Forums > Wing Foiling General

2022 Duotone Unit Review

Reply
Created by Icebergmansion 2 months ago, 22 Apr 2022
Icebergmansion
26 posts
22 Apr 2022 11:51PM
Thumbs Up

Bio: 75kg, advanced winger, mostly wave riding, east-coast Florida USA

Pros:
-Nice construction, great looking
-Solid handles which are great for wave riding
-Excellent low end, really stiff canopy that pumps great
-Good jumper
-Decent price (paid $1050 for a 5m new).

Cons:
-Not the best high-end (very tight canopy)
-Heavy handles (could be carbon fiber or lighter for sure)
-Windows are useless...like most windows
-Duotone proprietary pump adaptor is a piece of garbage and leaks while pumping AND is not industry standard. Also essentially requires that it must be deflated with the dump valves.
-Has one-pump which is bad for wings as the tubing can get knocked off causing a massive deflate and you can't fine tune the pressures.

Overall:
4/5 stars.

Nice wing, flies well, good pull and great low-end with awesome handles. Lots of cons as detailed above which I didn't expect given the hype around these Duotone wings and the fact this is at least a 3rd generation wing. My prior wing was an Ocean Rodeo and it was better in everyway except low end and handles were not as good (but still good). I know this wing is coming out in Aluula version but that won't affect the flaws including heavy handles, bad windows, crappy duotone inflation, and one-pump. If you have the money for Aluula get the OR.

gription
16 posts
23 Apr 2022 12:32AM
Thumbs Up

The duotone looks fantastic. I wonder how it stacks up against the new North v2. Seems like V1 nova was a flop, but this new one has some nice looking features.

JuriM
59 posts
23 Apr 2022 12:42AM
Thumbs Up

With my home-made 3D printed pump adapter, I find the end of the hose that connects to the pump leaks more than the end that plugs into the wing. Seems like it must leak somewhere.

I don't know if the UNIT was changed from last year's Slick, but I really haven't used the dump valve all that much. It's certainly convenient if you're in a rush to deflate and roll up, but where I sail, I usually have a chance to leave the wing to deflate for at least a couple of minutes, so it's usually pretty flat by the time I start rolling it up.

Icebergmansion
26 posts
23 Apr 2022 12:50AM
Thumbs Up

I can't fathom their rationale for going against the industry standard and using a substandard inflation/deflation system.

Of course you CAN make a 3D printed adaptor, and of course you CAN wait a long time for it to deflate but you shouldn't have to with a well-engineered product.

leepasty
112 posts
23 Apr 2022 4:13AM
Thumbs Up

I don't know what sort of pump he is using but my Duotone wings including new unit uses same pump as my Duotone kites and doesn't leak at all when inflating. mid you want to deflate you just twist the inflate valve and it deflates. you can also use the dump valves and personally I use the dump valve on end of wing and roll one end all way to other as with my kites which I find easiest and best way to get good roll and fold

leepasty
112 posts
23 Apr 2022 4:13AM
Thumbs Up

I don't know what sort of pump he is using but my Duotone wings including new unit uses same pump as my Duotone kites and doesn't leak at all when inflating. mid you want to deflate you just twist the inflate valve and it deflates. you can also use the dump valves and personally I use the dump valve on end of wing and roll one end all way to other as with my kites which I find easiest and best way to get good roll and fold

omg
243 posts
23 Apr 2022 4:40AM
Thumbs Up

Wrote this for the slick thread.

I have the 5m dlab, switched from previous Unit 5m model. Dlab is stiff, really stiff, even at 5,5 psi which I run for lowend. Goes upwind like no one and much better highend than the previous gen. although might have lost a bit of lowend or I just suck at it Very light in neutral when going downwind in onshore conditions. Handles are great, A+, stiff as, but haven't smashed my board yet with them, so MMV. Middle strut valve is very stupid esp. in freezing temps (hardens in low temps and pain in the ass to open), airport less so, but overly complicated, der geermans seem to have a need to rethink everything, wonder how they have not reinvented a conical or two-part spoon or something to "improve" things
All in all, I love it, but I guess the availability from the factory is the problem now.

