North Juice vs The Mono: Versus Ep 11
The Juice has many of the characteristics one can expect from any modern light wind kite. Its going to have a strong forward pull, lots of grunt, a delayed feel in contrast to any 12 meter and loads of power.
I’m always surprised by the sheer power of the Juice. With some brands, at 175 I’ll opt for a 17 m but with the Juice I almost always pick a 15 as the 18 is often just too much for me. I’ve used it a few times and if you’re looking for lots of air, that kite is the ticket but for those of us under 200 lbs sometimes it can be a lot to handle.
So what about the Mono?
This kite has a surprisingly direct steering impulse and if I were blind folded I doubt I could tell it was a single strut kite. The main advantages with opting for a kite like this is how incredibly light the Mono is. You can get the 15 out in extremely light winds Where as with the Juice and all lightwind kites for that matter, in the subpar winds the kite is just going to be too heavy.
The pull is consistent and with the direct steering impulse it’s almost effortless to sign the kite and build speed. This is the first major point to consider between these two kites.
The Juice is going to have a delayed steering impulse, meaning in lighter winds you’ll have to be a bit more preemptive when steering the kite. For inexperienced lightwind riders, this can create an inconsistent pull as you learn to accommodate with the delay. On the other hand the Juice performs better across the board regarding jumping particularly when the wind gets stronger.
Back to the Juice, this kite is more refined. It’s going to have that familiar all around kite feel and offer many of the same benefits you can expect from most modern performance freeride kites. Due to its weight, you won’t be able to get the kite out in as light of wind as a Mono
In contrast, with the Mono, right out of the gate, you can feel why this kite would perform well for foil boarders who might like a responsive lightweight kite to get out in subpar conditions and to that end, the Mono is the better tool for foilboarders.
While I mentioned that the Juice is more akin to normal freeride kites and lightwind kites, that doesn’t mean the Mono is simply an effective light wind tool. I actually found it to be a fun freeride kite.
Riders who prefer a more direct feel and faster kite could consider this as a light wind option. For example a rider who favors the North Vegas as their normal kite could opt for the Mono in light wind.
The big trade off that I did find with going for a kite like the Mono and this is true for all the single strut kits I've flown but it is easy to get over powered on these. I speculate this has to do with the simplicity of the design behind them as well as the direct steering impulse.
While the Mono makes for an incredible light wind tool, when riding a twintip and you get to the higher end of the kites wind range, it’s easy to pick up a bit too much speed. All these factors made jumping with this kite different. Not necessarily bad, just different. Like any kite, when you try a new design, you’’l have to adapt and that usually takes a couple sessions to get the timing right.
Between these two kites which one is the better lightwind tool? Well, that completely comes down to personal preference. The Mono is going to be faster, lighter, more direct and and more effecting in sub 10 knot winds but it can lose some efficacy when the wind picks up on you. While the Juice is going to be more familiar, handle stronger winds with more refinement, have a more delayed feel and operate much like most high performance freeride kites.
Riders looking to progress in lighter winds should give both of these kites a try. I’ve really come to love my lightwind sessions. I know a lot of people who love to be lit up all the time and yeah, those sessions are fun but there is something to be said about getting in a lighwind session at dawn. Usually it’s just you and a friend or two, the water is glass, the wind is consistent and it’s really easy to try and land new tricks before taking them to smaller kites.
If you’re still debating between these kites you can always give us a call we’re happy to help you dial in the right gear. Like I always say, this series is an open forum so I welcome your input. I’ve haven't put in as many sessions in on the mono as I have the Juice so if you currently rider this kite let us know about your experience or if I missed anything in this video. If you ride the Juice feel free to chime in as well. It’s one of my favorite light wind kites next to the Contra. I think I’ll be doing some lightwind kite comparison in the near future here as well that will be fun.