When setting yourself up with all the gear you need as a proper kiteboarder your kiteboarding harness is usually the cheapest part of your equipment. I believe it is the part that it most important to get right straight from the beginning.
When looking into buying a first kite and board, for most people there is not much they can do wrong (as long as you don’t get something that is way to advanced). When you are learning of course there are kites that might speed up your progression but all together the best kite for you right now is the kite you are used to. It is a little bit different when it comes to your kiteboarding harness. A properly fitting kiteboarding harness will make the difference of you being out on the water for 2, 3 or more hours rather than coming back in after 30 minutes because your back or your body hurts already.
When choosing the right kiteboarding harness there is definitely no ‘one fit all’ harness. The harness that works best for me might be the worst for you. To find what is right for you the best thing to do is to try on as many different ones as you can. Most shops offer a variety to try on and you can usually find a hook to connect to so you can lean back into the harness and get a proper feel for it. Some schools even offer to try out a couple of their school harnesses so you get an idea of differences between them. Another good thing to do is try the harnesses of your friends. The more you try the easier it is going to be to choose the right one for you.
There are two main types of harnesses.
Waist harness The majority of kiters uses waist harnesses as these are the most comfortable ones. They can move around your waist if you like them to or tighten them us as much as you can to stop the harness from moving.
Seat harnesses These are often used for learners during lessons. When wearing a seat harness the leg straps stop the hook from pushing up into your ribcage. For people with lower back pain or a core that is genially not as strong a seat harness provides extra support.
Girls harness There are more and more options on harnesses for girls and it’s not just a change of colour but these are properly designed to fit a women’s body. Don’t try and just use a men’s harness as these more often than not ride up on your body and just turn into push up bras.