PS. I don't use the middle strut valve that much, can wait a bit to deflate it by its own. I don't find the handles heavy at all, might be just be me. And funny that I find the highend really good, could be due to aluula I don't know?

jondrums
117 posts
23 Apr 2022 7:42AM
Thumbs Up

the new unit goes upwind so so well. It has completely changed winging for me - I don't have to mow the lawn on long reaches to make upwind progress. I can gybe, go 100m, gybe again, come back 100m and I'll be upwind of where I started, which is ridiculous. I was previously going a quarter of a mile out to sea in order to get back into the wave break at the right spot

flatchat
WA, 50 posts
23 Apr 2022 11:04AM
Thumbs Up

I've had the Unit 5.5m for 2 mths now. I'm getting a much better top end then my previous well used Echo 6m. So much so, that I now would prefer to stay on the 5.5m unit up to about 20knts rather then go down to my older 4m Echo, which I use to change over to if consistently over 15knts. I would say the range of the new Units are one of it's bigger strengths but then again I haven't winged any other brands. I've never had a leaking issue with my Duotone pump. I'm open to other brands with fixed handles when my 4m Unit needs replacing.

Pacey
WA, 513 posts
23 Apr 2022 2:23PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
flatchat said..
I've had the Unit 5.5m for 2 mths now. I'm getting a much better top end then my previous well used Echo 6m. So much so, that I now would prefer to stay on the 5.5m unit up to about 20knts rather then go down to my older 4m Echo, which I use to change over to if consistently over 15knts. I would say the range of the new Units are one of it's bigger strengths but then again I haven't winged any other brands. I've never had a leaking issue with my Duotone pump. I'm open to other brands with fixed handles when my 4m Unit needs replacing.


I agree about the range and upwind ability of the new units, it's excellent. With my 5.0, if the wind is a bit light I will pump it to 6.5 instead of 7.5 PSI to make it a bit more pumpable, as it can be a bit too rigid if the wind is light.

I have also never had an issue with Duotone valves or pumps, don't see what the issue is.

airsail
QLD, 901 posts
23 Apr 2022 4:29PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
omg said..
Wrote this for the slick thread.

I have the 5m dlab, switched from previous Unit 5m model. Dlab is stiff, really stiff, even at 5,5 psi which I run for lowend. Goes upwind like no one and much better highend than the previous gen. although might have lost a bit of lowend or I just suck at it Very light in neutral when going downwind in onshore conditions. Handles are great, A+, stiff as, but haven't smashed my board yet with them, so MMV. Middle strut valve is very stupid esp. in freezing temps (hardens in low temps and pain in the ass to open), airport less so, but overly complicated, der geermans seem to have a need to rethink everything, wonder how they have not reinvented a conical or two-part spoon or something to "improve" things
All in all, I love it, but I guess the availability from the factory is the problem now.

PS. I don't use the middle strut valve that much, can wait a bit to deflate it by its own. I don't find the handles heavy at all, might be just be me. And funny that I find the highend really good, could be due to aluula I don't know?

Just a word of caution about the middle strut valve, always remove it when packing the wing away. This is coming from the bad old days of kiting when you had a dump valve and inflation valve on the leading edge like these.
If you left the inflation valve installed, just using the dump valve when packing up, the plastic on the inflation valve would stretch and start leaking. Removing the plug during packup stops this stretching.

Icebergmansion
26 posts
25 Apr 2022 8:32AM
Thumbs Up

For the record I'm comparing arguably the two best wing brands on the market: Ocean Rodeo and Duotone, so of course this wing is going to be great relative to most other wings. Also, of course it's better than Duotones old models, every single foiling related product is better each generation, we are still in the logarithmic growth phase of the sports technology.

Leaky valve must just be mine then, although the inflation should be the industry standard valve either way and not proprietary. Standard valves like those on the OR don't NEED dump valves, they empty perfectly, nor do they event need an adaptor, just borrow anyones pump and you are set.

Overall I really like the wing and do not regret my purchase at all, I'm just pointing out some flaws which are basically absurd and should have been corrected in prior generations. I would actually still buy this wing over the OR just because it's 50% cheaper than the hybrid and almost half price of the full Aluula. Also I live in Florida so low end is very important and this thing has fantastic low-end!

Relapse
VIC, 468 posts
25 Apr 2022 7:00PM
Thumbs Up

Older clear seal on the end of the Duotone hose were crap, too soft and would leak. New red seal is a bit harder and a lot less likely to blow off or leak. That might be the problem but totally agree about the valve. Way too bulky and complicated. Smaller more compact Inflation valve on both leading edge and strut is the go like Cabrinha has done. Let's you run different pressures too.

I've never bothered with the dump valves, waste of space and weight and another point of failure. Takes a lot of pressure to close and you're pushing on a paper thin bladder to close . Only takes 10 seconds to deflate a 4m Unit strut by folding it and squeezing the air out.

