Control, comfort and durability are your key concerns with a kiteboarding harness. A poor choice of kiteboarding harness can cause you a lot of discomfort and aggravation out there on the water. The number one complaint by beginners who wear a kiteboarding harness is that it is uncomfortable. The second complaint is that the spreader bar rises up their body. Both of these complaints could have been prevented if the beginner had found a kiteboarding harness that properly fitted the contours of their body. Try on several harnesses while you take lessons or in a kite store and find one that feels the best for your body shape.
There are two basic types of kiteboarding harness available on the market. The first is the seat harness. The seat harness is recommended for the beginner for a number of reasons. The first is that is will provide plenty of lower back support and eliminate potential back pains. The seat kiteboarding harness will also keep the spreader bar low. This gives beginners better weight leverage and balance since the pull is closer to their center of gravity. The seat harness will have leg loops that give the new rider more security and support.
The other type of kiteboarding harness is the waist harness. As you advance in kiteboarding, you will realize that body positioning is key. Once body positioning is perfected most riders progress to the waist harness. The waist harness has no leg loops. This gives freedom of movement for a more aggressive style of kiteboarding and makes the execution of tricks a lot easier. Perfect body-positioning can actually make the kite pull the harness lower, keeping it in position, as apposed to puling it higher up your body.
If you find that your kiteboarding harness is riding up to your ribcage while you kitesurf, then you have brought the wrong size of harness. If you are unsure when you purchase, ask for advice and choose the right harness, not only for your comfort but for your safety as well.
In all types of kiteboarding harness there is an amount of adjustment in your harness straps. Tightening these straps will give you a better fit and help prevent the harness from rising up to your ribcage.
It is a good idea to have a padded spreader bar on your kiteboarding harness. This is not an essential rule, but it will generally make your time out on the water more comfortable.
All types of kitesurfing harness should have a grab handle located on the back of the harness. This is used for your kite leash attachment. If your harness does not have a grab handle, then it is not for kite surfing and should not be worn.
Take your time when you are selecting a kiteboarding harness, try out a few and get as much advice as you feel is necessary. Your harness is the link between you and the control bar and you want this piece of essential equipment to be as secure and comfortable as possible.