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Seat vs Waist Harnes

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Created by Windsock > 9 months ago, 18 Jan 2017
Windsock
7 posts
18 Jan 2017 6:53PM
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The general comparison between seat and waist harnesses seems to be mainly cosmetic and "coolness" based; however I have seen one big benefit of seat harnesses being protection for the lower back; but a big negative being encouragement of poor stance. As someone who has had back problems, I have been using a seat harness for the last few years. What then can I do to avoid encouraging poor stance? I have tried going back to my old waist harness, but do feel the lower back strain (plus the usual riding up problems).

Kamikuza
QLD, 2956 posts
18 Jan 2017 10:15PM
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Do the best you can and forget about it.

Or try a hybrid like Ocean Rodeo Session, Mystic Star, etc etc

Gorgo
VIC, 3822 posts
19 Jan 2017 8:59AM
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I think a waist harness is far better for your low back. It promotes a good stance and kite angle and it provides lots of good twist and flex that is good for your back. It engages the muscles of your torso and generally strengthens your core.

A seat harness is locked solid on your hips. Particularly when riding toeside it's like riding with a big wrench attached that is trying to crank your spine far more than is good for it.

I used to suffer chronic low back pain (from life and general deterioration, not kiting). I credit switching to a waist harness and all the flexing and twisting involved in the improvement of my back health.

PS I'm an old bugger, currently wearing wetsuit, booties, life jacket and helmet on all sessions. "Cool" is not an adjective that the general public would use to describe me. Conversely, I am so not cool on the surface that I am as cool as it is possible to be.

Gilly3
QLD, 627 posts
19 Jan 2017 9:26AM
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Swap out the fixed hook for Dynabar or similar for toeside riding...no riding up

I have never had an issue with stance or a locked in feeling with these....back is all good too

Kamikuza
QLD, 2956 posts
19 Jan 2017 11:14AM
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Gorgo said..
I think a waist harness is far better for your low back


It's not -- it's like bending over and holding however much weight the kite is pulling with, which is terribly bad for backs. The higher the harness rides up the worse it is.

Unless everything is perfect, then it's lovely. Just don't move.

harlie
QLD, 188 posts
19 Jan 2017 1:24PM
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Gorgo said..
I think a waist harness is far better for your low back. It promotes a good stance and kite angle and it provides lots of good twist and flex that is good for your back. It engages the muscles of your torso and generally strengthens your core.

A seat harness is locked solid on your hips. Particularly when riding toeside it's like riding with a big wrench attached that is trying to crank your spine far more than is good for it.

I used to suffer chronic low back pain (from life and general deterioration, not kiting). I credit switching to a waist harness and all the flexing and twisting involved in the improvement of my back health.

PS I'm an old bugger, currently wearing wetsuit, booties, life jacket and helmet on all sessions. "Cool" is not an adjective that the general public would use to describe me. Conversely, I am so not cool on the surface that I am as cool as it is possible to be.


disagree. I have had back issues since what would be described as an industrial accident when I was 15 resulting in vertebrae damage - now well into my 40s. If I use a waste harness I get twinging after an hour or so and swelling for the next couple of days. Use the seat harness (been using boardshort harness with Dynabar for several years now) and never have an issue.

The use of a waist harness would not be what has improved your situation - however hours of physical workout while kiting would. I can report the same while using the seat/slider.

Gateman
QLD, 172 posts
20 Jan 2017 11:31PM
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Personally, I've used a waist harness for years but tried a Mystic Star seat harness and haven't used my waist harness since. Biggest benefit is because it stops harness from riding up, consequently I can now always reach the bar at full depower or when I un spin my lines (not very long arms since I'm only 5'7") and the pull from the kite is closer to my centre of gravity (which is usually somewhere behind you navel for most people)

Kamikuza
QLD, 2956 posts
21 Jan 2017 12:41AM
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I've got a Star as well, and it's a compromise between seat and waist, work all the issues but to a lesser degree: It rides up, but not a lot; you get wedgies, but not so deep. Very nearly as good freedom of movement as a waist, but it comes with more fatigue to the lower back...

...maybe I just need to use it more.

