It wasn’t until the 21st century when one of our fondest water sports, kiteboarding, included a critical safety aspect – the harness. Kiteboarding used to be a developed kite, a line system, and a kiteboard.
Now, there are kites, kiteboards, bar and lines, and harnesses.
A harness is a kite’s silent partner in the primary trio of must-have items to kiteboard. Therefore, picking one should be made with careful considerations. This article will discuss the things you need to know about this safety aspect and the best kiteboarding harnesses.
- What are kiteboarding harnesses
- What kiteboard harness should I get
- Measuring your waist for the harness
Table of Contents
What Is A Kiteboarding Harness?
A kiteboarding harness connects you to the kite bar, transferring the pull of the kite from your hands to your body. Often overlooked in the kiteboarding world, it is a safety essential and critical equipment in kiteboarding.
The harness creates a balance zone that allows you to control, steer, and turn your kite with one hand, even in the most forceful wind conditions. It also comes in different types – the waist harness, the seat harness, and the boardshorts harness.
The waist harness is the original kite harness type. Often referred to as the diaper-style harness, it provides a freer riding experience as it allows your legs to move more in the water while performing tricks and maneuvers. For most kiteboarders, they are the most comfortable to wear.
If your sessions tend to be more laid back, with lots of cruising and occasional jumps, your best support and comfort comes from a seat harness. This type lessens fatigue and allows you longer kiteboarding sessions.
The boardshorts harness is the latest style in kiteboarding harnesses. This type integrates safety and fashion.
Top 5 Best Kiteboarding Harnesses Reviewed
Finding the best kiteboarding harness can be a hard decision to make. After all, it is a piece of safety equipment we are deciding on. The last thing you will want in a kiteboarding session is for your equipment to fail in leave you stranded in the ocean.
There are many kiteboarding harnesses in the market today, but only a few can guarantee your safety and added fun. Here are five of the best kiteboarding harnesses to narrow down your choices:
- Ocean Rodeo Session Harness– Best for Beginners
- Ride Engine Kiteboarding Harness– Best for Comfort
- Dakine Pyro Multisport Harness– Best for Hybrid Riders
- Manera Eclipse Kite Harness– Best for Free Riding
- Ride Engine Elite Carbon Infrared Harness– Best for Advanced Kiteboarders
1. Ocean Rodeo Session Harness– Best for Beginners
The Ocean Rodeo Session Harness is the most versatile kiteboarding harness on the list. Wear it as a waist harness or a seat harness, and you are sure to progress with your abilities. Its adjustable design and sleek exterior make it incredibly comfortable to wear as it provides you with maximum support.
This kiteboarding harness is made of hard-wearing PVC material that can withstand rugged use even in a harsh saltwater environment. But, it is soft to wear with its soft lining and extra-wide Velcro band that helps keep the harness well situated around your waist.
The Ocean Rodeo Session Harness is specially designed for kiteboarding with every feature you may need. It has no line snag points, and all the buckles are well-hidden. Moreover, its secure quick-entry and exit spreader bar buckle further make riding better.
|Adjustable back support||Leg straps sold separately|
2. Ride Engine Kiteboarding Harness– Best for Comfort
The Ride Engine Kiteboarding Harness is built to resist slipping and sliding. This harness uses an Armor Shell and Elite Carbon base to keep it from moving around while you do your kiteboarding stunts. Its memory foam molding conforms to your waist’s shape to ensure it stays in its place.
The Elite Carbon and memory foam add to what makes this kiteboarding harness perfect for torsional flex while giving you comfort as you move. In addition, the foam keeps you cozy and snug since it prevents the edges of the harness from coming too close to your skin.
This kiteboarding harness features a minimalistic design that lessens bulk and weight. One feature most users love is its Lumbar Lock that keeps the harness from twisting out of place. With its low profile, any rider can wear this for more extended periods.
|Tightly woven for better torsional flex||Doesn’t include a spreader bar|
|Memory foam padding|
|Unique shell design|
3. Dakine Pyro Multisport Harness– Best for Hybrid Riders
Tall kiteboarders who prefer hybrid harnesses will love the Dakine Pyro Multisport Harness. This is the most extensive harness among the five reviewed in this article. Aside from tall kiteboarders who will benefit from how big this is, it is also best for beginners looking for a step up from seat style harness.
