Been needing a new harness for a while to replace my aging Dakine Pyro. The Pyro was never super comfortable but I was able to kite a full day without much issue minus the lower back pain afterward. Tried an Ocean Rodeo hybrid late last year and it hurt everywhere. Bruised me in areas i didn't know could be bruised.
I picked up a small 2017 C1 a couple days ago (my waist size is 30-31”) and it felt like the fit was fine in the store. Had my first session with it yesterday and it was digging into the bottom of my ribs so much that I had to take multiple breaks due to the pain, and that was with a wetsuit on.
My question is, can I reasonably expect this harness to feel more comfortable in that regard after more use or am I better off trying to exchange it now while it's still spotless? Looking for feedback from C1 owners.
I have a 2017 C1 small and have the same waist as you. The first time I wore it I felt like I bruised my ribs in the same place as you and also felt like I had been punched in the kidneys. I've worn it 5-6 times now and no longer feel pain in either area. It starts feeling better after you wear it a few times. I hated it after the first time I wore it and considered trading it in but glad I didn't. It doesn't ride up and feels great to jump with.
Leave it in the car, on a hot day, and let it get very warm. Be sure that nothing is pressing on it when you do this. Once the harness is warm,, hot, very warm, put it on and wear it until it cools off. This will speed the 'molding" process and give you a more comfortable fit sooner.
I've received really good after-sales support from Dakine in the past and the Pyro was a pretty good harness overall, aside that my lower back would hurt after a day of kiteboarding. No lower back pain with the C1 but my kidneys and ribs are sore. Ideally it would be great if I could try a bunch of different harness before plopping down the cash, but unfortunately the reality is that there are limited options at the local store and shipping harnesses back and forth is both expensive and cumbersome - since many places do not want to take back used items, and you do not know if if truly fits until you actually use it.
Thanks all for the feedback, I'm going to give it a couple more sessions. I let the shop owner know and that's what he told me to do also so I hope there will not be any issues if I do end up needing to return it.