Gateman
QLD, 172 posts
22 Jan 2017 8:00AM
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Kamikuza said..
I've got a Star as well, and it's a compromise between seat and waist, work all the issues but to a lesser degree: It rides up, but not a lot; you get wedgies, but not so deep. Very nearly as good freedom of movement as a waist, but it comes with more fatigue to the lower back...

...maybe I just need to use it more.


I started doing Pilates regularly about 5 years ago and the increased "core strength" gave me a lot longer time on the water with much less fatigue, engaged abdominal's take the strain off lower back muscles.

gdmclean
WA, 30 posts
22 Jan 2017 10:25AM
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Gateman said..

Kamikuza said..
I've got a Star as well, and it's a compromise between seat and waist, work all the issues but to a lesser degree: It rides up, but not a lot; you get wedgies, but not so deep. Very nearly as good freedom of movement as a waist, but it comes with more fatigue to the lower back...

...maybe I just need to use it more.



I started doing Pilates regularly about 5 years ago and the increased "core strength" gave me a lot longer time on the water with much less fatigue, engaged abdominal's take the strain off lower back muscles.


same here re: pilates. Had lower back issues since I was 19 and Pilates is the best thing for it.

On topic, I did my lessons last year with a waist harness and the riding up really took a lot of enjoyment out if kiting. Purchased a seat harness and after 2 hours i might have a slight wedgie but nothing too bad. might have to look at that boardies harness that Gilly posted cos those look sweet.

drewpweiner
WA, 449 posts
22 Jan 2017 11:38AM
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Gorgo said..
I think a waist harness is far better for your low back. It promotes a good stance and kite angle and it provides lots of good twist and flex that is good for your back.

I used to suffer chronic low back pain (from life and general deterioration, not kiting). I credit switching to a waist harness and all the flexing and twisting involved in the improvement of my back health.




I feel you couldn't be any more wrong, I have lower back problems and when I use a waist harness it absolutely kills my lower back! I can only tack two trips and then I have to take a break. When the waist harness is up on my chest and a bit lower, my back starts to ache like hell! Though when I push it down low to where it should be on my hips, there is absolutely no problem!

drewpweiner
WA, 449 posts
22 Jan 2017 11:43AM
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Gateman said..
Personally, I've used a waist harness for years but tried a Mystic Star seat harness and haven't used my waist harness since. Biggest benefit is because it stops harness from riding up, consequently I can now always reach the bar at full depower or when I un spin my lines (not very long arms since I'm only 5'7") and the pull from the kite is closer to my centre of gravity (which is usually somewhere behind you navel for most people)


I concur. When I pull my waist harness really low on my hips I can edge SOOOOOOO much better! When the waist harness is high up on my body it keeps sending me in to poo stance. If you think about the physics of that you will see how to makes sense that it does that, because if you have something pulling on your chest upwards then it will pull your chest upward which is totally contrary to what edging stance should be which is flat out like a pancake.

Having the harness pull on your lower hips makes the pulling point right where the bend is in a poostance, so it is actually harder to poo stance with a seat harness because it is pulling your out of the poo stance bend in your hips while a waist harness on your chest pulls you in to one.

castanza
NSW, 35 posts
28 Jan 2017 9:47AM
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Howdy all,
my first harness was a cheapish waist, not good for the lower back at all!
Went and got myself a seat thought it was great and really helped my back a lot but still got a tired lower back from time to time!
I worked in a very labouring job at the time. I started to do a lot more excersize and stretching to strengthen my back such as pull ups and core excersizes.
I now ride with a waist (ion apex) really comfy but there's proberbly better out there, and I have not had a problem since!
strengthen your back and core is best thing you can do for lower back issues!!!!

bluebone
WA, 20 posts
29 Jan 2017 12:03AM
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Boardies with a slider & your sweet

drewpweiner
WA, 449 posts
29 Jan 2017 10:28AM
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Does anybody else feel their junk get squashed on boosting airs? Can't stand it!

Kamikuza
QLD, 2956 posts
29 Jan 2017 3:39PM
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drewpweiner said..
Does anybody else feel their junk get squashed on boosting airs? Can't stand it!


