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Is your harness weaker than your lines?

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davedej
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Is your harness weaker than your lines?

Postby davedej » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:08 pm

Source: https://www.wetestkites.com/2020/03/21/ ... our-lines/

Angry. Disappointed. Hurt. Feelings that are hard to mix with a fun sport like kiteboarding. But when you come down the hard way -literally- because a harness hook gave way such feelings are understandable. It is worrying that we needed little effort to find 30 bent or even broken hooks. This is also when we realised how little we know about hooks. On our lines we can find much more information. Lines can hold a couple of hundreds of kilograms easily. And we usually have four of them. But what are the limits for our kite hooks? The majority of our list concerns two brands only. They clearly break or bent sooner than our lines. An issue that is unnecessary and potentially dangerous.
Ion Apex (Klein).jpg
Ion Apex (Klein).jpg (32.58 KiB) Viewed 243 times
250 Kg's the bare minimum

Not everybody needs a harnas hook that can withstand more than -lets say- 700 kg's. But what should be a critical minimum? We asked Evan Kruger -a line, foil and custom bar specialist - explains that 'From experience I know that a 70 kg rider already can bend a stainless steel ring which can hold 250 kg's. So imagine a 100 kg rider in a powered session. I would say 500 Kg's minimum is a nice approach for a harness hook to avoid stretching at all and the wear due to metal fatigue'.

Lists

We have gathered information on 30 hooks that are broken or seriously bend. The majority of breakage is with the Ion harnesses (15). We don't know in which amounts harnesses are sold and thus we cannot say anything on percentiles. Nevertheless our list still contains interesting facts.
graph 22 march 2020 hooks.JPG

Often a warranty is granted. But there in more than one occasion the hook broke again. But as Ion's product specialist Julian Lange explains '...each year the Ion hook is -when possible- improved.'. Interesting in our list is that we see a lot of 2018 versions.

Ride Engine has 11 issues reported to us. Almost all of them are bent hooks.

We know from Ride Engine Brand Manager Gary Siskar that the hooks haven't changed in 2020 to the previous version. Mind you that Ride Engine hooks are hand made and can be a little 'a tad off axis' fresh out of the factory as Gary explains. Ride Engine own test results show 'A deformation to where the hook or support would not return to it shape at 226 Kg's'. A lot of We Test Kites team members like the Ride Engine comfortable shell and actually own 2020 versions. But with this information we did make a change to our harness.

The others brands that we saw issues on are 3 Dakine's and 1 Manera. Remarkable; none of these 30 is one from Mystic. Which shows to us that it isn't necessary that a hook breaks.(the graph is updated with new information)

Knowledge so far

We tried to contact all harness manufacturers. Credits to Ride Engine who fully cooperated and showed their testing results. We also discovered that also other manufacturers do test their hooks. But unfortunately those are often a secret. See below the -rather disappointing- reactions so far.

Hopefully in the future its strength is stated on the product. We know a lot of people would be happy to pay more for a harnas that is stronger. Kiteboarding is ment to clear your head. In other words; when it is blowing 30+knots you want to be exhilarated for an epic session and not filled with anxiety and constantly worried if your harnas hook will hold.

Our next step will be trying to set up a full stress test on all hooks we can find in cooperation with Versus who wil provide the test bench. Currently Prolimit and Manera are willing to provide hooks for the test.
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edt
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Re: Is your harness weaker than your lines?

Postby edt » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:09 pm

I think I've snapped a half dozen spreader hooks by now all different brands. As far as I can tell they will all eventually fail. I think it's not that they aren't strong enough it's that they all suffer from metal fatigue. I don't think I've ever snapped a brand new one they usually fail after about 1 or 2 years. I would love it if they just make a hook out of a solid chuck of steel, even if it weighed four times as much I would use it because a snapped spreader hook often means swimming back. They aren't that expensive $50 or so for a new spreader bar, it's the inconvenience that's the worst.

davedej
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Re: Is your harness weaker than your lines?

