Whoa here comes a long one, sorry in advance and kudos to anyone who actually powers through the whole thing...
You did not hear correctly... It's the TRAILING edge (not leading edge) that got reduced weight material in a new layout, so that is where most of the weight savings comes from, and yes, it's found on all our 2020 kites including the Evo. And it's true that the Evo will lose the pulleys for 2020 but beyond that I do not have any information on changes to the 2020 Evo... the ones we had at AWSI are preproduction, no news on what he did to them yet.
Just watched Reno's video... He actually did a great job, especially considering the rush he was under to cover the whole line in a few minutes. But for those wanting a little more information...
Re: the 2020 Neo... We (Ken) actually put a TON of time and effort into redesigning the Neo. It's our best selling kite, it's the best selling wave kite on the market, and right now wave kites are hot so we were looking to do an entire redo of the design. We noticed that the trend in wave kites is to go super low-aspect, so we had Ken come up with a low-aspect Neo project. He worked on it for a long time, comparing it to others on the market, producing several rounds of prototypes until he finally felt he had the best low-aspect wave kite possible, then the international team tested the final version and all agreed that they preferred the old Neo. Airton even threatened to switch to the Dice if we went ahead with this low-aspect Neo project. To their credit the guys at international decided to sacrifice the marketing banger of "completely redesigned for 2020" and all the R&D time and effort. So rather than chasing the market, especially given that the Neo has for years been the most popular wave kite on the market, Ken went back to the 2019 version and made some small tweaks to shape/bridle to implement the new TE construction and that's what we've got for 2020.
Re: the 2020 Dice... While preparing for the KOTA competition Lasse Walker was complaining that the 2019 Dice was deforming when doing extremely powered loops in extremely overpowered conditions. Ralf (the designer) was there at the time and the two of them decided it was the pulley moving in those extreme circumstances that allowed the kite to deform and lose some performance/feedback, so they designed a fixed bridle which maintained the feel/performance of the pulleyed kite while allowing it to hold that feel/performance in extreme conditions. They say that for most 'normal' users it will have a very similar feel and performance, but performance should be improved in pops/jumps/loops compared to 2019 and the better/more extreme a rider you are the more you will notice the improvement. I've been riding it personally and you can see the improved stability in the canopy when riding overpowered, and feedback from users is that the jumping is way better/more explosive than 2019. I'm super stoked on this kite.
re: the 2020 Rebel... Since this is the jumping kite, and jumping relies in large part on speed through the window as you send it up towards 12:00 the reduced weight in the TE has a significant impact on this kite. Lighter weight means faster turning and faster through the window, so though it's hackneyed to say, feedback is that it is noticeably faster turning and bigger jumping for 2020.
Surfboy... This is way more information than you're looking for but here you go
re: lines on our bars... This is an interesting question that I've done a lot of research into on my own time. These are my PERSONAL thoughts, not some official Duotone missive...
I've noticed the online flack about our lines, but my personal experience hasn't matched up with what I've read. Team riders, demo bars, local people at beaches, and most importantly our retailers and schools for the most part are mystified by the complaints we've seen online. (I have a couple team riders who burn through lines in 6 months, but they are the same guys who break twintips and leashes and everything else including knees yes I'm talking to you Arnaud so I consider them a bit of an outlier)
As a personal project I felt the best way to really figure out if we had an issue was to look at the number of Click bars we sold in 2017/2018 and compare it to the number of Click bar spare lines (individual and sets) that we have sold/warrantied in 2017/2018/2019. Using these numbers I'm seeing about 20-30 replacement lines (items, not individual lines) being sold for every thousand bars we sell. This is pretty much in-line with replacement ratios for all our bars in the past. If anything this number is inflated as I'm including all the replacement back lines which are compatible with Quad/5th Element bars for the past 5 or more years. I'm also not including bars sold in the past 6 months as they shouldn't need any replacement lines yet anyway, so if anything I'm trying to skew the numbers towards more replacement parts per fewer bars. In my opinion, considering that this includes a lot of people doing the Baja/Gorge grind or the Cuba/hatteras/Montreal move and kiting more or less daily, plus schools and team riders and everything else, is a really small number of replacement parts. For the record I don't have an exact number/thousand because it's a little hard to see exactly how many bars we've sold without putting way more work into it due to confusion anytime we credit/rebill or rebalance our inventory, also be aware these numbers are based on North America/South America only, I don't have access to other numbers.
