Redirecting that kite back and forth, aggressively slashing wave after wave, is a ridiculous amount of fun. While at the same time behaving quite well while just cruising.

The Dice SLS, however, is even more aggressive in its turning speed than the Neo SLS. And I feel as though the line tension is a bit more balanced front to back. That usually translates to a more immediate kite response.

The Neo SLS Rips Upwind.

The Neo SLS kite is also pretty hard to beat when it comes to upwind ability in a wave kite. Comparatively, I’m guessing that is because the Neo is more of a front-line flyer than the Dice?

I always appreciate the Neo’s ability to let me go as far down the line as I want, and still get me back home in just a couple of long tacks. I think the Dice SLS has decent upwind ability, and would love to line them both up with another kiter and just head for the horizon and see firsthand which one is actually better.

Downwind Drift? Depends on How You Like It.

The Duotone Neo SLS appears to have a bit of a wider midsection, allowing the kite to sit deeper in the wind window for better downwind drift. For example, when you’re riding more directly at the kite while kitesurfing a wave down the line. The Neo SLS lets you chase it pretty far before having to mind your line tension to avoid dropping it.

Whereas with the Dice SLS, I would probably rely more heavily on downloops and heelside to toeside transitions to keep the kite right where I want it. This is one of those times where the Dice SLS needs more rider input than with the Neo SLS. Think down-shifting a sports car as opposed to just letting off the gas and letting the manual transmission do the work.

Aggressive Downloops or Mellow?

Now you’re in Dice SLS territory. The Dice SLS has a more powerful kiteloop and downloop than the Neo SLS. This is an area where you can start to see some real differences between these two kites. If powerful loops matter to you—the Dice SLS is down to party. If not—the Neo SLS is more than happy to just order some pizza and chill out. Both are fun—totally your choice.

Relaunch When it Counts.

How important is kite relaunch to you? It probably depends on how much you’re pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. For those of you who are riding hard and taking chances in the surf, a fast relaunch can be important. Especially in close interval swells—can I get an Amen?

The Neo SLS and Dice SLS are both designed with relaunch in mind, but the Neo SLS is more reliable at it. Or wait—maybe I should say that it’s more intuitive and easy to learn? Because, of course, the Dice SLS can come up pretty quick once you learn how to do it. Again with the 5-speed stick analogy.

Which One is the Best Wave Kite for You?

I personally find them both to be amazing wave kites in their own right. For me, I should preface, it comes down to the other areas of kiteboarding that I also enjoy along with wave riding. I’ve ridden the Neo and a surfboard exclusively for so many years, just getting my technique dialed, that I completely forgot about riding a twin tip. As it turns out, that aspect of kiteboarding is still pretty darn fun to me as well.

  • If kitesurfing in waves is your primary jam—Neo SLS.
  • If kitesurfing in waves is your side hustle—Dice SLS.

As always, please reach out with any questions that you may have. We’re always happy to help.

12th Nov 2021 Aaron Johnson

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