We've done an in-depth comparison video on these kites a couple years back. Over the years these kites have evolved and there's actually been a lot of changes since that first video. The core design for both of these kites remains the same so much of that original video still stands in 2020. Yet, you can expect the 2020 versions to perform better in some areas and I'll make a point to address whats new in this blog.
First things first let's talk about what these Kites are designed for. The Juice is a 3-strut light wind specific kite with some foil applications designed into it. The Mono is a single strut kite and aimed more towards freeriding. They have included some surf and foil applications in the design and performance too.
The biggest difference here is the Juice is more refined. I mean in regards to feel and the kites ability to dump power when overpowered. It will have a similar performance to what you're likely used to with standard all around kites
With the Duotone Mono being a single strut kite, it's different in a few ways. It's incredibly direct and responsive. The range is good but you can get overpowered on any single strut kite. They lack the range of sails with more struts.
Both of these kites have been reduced significantly in their weight. It doesn't sound like that big of a deal but when it comes to light wind kites this makes a huge difference. Especially in larger sizes.The lighter the kite, the less wind you can get out and kite in. It’s also useful if you're traveling. Big kites can take up a lot of weight in your travel bag. Having a light weight lightwind kite might make all the difference in bringing that third kite on your trip or not.
For the Juice, they have removed some pulleys. What you get is something far more direct and stable. With the Juice I've mentioned in older videos at the kite had more of a delay to it. This was because of not only the larger size but because of the pulleys. You can also expect the Juice to have more low end. In 2019, they reduced some of the low end for hydrofoiling but it seems they have brought it back for the 2020 iteration.
For perspective I was regarded the juice as the most powerful light wind kite it was the gruntiest of all the light wind kites so typically when I would go out on a 15-meter juice I might actually choose a 17-meter Contra because that 15 Juice just seem to have that little extra low-end that all the other light when kites were lacking. For 2020 you can expect that typical low and power from the original version of the Juice to be there.
With the Mono, they have upgraded this kite and really put some more thought into Hydrofoiling so you're getting a better Drift and more responsive turning so that's a big perk for lightwind hydrofoiling. As foiling has evolved, its become clear that surf kites with drift and fast responsive turning are king for foiling.The Mono is not a surf kite but the 2020's direct response and drift will be welcomed. Not to mention, you'll get the added benefit of the light weight kite that is easier to get up in the air.
The better response is also helpful when working the kite in light winds or sending the kite for a jump. That's actually a noteworthy point for lightwind kites. Speed equals height and the more efficiently you can flick the kite, the more air you can get. You can expect the 2020 version of the Mono to be incrementally better with hydrofoiling
When it comes to where these kites fit in the line up. The Juice is aimed at light wind riding and the Mono is aimed at a bit more of the light wind freeride kiteboarders. I do want to note that in comparison to other freeride kites the Mono is still not quite as refined as something like the Evo or the Rebel or any of the other Freeride kites. that have more struts in a bit more design capabilities. You are making some sacrifices for the benefits of having a light weight kite for hydrofoiling. Most notably the high-end of the wind range and performance in gusty winds.
If you are a light wind rider and you're looking for something for hydrofoiling either one of these kites would be a good choice. When deciding, what it comes down to is that if you're going out on a twintip more often in the lightest of winds I would still say the Juice is likely a better fit in my opinion. If you're more into the surf, hydrofoil, lightwind freeride side of kiteboarding, you might like the Mono. If you travel a lot, the Mono also gets my vote. Extra kites add up in an airline bag fast.
I mentioned that the Mono and most of the single strut kites feel less refined compared to other models. You can expect the new iterations to have more refinement to them. We're a few years into development of these single strut kites and incremental changes are adding up.