Since I don't see evidence of untimely failures, why is there so much flack online for our lines? I have a theory... There are definitely areas of our bars (as with every bar on the market) where things wear and where lines will fail. Lines are wear items and at some point they'll all fail; these wear areas are where they will generally snap first, often at the end near the kite where they are often working or where they pass through a solid ring or block. In 2017 our Click bar had a high wear spot at the V-distributor and we were unaware of it at first and denied several claims before changing our policy and issuing new lines/v-distributors on a case-by-case basis. My guess is that this is where the initial online complaints started, and they were deserved.
Since then we've found that certain beaches/types of sand could get caught in the PU depower line and wear the safety line right where it comes out. And while the depower on our Trust bar wears every time you sheet/depower, it's right in front of your face and you notice it and most people replace it in a timely manner, whereas the same item on our click bar, the leader lines, are hidden under the bar-ends. As far as I can tell these items aren't wearing out any sooner on the Click bar than on the Quad bar, but as they are not visible and as they're new areas of wear they've gone unnoticed and perhaps led to delayed replacement of these high wear items which leads to breakage that people may feel is premature, which leads to people making louder claims online about the durability of our lines. This clamor online creates a bit of a spiral... It starts with a bunch of people rightly claiming in 2017 that their lines are wearing too quickly and ends with a guy with a 2-year-old, used-daily, beat-to-shit lineset that finally snaps pointing to the various online posts and claiming that our lines are shit and they need a warranty, and when it gets denied they post online about how shitty our lines are and how bad the service is, feeding the spiral further.
Also, we are the largest bar manufacturer out there so we have more people putting more wear on more bars than any other brand. And people generally don't post or search google for "my bar is holding up great" very often so in this situation the numbers are stacked against us when it comes to online bar reviews.
I understand why some people are complaining about broken lines or wear on their lines. It happens and in the case of the Click bar there have been wear locations that are different from other bars in the past, but the numbers don't lie and they really strongly suggest to me that our lines do not deserve the abuse I've seen them take online.
All that being said, I know there are better lines out there. There may be other brands using lines right now that may have a stronger breaking point and/or longer wear and/or less stretch and/or less windage and/or less memory and/or lower cost and/or and/or and/or... I feel that our lines do a great job of balancing the various criteria of what we want in terms of line performance with cost. And we're constantly looking to improve... As the largest bar manufacturer we get lots of offers and sales pitches from the various line manufacturers, and we can take our pick of the latest/greatest and still benefit from being able to bargain for volume discounts. We're constantly searching for better lines and I'd hope/expect to see us continue to release new lines on our bars as we find something we think is an improvement worth any extra cost. We released a new line without much fanfare about 5 years ago, and about 5 years before that we came out with other new lines so I wouldn't be surprised to see us bring new lines out at some point soon, but we do not have any changes in our lines for 2020. And I would expect our 2020 Click bars to continue to see a line replacement rate of about 20-30 per thousand as they age over the next 2 years, which I think is reasonable.
Again, these are my thoughts, not Duotone's. Please don't yell at me and put up a photo of your worn bar and tell me that you deserve a new bar and kite and puppy... We sell tens of thousands of bars a year, I'm sure that there are people who have legitimate claims, and these claims should be taken to their dealer (or PM me if you have an issue, I'm always down to help).
And finally, I could be dead wrong. Maybe we're just repackaging lines from the Walmart Nemo triangle kites. If you think our lines suck, get a different bar or replace aging DTK lines with aftermarket ones. Again, please don't yell at me. I'm just a dude trying to square the disparity between my personal experience and what I've read online and I just happen to be in the position to analyze the numbers so I thought I'd share with you guys what I found.
- These users thanked the author Dan-at-Duotone for the post (total 5):
- Exal (Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:49 pm) • Leon van Bergen (Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:55 pm) • SurfboY (Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:57 pm) • purdyd (Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:18 pm) • jjm (Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:39 pm)