Kitesurf harness, models
If you wanna skip the claptrap and read my tips for choosing your kitesurf harness, head to the bottom of the page directly.
If you’re new to the sport, keep reading.
There’s basically 2 kinds of kitesurf harnesses for kiteboarding:
You really wanna a “Seat” Kitesurf Harness?
Seat harness are slightly more stable with a slightly lower barycenter, therefore they are often the harness of choice for kitesurf courses.
Honestly, I think they make you feel like someone in between a climber, a skydiver and a bondage fetishist, and they’re undoubtedly annoying for your crotch.
I noticed that, after taking a course, students tend to stick to the seat harness because switching to a waist harness would mean stepping out their, just acquired, comfort zone.
So let’s make my opinion clear:
Unless you have some sort of back problems or you are an avid racer, seat harnesses are probably the least stylish thing in the kitesurfing world after the creepy board leashes (so bad that I don’t even put a picture). Once you finish your Kitesurfing course, forget the seat harness (or diaper) and buy a waist one directly, you will not notice much of a difference (actually, guy are going to notice!).
My tips for buying Your Kite Harness online:
- Measure your waist and compare it to the sizes published on the producers’ websites; do not buy a harness that’s too big, otherwise, it will tend to rise up while you are kiting.
- Also, keep in mind that a stiffer harness is much better for your back (it’s more expensive, but you could also opt for a carbon model).
- Be careful not to buy a windsurfing harness.They look very similar but do not have any handle on the back and the hook shape is a bit different.*
If you still use a seat harness, buy a new one right away.
Ps: I’ve just noticed that Mystic is now producing some seat harnesses for ladies that actually don’t look that bad. Still, I haven’t yet seen a kite girl wearing one.
Read about the time I spanked a lady student because of a seat harness.
Regular Harness Vs Surf Harness
In the last years, specific hooks for wave riding became popular. It’s a simple variation: rather than a metal hook, the consist of a sliding rope that let the chicken loop slide on a side while riding toe-side to surf a wave front-side.
Some brands, like, Mystic and Ride Engine now let you buy the spreader bar separately, so I recommend you buying one if you wanna get serious at wave riding.
The Difference Between a Windsurf Harness and a Kitesurf Harness
An interesting comparison I recently read on a Windsurf forum
Unlike Kiters, Windsurfers unhook in and unhook from the sail all the time while riding, and don’t dispose of a quick release system. Therefore, to avoid remaining stuck under the sail when they fall into the water, they must be able to quickly unhook from the sail to be safe.
For these reasons, a Windsurf harness’ hook will have a different angle, to permit the rider to unhook fast. Meanwhile, when Kiting, you don’t need to unhook except if you are performing advanced freestyle tricks (known as “wakestyle”), so the hook is designed to hold your “chicken loop” all session long (Is it getting intense? Read the glossary here).
For more tips for buying kitesurf gear click on the link!
Credits: Pic of the guy surfing by APG Graphics, gifs by Tenor and Giphy.