Its shell is a reinforced honeycomb shell. The inner side of it uses an adaptive fit composite with Texon backplate support. It can feel stiff in the middle, but that’s usually how hybrid harnesses are. It makes up with its side panels that flex and soft wrap on your sides.
Inside this harness is a featherweight ES memory foam thermo-molded and wrapped in neoprene. Dakine incorporated convenience by adding two side key/knife pockets with elastic loops for storing essential small items.
|Best for long torso riders||Too big for short riders|
|Easy to clip in and out|
|Full back support|
4. Manera Eclipse Kite Harness– Best for Free Riding
The Eclipse Kite Harness is Manera’s version of a semi-rigid “hard-shell” harness. It is all about comfortable support for the back via a lower fit. This design aims to have that balance between flex and stiffness.
This mid-price range harness doesn’t come short quality-wise. The stiffness keeps the harness from folding and compressing the body while maintaining the lumbar support, too. Its gel foam adds comfort by evenly dispersing pressure during long kiteboarding sessions.
The Eclipse features down old and tuck flap system to keep the harness from riding up during a ride. It uses an asymmetrical attachment design to bring the forces down and keep you balanced. The tuck flaps help by making sure all the straps are kept out of the way.
|Gel foam for extra cushioning||No leash attachment|
|Best lumbar support|
|Down hold system|
5. Ride Engine Elite Carbon Infrared Harness– Best for Advanced Kiteboarders
It shows how reputable a name is if it has two of its product lines in one list. The Ride Engine’s second entry in the best kiteboarding harness, 2019 Elite Carbon Infrared Harness, is designed for experienced and professional riders set to conquer the roughest waters and forceful winds.
This harness has a Kevlar construction making it one of the most rigid and longest-lasting kiteboarding equipment in the market. Its Kevlar material is combined with premium carbon to make a stiff shell. This stiffness allows the kiteboarder a higher performance since the weight is spread evenly across the back.
The Elite Carbon Harness is intended to increase your mobility. Its low-profile fit stays in place with the help of 3D molding and the brand’s unique Lumbar Lock. These two keeps the harness from twisting and turning, ensuring it stays put all the time.
|Tough and long-lasting||Spreader bars sold separately|
What Kiteboard Harness Should I Get
The choice generally boils down to the rider’s preference. The three types of kiteboarding harnesses we mentioned above aren’t specific for riders. A beginner can go for either of the three, and an experienced rider can also use the same choice the beginner picked.
This is why it is crucial to try out a few models first, compare features and how it feels when you ride, before jumping into a decision. To help you with this decision, here are some of the factors you may want to consider:
The harness should fit snugly without being too loose or too tight. Too much pressure on the lower ribs may cause distress and may affect your performance.
It should feature several straps that will let you tighten it around your waist and keep it from riding up. It would be a wise decision to go for one with a well-hidden knife. You don’t know just when you need to cut a rope.
Quality of Materials
It would be nice if the harness is soft cushioned neoprene with good stitches and high-end stainless steel hooks that won’t interfere with your breathing.
Make sure to measure your body against the size of the kiteboarding harness. A well-fitted harness can offer support and lessen muscle fatigue.
Measuring Your Waist For The Harness
The well-fitted harness offers the most comfortable kiteboarding experience. It should not be too loose, or you will lose your focus by having to tug it in place all the time. It also should not be too tight that it would leave a mark after your ride.
Measuring your waist for a harness is simple – all you need is to measure the narrowest part of your waist above the belly button. Then, you can compare it with the size charts of the brand you are looking at getting.
Kiteboarding harnesses are often overlooked that some people consider them as an accessory – they are not. Harnesses are your safety equipment as you ride the waves against the winds. Therefore, they should always be present in any of your kiteboarding trips.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: How do I stop my kitesurfing harness riding up?
A: It can be a lot of things, but the most important is fitting. Be sure you have the right size of kiteboarding harness. Moreover, before getting into the waters, always tighten just in case it can still be loose. Tommie Kogut, a kiteboarder pro, thinks it can also be your stance. Always keep a strong posture when kiteboarding with your harness. Try to remember – butt-in and not butt-out.