I only started kitesurfing 2 years ago and already a big part of my heart belongs to the sea. It’s not the gymnastic jump around kiteboarding that’s my thing but instead the thrilling strapless wave kitesurfing.
Starting kitesurfing was one of the most challenging things I have had to do in recent years. It seemed unfamilar to acknowledge that I knew nothing and that I was beginning from scratch. A feeling that I had not felt in a long time. Beginning something new that takes a lot of skill is hard.
So am I a pro kitesurfer now? No not all all, far from it and one of many important learnings is about the gear. There are so many things you need to take into account, that you need to control and get right to be able to progress. And oh my god I have failed big time.
That’s why I want to share this short review of the Ride Engine Hex-core kitesurfing wave specific harness with carbon slider.
If you kitesurf you know that a ton of people have problems with one thing – and that is the harness riding up your chest resulting in a loss of control of balance and with that the kite and the surf. It’s terrible and can ruin any session. Guys with a six pack body or swimmers chest might not know what I’m talking about – and most of the time they will say it’s your lack of skill and that you are riding with the kite too high. There’s a reason for that and that’s your faulty harness.
I have in two years ridden 4 different harnesses – all new and state of the art and still they did not in anyway support me in what i needed. A kitesurfing harness that does not run up your chest and sits there like a bra.
My first harness was a Mystic Warrior in large.
I had to return that to get a medium as it turns out kitesurfing harnesses do not follow normal sizing (you are often one size smaller than you think). But the warrior even though quite popular did not do the trick for me. So I tried the Mystic Artistic Youri Zoon which was not any better at all.
From here I transitioned to a wave specific harness. This was the Dakine Pyro Maniac with sliding bar.
I was really happy about the sliding bar and I felt my back got more support from the harness. But after 10 mintes of riding the harness was almost always running up ruining the surf. Balance is everything when you surf and your harness needs to stay put.
That’s why I am SOOO thrilled with my Ride Engine which I took for a spin for the first time today being my first ever session with a harness in place.
What makes the Ride Engine special is the hard shell that is molded perfectly. Compared to the softer shells this one does NOT glide up. It simply can’t. This changes everything and I can now focus on the board and the waves. Before this I was mostly doing just down winders because staying on the spot was to much of a hassle with bad harnesses. Not a problem now. And the Carbon sliding bar works perfectly – I did not even think about it.
However I have a slight concern about the durability of the harness as it is the first mass produces harness from Ride Engine. But I hope it will not let me down in the long run. Also a quick note it is still a fairly expensive harness. At least in Europe it takes 1st price being the most expensive harness. But if you just start buying this one and not three before it like me its well worth the spend.
Note that the 2017 models role out in October so you might want to wait for that + there are also normal hook spreader bars if you like your jumps and rolls. Ride Engine harnesses are also really really small compared to other harnesses which is why I here had to go with the Large (they even got the sizing right).
I can highly recommend this harness.
See you on the water 😀