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Kite Harness 2.0, a technical overview from designer

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Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:57 pm
Kiting since: 2006
Local Beach: A muddy estuary 40 miles from home called Weston super mare.
Favorite Beaches: So many. In no particular order - Outer Hebrides, Wales, Cornwall, Mauritius, Cape Verde, Portugal, Brazil, Barbados
Style: Free to do what ever I want
Gear: Airush Wave, Union II & III, Varial X and sometimes my GF's Airush Diamonds

Shinn Bronq, Airush Converse 6' 2015. Firewire 5'3" Evo Helium, Circle one SB
Brand Affiliation: None. I use what I like
Location: Bath, UK

Re: Kite Harness 2.0, a technical overview from designer

Postby SonnyRider » Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:46 pm

I have used a dynabar on my Nitrous shorts. And have done for years. Makes life so much easier.

I now use a waist harness, because I've been riding a Surf Board for the past year. I save the seat harness for TT or boosting days. I don't like the squeezing of my ribs when I'm jumping with a waist harness.

So for me, Surf Board & waist harness with JayBar and seat harness when I'm twin tipping, with dynabar. Or if my back is playing up, I will use my seat harness.

I would never go back to a fixed hook

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Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 1:21 am

Re: Kite Harness 2.0, a technical overview from designer

Postby dlangpap » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:12 pm

mariojay wrote:
Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:04 pm
Hello, my name is Mario and I'm the designer of DYNABAR and other JAY company equipment.

Some of you remember the effort we made in 2008 to bring to market the Sliding Hook System SHS and after 9 versions and 5500pcs sold
we are trying to understand why this solution is not yet well accepted by all kiters despite thousands of happy customers.

Since 3 years ago the market leaders didn't consider SHS as a valid option to bring to market, but in 2014 Mystic and DaKine designed a
"sliding hook on webbing" solution. It was not bad for us to have no-competitors, but we knew that competition was the key-factor to let
spread this technology.

2014 was also the year RideEngine started to produce custom Rigid Shell Waist Harness RSWH equipped by DYNABAR as an SHS option.
Rigid harness limits body compression due to harness strain caused by pull load.

In 2015 JAY designed PowerBand and WingedPad, a solution to upgrade any soft harness to a no-strain RSWH harness.

Finally 2017 is the year almost all brands producing accessories have a RSWH equipped by a SHS in their catalogue: Mystic, Dakine, ION, ProLimit, RideEngine, JAY and Brunotti.

Today the kite harness technology 2.0 is here and every kiter should consider to use it.

First I remind the benefits of a SHS
Easy to walk on the beach, specially when you are beginner
Less stress to back muscles and less back pain.
Reduced body compression
Reduced waist harness ride up
Increased hip movement using a seat harness
Better up-wind angles
Improved wave riding style, specially in strong winds
Easy toe side in waveriding and foiling.
A must in snowkiting esing ski and directional snowboard.

Second let's identify the target for SHS:
100% wave
100% freeride
100% snow
1% freestyle
Let say 91% of the kitesurfing community should use a SHS.

Third, RSWH and SHS technologies
RE started the challenge and they use fiberglass-carbonfiber-resin composite as shell keeping a standard harness construction,
they also designed a SHS with dyneema rope slider as DYNABAR. Rigid shell distributes load on the back and limit body compression
due to kite pull.

JAY introduced first ABS in 2014 and FlexTech 2.0 in 2015, both designed to limit compression without limiting body movement.
in 2017 JAY designed also a new assembly technology who allows to easily replace wear out or broken parts.

DaKine, Mystic and ProLimit introduced new thermoplastic composites the shell is made of, the harness construction technology
is almost the same as RideEngine, Same dyneema rope slider for the SHS.

My experience is that a rigid shell harness combined by a SHS is the best purchase a kiter can do, but other technical details,
like the composite flex and the construction quality, should be carefully kept in consideration before the purchase.

Forth, why you see few kiters using an SHS?
What a pity for all of you who missed a SHS during last 9 years...
My personal answer is that only when the market leaders start a wave in one direction than all the customers have to surf it.

My suggestion is "starting from tomorrow a rigid shell harness equipped by SHS is a must to have in your kite equipment",
but I'm involved in the business and my suggestion should be taken carefully.

Finally if there are questions I will be glad to answer them from my professional experience point of view.

Hi, I stumbled upon this thread while researching a new harness. I hope that we can continue the discussion even though it was posted a while ago.

First of all, I ride almost exclusively on surfboards now, either on waves of for strapless freestyle (very early days), so I guess my problems are more closely related to this type of riding and may be very different for freestylers, freeriders, etc.

Having said that, I consider myself an early adopter of sliding spreader bars, had the DaKine Manic first and now the Option, and I have now also recently got a hard shell harness, the DaKine C1. Initially I used the Manic bar on an old DaKine Renegade harness (this was a soft shell) and fitted the harness pretty loose to allow it to rotate a bit too and achieve more freedom of movement during surfing. I actually found that the sliding range (10") on the sliding bar was not enough, even though i think the Dakine bars have one of the longest ranges (up to 12" on the longer bars).

When it was time to change the harness, I thought to switch to a hard shell one for the supposed back and spine benefits. The fist couple of times I used the C1 hard shell, my back hurt during and after sessions. According to the manufacturer and other users, this was to be expected and normal until the memory foam adapted to the shape of my back. At the same time, as before, the travel of the slider bar was not enough so I started using this harness a bit loose too. However, this was problematic as the flat hard shell in the back makes the circular movement around the waist much more forced than previously with the soft shell harness and got me thinking that it couldn't be good for the back muscles and spine. Around this time I also started to experience pain in my lower back, which honestly might be related to many different things, but it got me thinking that, given my preferred riding style where I need lots of free movement, a hard shell harness may not be the best solution, at least until the sliding range of the bars is increased or they find a way to make a hard shell than can rotate around your body.

In any case, I find myself looking for a new wave harness again. From online research (I haven't tried sliding bars other than the Dakines), I have found that the Option bar has one of the longest travels and can be converted from hook to no-hook, so ideally I'd like to install that bar on the new harness I get (plus I prefer to save the cost of the new bar too). The problem is that, thanks to the greediness or lack of vision of many manufacturers, frequently the attachment systems are not compatible with other manufacturers' bars or viceversa, so now I find myself asking or trying to determine from pictures, if I can attach the Dakine bar to other brands' harnesses. Furthermore, I'm also looking for harnesses with no plastic parts on the inside as these tend to hinder rotation. So, if anyone has any recommendations, I'd love to hear them.

So, to summarize, in my opinion, sliding spreader bars and hard shell harnesses may be good to stabilize your back, decrease body compression and improving comfort for toe-side riding for freestyle and freeride kiteboarders mainly, where no more movement freedom is needed. However, in my personal opinion, a soft or medium shell harness with a smooth lining with no plastic and worn a bit loose remains the best option for waveriding and is probably better on your back than a hard shell, even with a long travel spreader bar.

I'd like to hear people's opinions on this. Cheers.

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