Designer Ralf Grosel gives us the lowdown on the award winning Dice; a product of a designer’s dream and vision, the updates for 2018 create an incredible performer and exciting ride!
What was your vision for developing the 2018 Dice?
It was all about discovering the possibilities of this 3-Strut C-Shape design, and pushing it even further. The 2017 model was well renowned for its unhooked performance, jumping and looping abilities. This year my goal was to squeeze everything I could out of this concept in order to create a benchmark model that excelled above any other kite within this range.
What was the R&D process for the 2018 Dice?
We chose to return to Cape Town for the R&D process. As a kiteboarding location it offers a wide range of conditions and is the ultimate playground to push the kite to its limits. There’s a whole bunch of team riders available to call upon out there such as Tom Court, Lasse Walker and Reno Romeu who all have such different riding styles which is what the Dice is all about. We utilised the lead up to the Red Bull King Of The Air as a process in itself. We focused on the looping and jumping abilities of the kite, achieving great feedback to go on and tweak the concept further.
This year the Dice remains the best option for Freestyle and Mega Loop tricks, coping very well in extreme conditions. Its versatility allows for everything, from playing in the waves to Wakestyle performance.
What design updates can we see between the old 2017 and new 2018 Dice?
This year I’ve added in an additional profile between the centre and quarter strut which makes the overall radius less segmented, and therefore helps to optimise smooth airflow. One of the best-kept secrets at North Kiteboarding is the tension on the profiles, so I’ve been working hard to get exactly the right tension into the canopy of the 2018 Dice. One major update is the LE diameter. During test sessions in extreme winds of 40knts on a 8m Dice, we tried to find the ultimate balance between structural stiffness and drag. The result saw jumping and looping abilities significantly enhanced. I would even claim that the Dice would outperform every other kite within the North Kiteboarding range in terms of its powerful, snappy and predictive lift.
What recommendations do you have for the new settings on the 2018 Dice.
For 2018 there are no new settings available. The Dice maintains its 3 highly versatile pigtails positions at the tip which influence the steering and general in-flight characteristics. ‘Medium’ is the factory setting which provides the best of both worlds. The handling is very predictable and I recommend this setting for old-school, big airs and looping. The ‘Soft’ setting is recommended for wave riding, whilst the ‘Hard’ setting is designed for unhooked manoeuvres due to its great pop and slack.
Which line lengths do you use across the different kite sizes?
I personally love to use 22m lines on the Click Bar with a 4 line configuration on anything down to 9m. Anything smaller than this, I would recommend using the 22m 4 line Quad Control bar on the inner back line setting which reduces the width of the bar.
Sum up the 2018 Dice and who it’s perfect for.
The Dice has been designed to be the ultimate Freestyle and boosting machine, which when combined with its old-school style and overall performance makes it one hell of a ride. I would recommend the Dice to all kiters who are looking for good unhooked performance and insanely high boost when hooked in. Whatever your needs, you won’t be disappointed.
Photos: Tom Court