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Which to buy: North Dice vs. Airush Union vs. Best TS

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bam123
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Which to buy: North Dice vs. Airush Union vs. Best TS

Postby bam123 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:10 pm

Hi,

Since the brands have announced 2017 models, it's time to grab some good deals on 2016 models. I have spent a fair amount of time reading the reviews on the internet, tested a few kites, so it comes down to these three which I can get for a reasonable price. Unfortunately I didn't get a change to test North Dice and Best TS, I did test Airush Union and Diamond...

So what performance would I need from a kite:
For me freestyle performance is essential, but also I’m getting into surf session, so I want a kite that could be used also for that (a few times a year). And lastly a kite that behaves friendly, so also my girlfriend could use. I have 3 sizes in mind 12, 9 and 7 (I would use it rarely - more for my girlfriend).

Do you have any PRO/CONS which I would take, or it doesn't really matter they are all great kites. Someone recommended me Dice, but I know that if I take Dice, I would be able to ride for example Airush Razor (if I feel need for a C kite again) with it, because of a different bar setup (low line split).

I can get Best TS the cheapest -mixed combo v4 (9, 7) and v5 (12), the second is Airush Union (7m would be diamond 2015), and North Dice all 2016 would be the most expensive one. (the difference Best and North is quite a lot - 1000€).

So money wise I'm for a Best TS - but never tried it...I tried Airush, liked it (the combo is 500€ more than Best TS) , North Dice never tried it, but it got some good reviews...so is it worth the difference?

Thx.

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Re: Which to buy: North Dice vs. Airush Union vs. Best TS

Postby alexeyga » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:30 pm

I'm shopping my-self for a new 12m kite of this type and the only one I was able to try so far - was the Union 2016. I really liked how it handles and especially - the low end, but there were 2 major cons:

1-bar pressure, which is very high

2-if you're used to flying kites that feel very direct - you will not like the Union. To me it felt like a flying piece of jello, literally. Kind of like you're attached to a flying thing, the thing does everything you're asking from it, and it does it nicely - but the way the kite feels - is freaking jello-ish!

Personally - I could live with #2 as a trade-off for the low-end, but #1 is the killer. So I'm looking to test other similar kites (Dice, GTS4, FX) and I'd like to see if Airush has changed anything for the 2017's Union.

Cheers!

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Re: Which to buy: North Dice vs. Airush Union vs. Best TS

Postby Kitemanmuc » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:47 pm

bam123 wrote:Hi,

Since the brands have announced 2017 models, it's time to grab some good deals on 2016 models. I have spent a fair amount of time reading the reviews on the internet, tested a few kites, so it comes down to these three which I can get for a reasonable price. Unfortunately I didn't get a change to test North Dice and Best TS, I did test Airush Union and Diamond...

So what performance would I need from a kite:
For me freestyle performance is essential, but also I’m getting into surf session, so I want a kite that could be used also for that (a few times a year). And lastly a kite that behaves friendly, so also my girlfriend could use. I have 3 sizes in mind 12, 9 and 7 (I would use it rarely - more for my girlfriend).

Do you have any PRO/CONS which I would take, or it doesn't really matter they are all great kites. Someone recommended me Dice, but I know that if I take Dice, I would be able to ride for example Airush Razor (if I feel need for a C kite again) with it, because of a different bar setup (low line split).

I can get Best TS the cheapest -mixed combo v4 (9, 7) and v5 (12), the second is Airush Union (7m would be diamond 2015), and North Dice all 2016 would be the most expensive one. (the difference Best and North is quite a lot - 1000€).

So money wise I'm for a Best TS - but never tried it...I tried Airush, liked it (the combo is 500€ more than Best TS) , North Dice never tried it, but it got some good reviews...so is it worth the difference?

Thx.

You get what you pay for ;)

I had the Union. Didnt love it. Alexeyga said it best, its like Jello.

The Best TS is a good kite. Boosts well and loops well.
The Dice is a weapon. Top quality, will last, lightning fast. GREAT kite.