Only if it's ridden up, and that usually means the velcro band has come undone.

drewpweiner
WA, 449 posts
30 Jan 2017 10:36PM
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Kamikuza said..

drewpweiner said..
Does anybody else feel their junk get squashed on boosting airs? Can't stand it!



Only if it's ridden up, and that usually means the velcro band has come undone.


Ok, so when you boost air it doesn't ride up? Is it strapped on your thighs pretty tight then? I did a couple hours and couldn't stand it, thought I was going to have a cheap vasectomy if I tried it any longer.

Kamikuza
QLD, 2956 posts
31 Jan 2017 2:09AM
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Doesn't ride up uncomfortably until the "Power Belt" comes undone, usually if I've done a superman with power into the water. I've a Dakine Fusion for the seat harness...

I don't do up the leg straps up at all, but crank down all the other straps. Start with the pull down, then the bottom strap, to get it low and tight. After riding for a few minutes, getting the harness wet etc it usually needs tightening again.

Oh, I should add I use the Dynabar too, haven't used a normal hook for a long while as that tends to rotate up and dig into my guts. Shouldn't make any different to pull directly "up", surely...

ajs18s
QLD, 60 posts
2 Feb 2017 6:05PM
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As I am only learning I can not offer much to compare to. I went out yesterday with a brand new seat harness, a pair of Dakine Nitrous board shorts. I was using a waist harness up to now, and found the shorts 100 times more comfortable, puts the bar in what feels to be a better position as so much easier to reach. But did not make it any easier to get the board onto my feet, but that is another story.
Loving this sport...

Greenarrowz
NSW, 193 posts
2 Feb 2017 7:15PM
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I use the Dakine Nitrous and dynabar
Rope slider combo....
On my second pair of shorts now and got 2 heavy duty seasons out of the first pair.
(2yrs kiting all year round)

I like the locked in feel and centre of gravity they give , They dont ride up.
Easy on the back too.
I dont think i would go back to a waste harness or solid hook now, the rope slider is pretty bulletproof and lasts a longtime.

I can see some advantages in a waste harness i just dont like the riding up on occasions.

Narrak
WA, 23 posts
4 Feb 2017 2:58PM
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Windsock said..
The general comparison between seat and waist harnesses seems to be mainly cosmetic and "coolness" based; however I have seen one big benefit of seat harnesses being protection for the lower back; but a big negative being encouragement of poor stance. As someone who has had back problems, I have been using a seat harness for the last few years. What then can I do to avoid encouraging poor stance? I have tried going back to my old waist harness, but do feel the lower back strain (plus the usual riding up problems).


Why not use the best of both worlds?


Gateman
QLD, 172 posts
4 Feb 2017 7:42PM
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Yeah, that's the seat harness I have, its basically a waist harness with straps that prevent it from riding up when you have to body drag. Bar/kite connection point stays nicely just in front of my centre of gravity all the time.

3CPO
VIC, 12 posts
2 Mar 2017 8:25AM
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I have always used a seat harness and would not change it. Comfortable ride, no sore lower back and can reach the de-power strap. I don't care if it does not look cool, not there to impress anyone.

Before starting just have to position the family jewels properly so that the harness leg straps don't pinch the ball sack; a bit hard to re-position it through a wet suit while riding.

Kamikuza
QLD, 2956 posts
3 Mar 2017 9:39AM
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I don't even tighten the straps on my Dakine Fusion...don't need to, unless I'm getting supermanned and dragged, then I just wiggle the harness back down.

NorthernKitesAUS
QLD, 516 posts
15 Mar 2017 4:13PM
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It's horses for courses when it comes to harnesses. I think everyone should have two types - waist and seat, for different styles of riding and comfort. I personally use a seat harness a lot as I find it easier to jump with, and it doesn't go up my waist. Plus the lower hook, for some reason, gives me a bit lower end in the wind - don't know why.
I too suffer from lower back pain (must be a common male kiter thing?), and the waist harness is great for it, as long as it's on tight and firm. But far out I have to suck every once of air out of my lungs to get it to fit properly (Mystic warrior).

