Low profile, minimalistic waist harness suggestions?

Shoot the breeze and stay in the loop with the unhinged and unhooked word on the street.
24-7 Boardsports
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:20 am
Antispam: No
Location: Calshot Spit, SO45 1BR
Contact:

If anyone would like to buy a sell out, stiff, comfy, kite specific harness, I'm putting together a preorder for Ride Engine in the next few days. If there is something specific you want, and you can withstand the shame, let me know & I'll make sure it comes in ;)

Dan
james
Posts: 2496
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 7:50 pm
Location: lymington, hampshire

oh go on then, put me down for one ;)
John.B
Posts: 1901
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:21 pm
Location: The Union

Had my first outing on my new Ride Engine yesterday, moderately powered 9m weather so thought I’d give a little feedback with a full review and update as I use it more.

First things first you definitely need to size up from what you’d normally get in a standard harness. I’m narrow hipped and take a 32” waist in jeans with usually some room to spare and all my harnesses have been small. My last other harness was a NP Surf Flash in small and I have this pulled about as tight as it would go. When I tried a small RE it would fit OK with just a t-shirt, but when it came to wetsuit and one of those Mystic wind hoodies it was at it’s limits and this is pre Xmas bloat! The size I have settled on is a medium with a 10” bar as this seem to give the best fit to prevent the ‘squeeze’ – more later on this.

So out yesterday, moderately powered on my 9m for three hous non-stop riding and I can report it works exactly as advertised. Once you size it right and put it on it just won’t budge. It literally sucked to the small of my back as stayed put with zero movement. This was very weird at first as I had grown to prefer a really minimalistic and flexible harness – primarily to allow me freedom of movement. However, this meant the harness would move – not as in spin but it would flex with me i.e. when I jumped and bone out a grab with twist the harness would conform. The RE just wouldn’t do this and simply stays fixed which meant a little adjustment to my technique.

Now it might seem like a juxtaposition going from a super soft flexible harness to one that is moulded with a hard shell? However, the RE is just so small that it allows me the same if not more freedom of movement plus other benefits with the main one being absolutely no ‘squeeze’. What I mean by this, and until you try the RE it is hard to really imagine properly, is that when you are powered the pull through the spreader bar will still allow the harness to compress at the sides and squeeze you. Actually think about the term spreader bar – it spreads the load from the kite across its width, but beyond this no matter how much thermoformed x-bracing or whatever in the shell - the amount of force is going to compress it. On the RE the shell and the spreader bar sort of create... a halo around you and instead of the kite pulling through you it is wrapped around and pulls the whole of you.

This ability to deliver and spread the force around you somehow manages to free you up and the steering and response of the kite feels different – a bit like having power steering. It also allows you to engage your core and lower body in a different way as you are no longer having to counteract the compression forces. Normally after a session I’d not be able to do any abdominal work when training for a few days – today I never managed a full set, but about half and that is a half more than I’ve been able to do previously. It really hugs your back in a nice way also – you are aware there is something stiff there, but in a positive way and you can properly lean into it.

So there you have it – a harness that somehow provide power steering for your kite with added comfort for you back and core thrown in. If you can’t get your head around how different it is then you need to try it... worth the extra spend, yep in my book it was for sure.

Cheers to the guys at Ride Engine UK and FC Watersports for the advice - if you need help with sizing then get in touch with them as they were on the money with me.
Stevez
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:32 pm
Antispam: No
Location: East Lothian, Scotland.

Good to hear your feedback John, one question for you, do you find any weight saving over your pervious harness?

I've got a big ole' pyro by means of a comparison.

Cheers.
John.B
Posts: 1901
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:21 pm
Location: The Union

The Flash was light, the RE a bit lighter but due to the shell it takes on very little water so actually stays lighter. Compared to the pyro it will be much lighter.
Stevez
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:32 pm
Antispam: No
Location: East Lothian, Scotland.

Thanks, i shall plan for the investment :)
TheKiteGuru
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:10 pm

ride engine
Post Reply