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Re: Which to buy: North Dice vs. Airush Union vs. Best TS

Postby bam123 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:00 pm

alexeyga wrote:I'm shopping my-self for a new 12m kite of this type and the only one I was able to try so far - was the Union 2016. I really liked how it handles and especially - the low end, but there were 2 major cons:

1-bar pressure, which is very high

2-if you're used to flying kites that feel very direct - you will not like the Union. To me it felt like a flying piece of jello, literally. Kind of like you're attached to a flying thing, the thing does everything you're asking from it, and it does it nicely - but the way the kite feels - is freaking jello-ish!

Personally - I could live with #2 as a trade-off for the low-end, but #1 is the killer. So I'm looking to test other similar kites (Dice, GTS4, FX) and I'd like to see if Airush has changed anything for the 2017's Union.

Cheers!
Really I had a 12m and the bar pressure was very light (had it on soft steering), but the Jello feeling was there - I thought it was because of the soft steering.

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Re: Which to buy: North Dice vs. Airush Union vs. Best TS

Postby MikeBirt » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:22 pm

alexeyga wrote:I'm shopping my-self for a new 12m kite of this type and the only one I was able to try so far - was the Union 2016. I really liked how it handles and especially - the low end, but there were 2 major cons:

1-bar pressure, which is very high

2-if you're used to flying kites that feel very direct - you will not like the Union. To me it felt like a flying piece of jello, literally. Kind of like you're attached to a flying thing, the thing does everything you're asking from it, and it does it nicely - but the way the kite feels - is freaking jello-ish!

Personally - I could live with #2 as a trade-off for the low-end, but #1 is the killer. So I'm looking to test other similar kites (Dice, GTS4, FX) and I'd like to see if Airush has changed anything for the 2017's Union.

Cheers!
The 2017 Union (the UK has tested a few so far) has a tighter canopy, slightly smaller bridles and the kite feels way more solid (many Like this), but to be honest, I'm in 2 minds. I actually really liked the 2016 version, it was more lithe and very agile through the window. Most prefer the 2017 as they like a super solid feeling kite. Guess it's personal pref.

There are a few who use the Union on the light bar pressure settings (tuned by shifting 4 attachments on the front bridle) but I always found the standard setting pretty light. Any lighter than that and I have difficulty feeling the kite, takes all the feel out of it.

As for stability - at the right inflation pressures I have never had any issue at all. Up in Scotland where the locals pride themselves on riding in cold wet hideous storm conditions the union is one of the most stable kites you can buy. A woo weapon. I use around 7psi in my bigger kites (14/12) and 8-9 psi in my smallest..

This year I started using VERY grippy boards again as I enjoyed getting back into Jumping (woo) and ride the Razor almost exclusively, though after many sessions i think that the Union is a bigger boosting kite. That said, the control and precision of the Razor is just glorious, and with a good stable grippy board has the same top end de-power if not more m2 for m2 than the Union.

Go read some tests on it - the union comes out really, really well from a riding perspective - then there is the construction which is something else entirely.

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Re: Which to buy: North Dice vs. Airush Union vs. Best TS

Postby Gobigorfoil » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:23 pm

I was in the same situation as you, but for a 9m kite. tried best ts, Ozone enduro and north dice, and finally core gts4.
In my opinion - the gts wins because of great kite feeling and friendly bar pressure. It flies very smooth and lightning quick, and settings change it from a drift machine and light power for waves to a ripper for boosting and looping..
the dice came close, less smooth flying and a bit more bar pressure. Didn't try it in waves though.
The ts is the best booster of the 4, but is slower.
Enduro was nice, but wasn't better than the competition. .

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Re: Which to buy: North Dice vs. Airush Union vs. Best TS

Postby John-B » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:55 pm

Disclaimer: I'm a local team / crash test dummy for Airush in the UK - still buy my own kit.

So you see my disclaimer above - well that said I value my time on the water so I'd not fly something I didn't like... and when on the water I like to be off it as high as possible boosting (another Woo head). To boost you need a kite that is direct and gives good feedback and for this I love the Union. Used to ride Razors, but after the 9m Wave came out I was converted back to bridles - the 2014 VX was a great crossover, the 2015 a bit meh; however the 2016 Union was brilliant and I'm now on the 2017 which I like even more.