Other niggle is the span, 4m is nearly 3inches wider than the new 4.2m North at tip each side. I don't think they would compromise performance too much shaving a bit off the larger sizes. No issues with 3.5m and below

Great wings otherwise, I have the 4m Dlab and 3m STD.

omg
243 posts
25 Apr 2022 5:11PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
airsail said..

omg said..
Wrote this for the slick thread.

...


Just a word of caution about the middle strut valve, always remove it when packing the wing away. This is coming from the bad old days of kiting when you had a dump valve and inflation valve on the leading edge like these.
If you left the inflation valve installed, just using the dump valve when packing up, the plastic on the inflation valve would stretch and start leaking. Removing the plug during packup stops this stretching.


I have used Duotone kites since the launch, and also the previous version Unit when it was launched, and always have left the deflate valves installed on and never have had any problems - now I just jinxed it! :) I don't know but maybe colder climate has something to do it, but yeah, no problems.

gneve
41 posts
25 Apr 2022 11:04PM
Thumbs Up

I've been able to get a couple of sessions on my 4m Unit v2 here in Charleston and I lucked into some wind while in Miami this weekend and managed two sessions on the wing. Wind ranged from the mid-teens to upper twenties on Friday.

I'll echo what's been mostly said already.

Good:
- upwind is excellent
- tight canopy
- great handles

Bad
- terrible inflation system: I bought the official Duotone adapter and found that the connection to the wing is fine but it leaks at the hose connection. blows my mind that this isn't standardized to specific size. I did "fix" this by wrapping some electrical tape around the piece that goes to the hose and that created an airtight connection. We'll see how long it lasts.... No neoprene cover over the plastic valve cover is a big miss. On my Strike, I like how I can open the valve and cover it with the neoprene cover. Air can get out but no sand gets in. Dump valve is fine on the boom strut. Wing tip dump valve is a waste and added weight.
- windows: bad placement and now I have to roll this thing up in a very specific way as to not crease the windows. This is fine in my backyard but not easy on the beach when it's blowing 20+.
- harness line attachment points: would've been easy to add something to the handles

I waited and waited and waited for the Strike v2 in the smaller sizes and I just couldn't wait any longer. Overall I'm very happy with the wing and I'm able to overlook these smaller issues as I think the performance on the water outweighs the poor design decisions.

martyman
WA, 206 posts
26 Apr 2022 1:16PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Icebergmansion said..
Bio: 75kg, advanced winger, mostly wave riding, east-coast Florida USA

Pros:
-Nice construction, great looking
-Solid handles which are great for wave riding
-Excellent low end, really stiff canopy that pumps great
-Good jumper
-Decent price (paid $1050 for a 5m new).

Cons:
-Not the best high-end (very tight canopy)
-Heavy handles (could be carbon fiber or lighter for sure)
-Windows are useless...like most windows
-Duotone proprietary pump adaptor is a piece of garbage and leaks while pumping AND is not industry standard. Also essentially requires that it must be deflated with the dump valves.
-Has one-pump which is bad for wings as the tubing can get knocked off causing a massive deflate and you can't fine tune the pressures.

Overall:
4/5 stars.

Nice wing, flies well, good pull and great low-end with awesome handles. Lots of cons as detailed above which I didn't expect given the hype around these Duotone wings and the fact this is at least a 3rd generation wing. My prior wing was an Ocean Rodeo and it was better in everyway except low end and handles were not as good (but still good). I know this wing is coming out in Aluula version but that won't affect the flaws including heavy handles, bad windows, crappy duotone inflation, and one-pump. If you have the money for Aluula get the OR.


Ya dude. Regarding the low end, the 5m glide is very, very close in size to the 4m Unit. I spoke to OR guys about it and they explained that the companies use different software. They use different metrics above and beyond projected vs actually area.

Faff
VIC, 997 posts
26 Apr 2022 4:34PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
martyman said..

Icebergmansion said..
Bio: 75kg, advanced winger, mostly wave riding, east-coast Florida USA

Pros:
-Nice construction, great looking
-Solid handles which are great for wave riding
-Excellent low end, really stiff canopy that pumps great
-Good jumper
-Decent price (paid $1050 for a 5m new).

Cons:
-Not the best high-end (very tight canopy)
-Heavy handles (could be carbon fiber or lighter for sure)
-Windows are useless...like most windows
-Duotone proprietary pump adaptor is a piece of garbage and leaks while pumping AND is not industry standard. Also essentially requires that it must be deflated with the dump valves.
-Has one-pump which is bad for wings as the tubing can get knocked off causing a massive deflate and you can't fine tune the pressures.

Overall:
4/5 stars.

