BUYER’S GUIDE 2015
Photo Jeremias Marinovic
Investment in a good waist harness can be one of the most important bits of kit you buy if you want to enjoy and progress your sailing and save money on visits to the physiotherapist! We take a look at the latest offerings from the brands and Robby Swift gives us his expert advice.
There are so many waist harnesses out there and so many different lengths of harness lines etc. that it can get a bit confusing. To be honest, a lot of it is down to personal preference and what you are used to. Here is a list of sailors and the harness line lengths they use:
Jason Polakow: 26cm
Robby Swift: 28cm
Ricardo Campello: 30cm
Marcilio Browne: 34-36cm
Kauli Seadi: 34-36cm
So as you can see, there are 5 sailors ranging from 5’8” tall to 6’2” tall, all with 5 extremely different harness line lengths which do not correlate at all to their height or arm length and they all make it work for them.
Some people say that you should have your lines spread far apart and some say you should have them close together. I personally find that in high winds I like to put the lines a little farther apart for more control and in lighter, gustier winds I like to put them closer together so I can pump the sail a little without unhooking.
As far as harnesses go, there is also a huge range you can choose from and, once again, a lot of it is down to personal preference. I personally tend to go for a harness that has the following features:
• Wide enough to offer good support when landing high jumps on your back, yet not so wide that it restricts your movement from side to side and makes you feel stiff.
• I also like the spreader bar to be nice and stable in front of you, not flopping up and down with your movement so you can really concentrate on your sailing rather than looking down to check what’s going on with your spreader bar when lining up for a jump or dropping into a wave.
• I definitely like good back support since I like to sail for many hours a day and many days a week, so you need gear that protects you from the strains that windsurfing can put on your back.
• Luckily for me, I spend most of the year in warm climates, so a nice soft, comfy top and bottom of the harness are very important so that you don’t get a rash when sailing without a top on.
Other than that of course, the colour and look of the harness is important. It’s the most visible part of your attire, so choose one that you like to look at, so when you are Go-Pro’ing yourself or getting your wife to film you (good luck with that!), you will like the way the shots come out!
FLYING OBJECTS CROSSFIRE
The Cross Fire blends affordable pricing with proven design. This delivers a harness with thermo-form padding, a medium flex character and finished in a soft neoprene wrap. All these attributes lend to a functional design that provides maximum support in the lower back and minimises point loading. Other features include an Internal Neo Belt and thermo-form Lumbar Support.
ION RADIUM SELECT
ION´s RADIUM SELECT is the most comfortable harness on the planet, thanks to the visco elastic Memory Foam which adapts perfectly to your body. The newly developed leverbuckle system, ‘Quick_Fit’, allows super fast and effort-saving tightening of the harness. In addition the new Pro_Pad and thermo moulded EVA construction protects your belly and back.
From the very beginning of the brand the iconic Warrior harness has been core to everything the brand is about, providing a product born on the water! Features include the anatomical back plate which gives Mystic’s trademark feature of never riding up, as well as super soft edges and a low torque spreader bar. Available in sizes XS, S, M, L, XL and XXL.
Built around a new load-distributing moulded shell, the Mafia is designed for riders who want the most mobility, superior fit and support. The click-in spreader bar is built into the streamlined bar pad with memory foam for increased ribcage protection and a stabilizer strap to keep it in place. The Mafia also features a tricot neoprene lining for superior comfort.
NP SURF PULSE
NP have aimed for comfort and support with the Pulse, a 3D-shaped harness with forged aluminium spreader bar and EVA foam inners to prevent riding-up and prevent water absorption. The unique embossed pattern is designed to perfectly fit the core while preventing the harness riding up or twisting. A 360° strap made from highly elasticised fabric provides additional core support.
PAT LOVE VIBE
The Vibe is a thermo formed high-end windsurf waist harness with deep lateral neoprene padding and marine grade metal buckles. On the inside you will find thermoformed, super soft and anatomical padding. The low back anatomic shape is particularly compact and allows extreme movement and freedom. Also featuring an elastic power belt and new spreader bar system with bar pad.
POINT–7 WAIST WAVE
An all-rounder by sail brand Point-7 that is ergonomically shaped, combining optimal freedom with maximal support. Ideal for any kind of discipline, whether your sport of choice is wavesailing, freestyle or just flat-water cruising. The harness is built using only the best materials; ensuring the perfect mix of durability, comfort and tailor made quality.
The Hybrid harness is light, strong and versatile. Our new laminated PU material and internal Nylon waist belt absorbs no water, making this the lightest harness out there while still giving the great back support of a Prolimit harness. Other features include pre-curved and 3D shaped, low absorption internal waist belt, patented pin release bar system and EZ belt system.
RRD have developed a new harness collection shaped around the most diverse body shapes and purposes, analysing both the anatomy of each target group and best materials and technology process available today to build the new collection. The EQ-3 is a high end waist harness designed for power and comfort, features include pre-shaped moulded EVA and fibre glass battens inside.