Postby davedej » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:28 pm

edt wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:09 pm
I think I've snapped a half dozen spreader hooks by now all different brands. As far as I can tell they will all eventually fail. I think it's not that they aren't strong enough it's that they all suffer from metal fatigue. I don't think I've ever snapped a brand new one they usually fail after about 1 or 2 years. I would love it if they just make a hook out of a solid chuck of steel, even if it weighed four times as much I would use it because a snapped spreader hook often means swimming back. They aren't that expensive $50 or so for a new spreader bar, it's the inconvenience that's the worst.
Tried the Mystic Stealth bar?

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Re: Is your harness weaker than your lines?

Postby edt » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:47 pm

haven't tried the stealth yet but I'm sure just from looking at it that it will also eventually snap. I am pretty sure most riders never snap the spreader hook off because either 1) they are a sponsored rider and change out gear every year so the metal never fatigues or 2) they aren't aggressive enough with their gear to fatigue it. kiteloops are I think what really wear it out.

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Re: Is your harness weaker than your lines?

Postby Toby » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:31 pm

Not sure of kite loops...since they yank you forward.

The lift pulls up and should put more stress on it considering the angle of the pull.

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Re: Is your harness weaker than your lines?

Postby edt » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:39 pm

A lot of times you aren't facing forwards you might be upside down and backwards when you loop it. Even if you are facing forward you won't be exactly in line so it will flex and create metal fatigue. Anyway that's my theory, metal fatigue at least when I snap them that's what it feels like. loops put way more stress on the spreader hook than a simple jump.

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Re: Is your harness weaker than your lines?

Postby davedej » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:45 pm

edt wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:47 pm
haven't tried the stealth yet but I'm sure just from looking at it that it will also eventually snap. I am pretty sure most riders never snap the spreader hook off because either 1) they are a sponsored rider and change out gear every year so the metal never fatigues or 2) they aren't aggressive enough with their gear to fatigue it. kiteloops are I think what really wear it out.
There is some truth in your statement, but I think you are cutting things a bit short here.
If some one breaks a hook after 5 years that is understandable. The same if you are 100kg's+ and kite in 30+ winds.
But the statistics show very clearly more issues on 2 brands. We don't know all details, but we are sure there are issues. Even on 70kg riders Ion hook snapped and RE hooks are bending.
If the Mystic Stealth bar -for example- can be used much longer shall become clear in time.
Statements like 'they all will break sooner or later' don't contribute to the discussion nor does it make the sport safer.
Dave
We Test Kites

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Re: Is your harness weaker than your lines?

Postby redskykiter » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:55 pm

Wow interesting article. I have been kiting almost 20 years on Dakine harnesses exclusively and have only had one break....but it was a windsurf harness/hook waaay back. I do tend to upgrade harnesses every few years and though and I'm not a heavy kiter I do ride pretty aggressive. Funny thing was I was just looking to upgrade to a 2020 Dakine Pyro and saw this thread

edit: I ride fresh water most of the time and rinse after sessions in salt water

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Re: Is your harness weaker than your lines?

Postby a99 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:08 pm

Strange: ride engine harmess which using all pro rider usually starting bend on 225 kg only. So weak metal? But quite all pro riders exactly with his harness throwing huge megaloops:) even at Kota events. Brave guys for sure:)
I had liquid force delux harness for 6 years and no any issue. Still i not thorwing megaloops. Now with mystic warriow len10 harness im happy to.

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Re: Is your harness weaker than your lines?

Postby edt » Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:33 pm

davedej wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:45 pm

There is some truth in your statement, but I think you are cutting things a bit short here.
If some one breaks a hook after 5 years that is understandable. The same if you are 100kg's+ and kite in 30+ winds.
But the statistics show very clearly more issues on 2 brands. We don't know all details, but we are sure there are issues. Even on 70kg riders Ion hook snapped and RE hooks are bending.
If the Mystic Stealth bar -for example- can be used much longer shall become clear in time.
Statements like 'they all will break sooner or later' don't contribute to the discussion nor does it make the sport safer.
Dave
We Test Kites
I agree. Thanks for the response. Just giving my feelings on what's going on, but I would be so happy if you found a spreader hook that doesn't break.
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