Nice wing, flies well, good pull and great low-end with awesome handles. Lots of cons as detailed above which I didn't expect given the hype around these Duotone wings and the fact this is at least a 3rd generation wing. My prior wing was an Ocean Rodeo and it was better in everyway except low end and handles were not as good (but still good). I know this wing is coming out in Aluula version but that won't affect the flaws including heavy handles, bad windows, crappy duotone inflation, and one-pump. If you have the money for Aluula get the OR.



Ya dude. Regarding the low end, the 5m glide is very, very close in size to the 4m Unit. I spoke to OR guys about it and they explained that the companies use different software. They use different metrics above and beyond projected vs actually area.


Vanity sizing. "Your pumping technique must suck. 4.0 is my biggest!" ?? FWIW, I suspect my Slicks are bigger than stated.

ArtemN
SA, 66 posts
27 Apr 2022 7:15AM
Thumbs Up

My favorite wing so far, the handles are perfectly designed, it can't get any better: the size (not too long, not too short), the oval shape is very comfortable, the rubber-ish material on the handles has a perfect grip and doesn't cause any callus (it's probably a combination of oval shape as well).
The inflation system not so good but can live with it, I wish it was a standard connection. Dump valves are nice when packing but it's a pain to open them and not sure about the longevity, also a non-zero chance to put sand in the bladder.
The canopy is still tight (after ~10 sessions), stitching job looks strong.

omg
243 posts
27 Apr 2022 1:17PM
Thumbs Up

Yeh, very nice wing. The top end is really good for 5m dlab. Just had a fantastic wave session with it in onshore conditions, worked perfectly. Handles are really good as stated by Artem.

leepasty
112 posts
29 Apr 2022 1:54AM
Thumbs Up

Bit of Onshore small wave action on the 4m Unit here
www.instagram.com/reel/Cba_lXBovRK/?igshid=NDA1YzNhOGU=

EB
SA, 488 posts
29 Apr 2022 5:46AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
gription said..
The duotone looks fantastic. I wonder how it stacks up against the new North v2. Seems like V1 nova was a flop, but this new one has some nice looking features.


Interested in understanding why the North was considered a flop. Having a couple of these I'm looking to up grade these to V2 would be my 1st choice admittedly. If I could understand what I'm missing or overlooked the V1 flaws then maybe I'll be looking elsewhere.
1st season winging for me so haven't had a chance to use anything else.

Paddlezz
101 posts
29 Apr 2022 8:14AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
flatchat said..
I've had the Unit 5.5m for 2 mths now. I'm getting a much better top end then my previous well used Echo 6m. So much so, that I now would prefer to stay on the 5.5m unit up to about 20knts rather then go down to my older 4m Echo, which I use to change over to if consistently over 15knts. I would say the range of the new Units are one of it's bigger strengths but then again I haven't winged any other brands. I've never had a leaking issue with my Duotone pump. I'm open to other brands with fixed handles when my 4m Unit needs replacing.




Hi flatchat,
I am planning a two wing quiver with the 5.5 DLab + a 3.5 ( or even a 3.0m2) Unit standard from ca. 8 to 30 knts wind.
What do you think with your experience, is that doable?
Riding a 1010 and a 900 Axis wing , weight 75kg.

29 Apr 2022 4:22PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Icebergmansion said..
Leaky valve must just be mine then, although the inflation should be the industry standard valve either way and not proprietary. Standard valves like those on the OR don't NEED dump valves, they empty perfectly, nor do they event need an adaptor, just borrow anyones pump and you are set.




The leaky valve is usually because the O-ring on your pump isn't fitted correctly or is deformed. Often it moves out of place and doesn't get relocated correctly. It can be caused by damage to the valve itself, but in most cases the correct fitting and O-ring will solve the issue.

I'd like to see Duotone adopt the Boston valve or similar as that's what many are using these days, very simply and does the job well. When the Airport came into use in 2014/15 very few brands had a large diameter inflate and there wasn't really a common standard to follow. Changing it now would create a lot of complications in production/distribution and part compatibility so I understand why they're reserved to do so, but I do think there are simpler solutions out there.

Originally the idea with the Airport is that most bayonets will fit it without a special fitting, and they often do... just not very well.

I don't think there is really much of an industry standard, unfortunately. There's the Boston which is quite common, but in two different sizes. You often need the right adaptor to suit these anyway. There's the fitting where bayonet goes on the outside like Cabrinha or OR, usually fits most bayonets but not all of them. There's the alternative bayonet style that comes from SUP/RIB like Naish, F-One etc. are using that have like half a dozen different bayonets that sometimes work and sometimes don't.