I'm also one of the Scottish riders and kite the west coast of Scotland in what can be cold gusty fronts off the Atlantic - winds that can vary by 10 knots from minute to minute. I really really don't like high bar pressure - all my Unions are setup on the low setting on the LE and the 12/9 are on the low at the wingtip, the 6m is on the medium at the wingtip. A friend bought my 2016, he does not like high bar pressure (tennis elbow) but still put the LE on the heavier setting as he thought they were too light? All my kites are pumped until I cannot pump anymore - so solid.

The 2016 Union I never found jello like in any way - that said in low to medium winds if you went past about 80% on the depower throw then the canopy would luff; however at medium to high power everything tightens up - I described this as being a bit adaptive, but I never noticed it as I always ride with the stopper at about 80% and prefer to edge power out my kite instead - something the Union does brilliantly. The 2017 apparently has only had the bridled shortened, but the canopy seems much tighter - the 9/6 it's really noticeable, not so much the 12m but it is there and they are all a bit more solid (pumped the way I do).

I read one magazine review that said the Union was heavy and I really did think WTF as personally I find it light, responsive, direct and super boosting - just like most of the other magazine reviewers?

So to the OP - you come here and ask for opinions on a kite and before you know it you will have recommendations for a 101 different brands. If you can demo, then demo but check how the kite is setup and is it on the right bar/knots etc. as feel can be very personal thing. Me I love my Unions for everything from busting out basic freestyle, pretending to ride mushy waves, but most of all for boosting as big as I can. :thumb:

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Re: Which to buy: North Dice vs. Airush Union vs. Best TS

Postby Stewynew » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:09 pm

alexeyga wrote:I'm shopping my-self for a new 12m kite of this type and the only one I was able to try so far - was the Union 2016. I really liked how it handles and especially - the low end, but there were 2 major cons:

1-bar pressure, which is very high

2-if you're used to flying kites that feel very direct - you will not like the Union. To me it felt like a flying piece of jello, literally. Kind of like you're attached to a flying thing, the thing does everything you're asking from it, and it does it nicely - but the way the kite feels - is freaking jello-ish!

Personally - I could live with #2 as a trade-off for the low-end, but #1 is the killer. So I'm looking to test other similar kites (Dice, GTS4, FX) and I'd like to see if Airush has changed anything for the 2017's Union.

Cheers!
I have been flying the 2016 Union now for the past year and think it is an amazing kite. I have to disagree with the high bar pressure comment and this is also very subjective topic too. I will be honest and say I'm not a fan of light bar pressure, I like to know its in my hands but I don't want my arms aching either - the Union does this perfectly.

As for the Jello comment I can only presume the guy/girl that said this did not rig it up properly! For its style of kite I personally think it feels very direct - more so than the North Dice and I have never liked the Best TS. If you've flown a Naish Park, it is similar to that imo.

Like others have said, go and find a Union that you can demo before buying one. I am sure you will love it. Many people have been flying FX's at my local beach and have all said how much nicer the Union is because its direct and super smooth. All the Union sizes boost very well with great hangtime and all generate a ok amount of slack (I'm only at s-bends).

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Re: Which to buy: North Dice vs. Airush Union vs. Best TS

Postby Stewynew » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:15 pm


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Re: Which to buy: North Dice vs. Airush Union vs. Best TS

Postby Lokihel » Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:05 am

From the North lineup, you bet choices would be the Neo and the Mono (based on the freeride/beginner/foiling).

The Neo is an underrated kite, as it is not an aggressive all-rounder like the Evo or the Dice, but a more gentle one. It is often used by kite schools for lessons. And let's be honest, if you look at a Dice and Neo, they aren't that different in shape (don't get me wrong, they fly very differently though).

The Mono is more for foiling or surf, and you might regret only having that one strut when you want to do something more powered.


I'd go for the Neo.


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