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Duotone NEO SLS 2022 - where did the quality go?

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Erik van den Brom
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Duotone NEO SLS 2022 - where did the quality go?

Postby Erik van den Brom » Mon Dec 05, 2022 2:22 pm

Let me start of by saying that I am not the kind of person that gets annoyed with every tidbit of issue and that I am fully aware that every brand has it's problems regarding lifetime of products under the circumstances we put our gear in. That being said...

I have the same issues on all 3 NEO SLS 2022 models I own (5,7 and 9m):
1. After 20-40 sessions the bladders start leaking just below the valve (yes I know how to pump a kite, no not overinflated)
2. The material of the elastic bungies on the side of the kite is not strong enough: the elastic material rubs against the LE causing it to wear down, exposing the white elastic threads, which wear down too then. I've checked this on other 2022 SLS NEO's: they all have the same.

It happens; i get it. Really. No problem of course as long as it gets resolved. So...

- My dealer has offered me new bladders and bungees. However I really don't see how that's going to really solve the issues. Seems more like a bandaid to me. Also I am currently in Prea (6 weeks down, 2 to go; I live in NL), so that's not going to help me right now.
- The Duotone shop here (owned by Jaime) recommended me to buy regular bladders and can order new bungees for me (takes about three weeks though). The bungees would not arrive in time and the bladders are VERY expensive here.

I've patched the bladders for now and Macgyvered some elestic bungees to help me get by. So Duotone how will you resolve this for me? I have 2023 D/Labs waiting for me, but I am seriously concerned about those holding up now.

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Re: Duotone NEO SLS 2022 - where did the quality go?

Postby Boston kiter » Mon Dec 05, 2022 4:53 pm

My 2021 NEO SLS blew up midair two weeks ago. I had already changed the bladder after about 15 sessions and now my leading edge has blown open.. This kite had maybe 35 sessions and well taken care of.
I have several friends who also have had issues with duotone kites recently. I'm done with duotone until they get quality issues resolved. I don't like trashing brands but I think their kites are great designs but too fragile. I just picked up a 7m and 9m Pivots at insanely cheap prices and plan on sticking with them..I rode the 7m the other day strapless in headhigh waves and was loving it...,.great kites, robust construction, maybe a little heavier but I will take durability over a minor edge in performance anyday.

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Re: Duotone NEO SLS 2022 - where did the quality go?

Postby Baptiste_FR » Mon Dec 05, 2022 5:41 pm

The guy on this video (in French) had the same problem (but with a 2021 EVO). The kite exploded on the beach while he was rigging the lines. It's just at the begginig of the video (20 seconds). He was lucky because a duotone rider was on the beach and could confirm to the shop that the kite exploded on the beach and not after a crash and therefore the waranty was valid.


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Re: Duotone NEO SLS 2022 - where did the quality go?

Postby leeuwen » Mon Dec 05, 2022 5:48 pm

Duotone has a bad track record in fixing design issues for the affected model years. AFAIK You will get replacements (good) but they will have the same design issue (bad).
They will fix it eventually in a next model year but that won’t help people with the older models.
To name a few: entity bindings, clickbar, and the wing line up all had issues that ended up with changes in design/reinforcements to fix documented design issues.

I am not sure if they are worse then the rest of the industry in regards to design oopses or if they just sell more gear so you get more people complaining making design issues more obvious.

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Re: Duotone NEO SLS 2022 - where did the quality go?

Postby SolarSet » Mon Dec 05, 2022 6:23 pm

They do sell quite a lot of gear comparing to other brands, they have 40-50% of market from what I remember so it’s more likely people will have problem with their gear, however people complains about SLS is way more frequent than regular kite, is it because people expect better durability from premium product or there are some fundamental flaws.
I’m with regular Evos 2022 and SLS complains put me off from buying SLS and funny enough dealers were giving good discounts on SLS version.

It’s seems like OR has less problems with Aluula but again could it be because far less people ride OR kites?

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Re: Duotone NEO SLS 2022 - where did the quality go?

Postby knotwindy » Mon Dec 05, 2022 6:37 pm

leeuwen wrote:
Mon Dec 05, 2022 5:48 pm
Duotone has a bad track record in fixing design issues for the affected model years. AFAIK You will get replacements (good) but they will have the same design issue (bad).
They will fix it eventually in a next model year but that won’t help people with the older models.
To name a few: entity bindings, clickbar, and the wing line up all had issues that ended up with changes in design/reinforcements to fix documented design issues.

I am not sure if they are worse then the rest of the industry in regards to design oopses or if they just sell more gear so you get more people complaining making design issues more obvious.
Duotone has had this problem from back when they were still North, just look at the Fuse kite where the bridle would rub through the leading edge due to poor design on the 9m & 10m with no help to the owners other than replacement, so it would happen again. And again and again. They may sell more but that is still poor customer service. :nono:

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Re: Duotone NEO SLS 2022 - where did the quality go?

Postby mati » Mon Dec 05, 2022 9:23 pm

I had a similar situation with Entity bindings. Replacement had the same design flaws as the original binding

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Re: Duotone NEO SLS 2022 - where did the quality go?

Postby Baptiste_FR » Tue Dec 06, 2022 10:42 am

For the Entity straps, it is clearly a bad design ! I had 2 pairs and they broke similarly at the plastic attachement point. I have seen countless complaints and similar situations on Internet. It seems they have redesigned these straps (not sure because now I have Naish Apex).

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Re: Duotone NEO SLS 2022 - where did the quality go?

Postby SolarSet » Tue Dec 06, 2022 7:14 pm

Entity are apparently re-designed, I pulled trigger on 2023 version and will see next spring how they much they last. It should take few iterations to sort something like this out.

Erik van den Brom
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Re: Duotone NEO SLS 2022 - where did the quality go?

Postby Erik van den Brom » Fri Dec 09, 2022 12:36 pm

Well I checked the elastic bungees of about all the Neo models I could get my hands on here in Prea and the wear is much worse on the 2022 SLS models. It seems they changed the location of the plastic ring and made the blue patch on the LE bigger on the 2023 SLS, but not sure if that's related. Also the shop here in Prea informed me that they had to replace all 2022 neo sls bladders due to friction problems, causing them to leak. As I am not really content with just replacement bladders and bungees, I've sent e-mails to Duotone a week ago, but no reply as of yet.


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