Sometimes makes you miss the old days of the pointy nozzle and a 9mm inflate on everything. But try using it for 2 seconds and you'll quickly remember why everyone went to fancy big valves with special adaptors!

warwickl
NSW, 1893 posts
29 Apr 2022 5:00PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Paddlezz said..


flatchat said..
I've had the Unit 5.5m for 2 mths now. I'm getting a much better top end then my previous well used Echo 6m. So much so, that I now would prefer to stay on the 5.5m unit up to about 20knts rather then go down to my older 4m Echo, which I use to change over to if consistently over 15knts. I would say the range of the new Units are one of it's bigger strengths but then again I haven't winged any other brands. I've never had a leaking issue with my Duotone pump. I'm open to other brands with fixed handles when my 4m Unit needs replacing.






Hi flatchat,
I am planning a two wing quiver with the 5.5 DLab + a 3.5 ( or even a 3.0m2) Unit standard from ca. 8 to 30 knts wind.
What do you think with your experience, is that doable?
Riding a 1010 and a 900 Axis wing , weight 75kg.



I've just replaced my Slick 3.5, 4.5, 5.5 and 6.5 with 4 and 5.5 Dlabs. Going by the wind ranges on the Duotone site this should work.
So far the 5.5 seems to match the bottom end of the 6.5 Slick and has excellent top end. The 4m Duotone also has an amazing bottom end and feels very solid. Top end on the 4m so far has been in 30kn gusts but mostly 20 to 25kn and comfortable.
If anything I may need a standard Unit 3m for 30kn plus wind.
I am 76kg and so far the Dlabs are a big step up and way less load on my hands and arms.

airsail
QLD, 901 posts
29 Apr 2022 5:27PM
Thumbs Up

Will be interesting to see what a secondhand Aluula kite will be worth? Out dated model with used rip stop canopy, but with formula one material on the leading edge. Secondhand kites are usually the target for beginners or people just wanting a cheap kite, though the second hand Aluula price could be that of a brand new kite standard kite.

warwickl
NSW, 1893 posts
29 Apr 2022 6:10PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
airsail said..
Will be interesting to see what a secondhand Aluula kite will be worth? Out dated model with used rip stop canopy, but with formula one material on the leading edge. Secondhand kites are usually the target for beginners or people just wanting a cheap kite, though the second hand Aluula price could be that of a brand new kite standard kite.


Half price for 4 windwings compared with 2, result about the same.
Also I did tell my wife " this is it, I will never need any more "

bigtone667
NSW, 1474 posts
29 Apr 2022 6:12PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
warwickl said..

airsail said..
Will be interesting to see what a secondhand Aluula kite will be worth? Out dated model with used rip stop canopy, but with formula one material on the leading edge. Secondhand kites are usually the target for beginners or people just wanting a cheap kite, though the second hand Aluula price could be that of a brand new kite standard kite.



Half price for 4 windwings compared with 2, result about the same.
Also I did tell my wife " this is it, I will never need any more "


You better start asking for forgiveness now.

warwickl
NSW, 1893 posts
29 Apr 2022 7:20PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
bigtone667 said..

warwickl said..


airsail said..
Will be interesting to see what a secondhand Aluula kite will be worth? Out dated model with used rip stop canopy, but with formula one material on the leading edge. Secondhand kites are usually the target for beginners or people just wanting a cheap kite, though the second hand Aluula price could be that of a brand new kite standard kite.




Half price for 4 windwings compared with 2, result about the same.
Also I did tell my wife " this is it, I will never need any more "



You better start asking for forgiveness now.




How did u know, I now have this to demo

ArtemN
SA, 66 posts
17 May 2022 11:40AM
Thumbs Up

Anyone experienced torn strut on the non-dlab version?
Seems like there is a weak spot where the handles are stitched in. Don't get me wrong, I love the wing but I was really surprised when the strut got torn in moderate shore break, I've had way rougher conditions with other brands (soft handles) to the point where the leash breaks. Basically I was just paddling out while holding the wing with my feet, some water got on top but nothing crazy...
I recon I'd have torn the strut regardless of the conditions, even normal pumping would do it, the weak spot around handles got too weak.








Piros
QLD, 6417 posts
17 May 2022 12:29PM
Thumbs Up

Wow that's nasty , although it might not seem like much but pulling the wing front first and through the wave puts the wing under the wave and under enormous pressure. Always stop and lift the wing over the white water or foam. Even if everything holds great way to snap your leash.

hilly
WA, 6644 posts
17 May 2022 10:53AM
Thumbs Up

Hard meets soft always a weak point. Was the leash attached to the front point?



Subscribe
Reply

Forums > Wing Foiling General


"2022 Duotone Unit Review" started by Icebergmansion