Looking for a new harness, Kitemana has got you covered! A harness is the direct link between you and your kite. A good harness provides good back support while kitesurfing and transfers your kite's power to your body. Two types of harnesses are used during kiting, a waist harness or a seat harness. Depending on your personal preference, choose a kitesurf harness that fits you well! Kitemana has all sorts of harnesses to provide the right fit and comfort for everyone Read more »
Different kind of harnesses
While kitesurfing, two different types of harnesses are used. The seat harness and the waist harness. The big difference between the two is that a waist harness doesn't have an area to sit on. This provides extra support in the lower back and ensures that the harness doesn't 'crawl up' while kitesurfing.
Benefits of a seat harness:
Doesn't slide up while kitesurfing
Lower hook. This makes it easier for you to depower your kite, especially for people with short arms
Easier to use your weight when you ride overpowered. Because your center body gravity is lower
Better back support, especially if you have a weak back
Benefits of a waist harness:
Light weight and easy to use
More freedom of movement during kiting
No straps between your legs, especially nice for the guys
Both harnesses are good in their own way, so choose the harness which you prefer! In case your kite is still a lot at 12 o'clock, a seat harness would be better. If you want more freedom of movement while kiting and want to develop yourself when it comes to jumps and other tricks, a waist harness is the way to go. So if you have a weak back, you can better take a seat harness. Most advanced kiters like a waist harness, because you can easily turn your body and move your legs more freely If you choose a waist harness, you can also consider choosing a so-called hardshell harness. These harnesses have a harder back panel than a standard waist harnesses and offer more support than usual. The most famous hardshell harnesses are those of Ride Engine.
What should I consider before buying a harness?
A kitesurf harness is a very important and essential part of your kite set. We recommend that you don't safe money on this part of your kite gear. Often people choose a harness because it looks nice, but always put comfort above looks. As written above, it is very important that you make the right choice between a waist or seat harness. The most important factor when purchasing a harness is the fit and the size of a harness. Choose a harness that is comfortable and seamlessly connect to the shapes of your body. Make sure it isn't too big, because a harness offers the most support when it is real tight around your body.
A simple rule to keep in mind is, you need around 5 to 10 cm on both sides to tighten your harness. You can measure this with your clothes, but keep in mind that your wetsuit might be a little bit thicker. Unless you're wearing a thick sweater ;-) But in the end, the best way to find out if a harness really fits you is by doing a solid and intens kitesurf session. If you're not sure which harness is the best for you, don't hesitate and give us a call or send an e-mail and we will gladly guide you through the proces.
I'm a beginner, what kite harness suits me?
Initially, we recommend all beginners a seat harness because your kite is still at 12 o'clock at the start. As a beginner you are often a lot in the water instead of cruising with your kiteboard with your kite at the edge of the wind window. As a result, a waist harness can creep up. The straps of a seat harness will make sure your harness stays put and won't end up somewhere below your armpits. Once you reach the level that you can easily cruise back and forth, a waist harness becomes more appealing as your legs and hips get more space to move freely.
How long does a harness last?
In general a good harness lasts for a long period of time. At the beginning a harness often feels a bit stiff, but after a while your harness will fit better around your body. Nevertheless, after a couple of years a harness will wear out and the will lose its stiffness and support. You need this stiffness for the right amount of back support. We recommend that you consider purchasing a new one after 3 to 5 years, depending on the condition and how often it has been used.
What different hooks are there?
A kitesurf harness always has a hook at the front to which you can attach a chickenloop. This hook is firmly sealed to the spreader bar. Most harness manufacturers use a standard hook, because it works well in combination with the chickenloop. The hook bends downwards so your chickenloop won't slip out so easily . As soon as you put your donkey dick through it, you're firmly locked in and your kite won't go anywhere without you.
Another way to attach yourself to your kite is by using a Cabrinha fireball system. This is a new system from Cabrinha, which means that you don't need a chickenloop anymore. There is a ball attached at the end of the bar. This ball goes inside a socket on you harness and by the power of the kite it stays there. This fireball system is available separately from Cabrinha kites and is mainly used by freeriders and wave kiters. An advantage is that your kite gets more space to move from left to right but your harness wont shift around as much compared to a normal chickenloop system.
Last but not least we see an increase in the usage of a slider bar. You don't have a hook at the front anymore, but a rope which allows the chickenloop to slide from left to right. This allows you to move your body more freely and it keeps your harness better in place. Also your bar is closer to your body, allowing you to depower a lot easier. However, this is mainly used by wave riders, for the big turns.