Kit3kat
QLD, 105 posts
18 Mar 2017 11:55AM
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NorthernKitesAUS said..
It's horses for courses when it comes to harnesses. I think everyone should have two types - waist and seat, for different styles of riding and comfort. I personally use a seat harness a lot as I find it easier to jump with, and it doesn't go up my waist. Plus the lower hook, for some reason, gives me a bit lower end in the wind - don't know why.
I too suffer from lower back pain (must be a common male kiter thing?), and the waist harness is great for it, as long as it's on tight and firm. But far out I have to suck every once of air out of my lungs to get it to fit properly (Mystic warrior).


i have the mystic warrior 3 harness and its imho completly overhyped and a pile of *****.

"But far out I have to suck every once of air out of my lungs to get it to fit properly (Mystic warrior)." -> having exactly the same thoughts about mine.

Richoa
NSW, 210 posts
19 Mar 2017 10:09PM
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G'day all first post and probs a typical topic for noob to forum and to kiting.

I Ve been researching this debate trying to make sense of which way to go. As I read this thread it seems the bias of the discussion has neutralised a fair bit from what might of occurred in similar threads 2010- 2014 where it seemed hi majority rode with waist harness and seat harness was beginners tool which was a badge of honour once you progress to waist harness. Fair to say?

I have had about 6 hours of lessons now and just starting with board, my instructor threw me a L waist harness right from the start (which I haven't really experienced a problem with in my body draging exercises, only issue thought it was too small as having reach behind to pull adjustment tabs).
Today I thought I would go to kite shop for first time and try a xl on as I wanted to see if I'd still have much adj ( which it did and pull straps in right position for me to lever). The shop guy also thought that was right size for me (fat bastard). Edit referring to myself there not the shop guy
Anyway then he started telling me I should be buying a seat harness and given the threads on here I thought that strange, I don't want to pay 200-300 dollars for a harness I can't get half my money back on in three to four months because I want progress to waist harness.

Is is this right thinking or has the harness's improved design so much that One doesn't have a great advance over another?

big first post huh!

DukeSilver
WA, 128 posts
21 Mar 2017 3:09PM
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Richoa said..
G'day all first post and probs a typical topic for noob to forum and to kiting.

I Ve been researching this debate trying to make sense of which way to go. As I read this thread it seems the bias of the discussion has neutralised a fair bit from what might of occurred in similar threads 2010- 2014 where it seemed hi majority rode with waist harness and seat harness was beginners tool which was a badge of honour once you progress to waist harness. Fair to say?

I have had about 6 hours of lessons now and just starting with board, my instructor threw me a L waist harness right from the start (which I haven't really experienced a problem with in my body draging exercises, only issue thought it was too small as having reach behind to pull adjustment tabs).
Today I thought I would go to kite shop for first time and try a xl on as I wanted to see if I'd still have much adj ( which it did and pull straps in right position for me to lever). The shop guy also thought that was right size for me (fat bastard). Edit referring to myself there not the shop guy
Anyway then he started telling me I should be buying a seat harness and given the threads on here I thought that strange, I don't want to pay 200-300 dollars for a harness I can't get half my money back on in three to four months because I want progress to waist harness.

Is is this right thinking or has the harness's improved design so much that One doesn't have a great advance over another?

big first post huh!


I started kiting in 2008 and began with a seat harness. Never had a problem with it, found it good for jumping and comfortable for long sessions.

After a couple of seasons seeing all the cool kids with their waist harnesses and board shorts over their wetsuits I thought I'd better get a waist harness as well to see what I was missing out on. Well, as it turns out, the only thing I was missing out on was lower back pain and smaller jumps. So, back to the seat harness and pain free riding for me. I've kept the waist harness and wear it now when I'm foiling and it's fine, but there is much less line tension while foiling so the riding up issue isn't as much of a problem.

I don't think you'll regret getting a seat harness at all. With the addition of a sliding spreader, you'll have the best of both worlds.

Richoa
NSW, 210 posts
22 Mar 2017 9:02AM
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Thanks, between you and the shop fella Im now caught in two minds. I was set on waist harness but Hmmmmmmm

I do remember I never liked the chest harness on sailboard but that's diff again and a different pull angle. but man I used to slammed when I got it wrong with a chest harness as opposed to the seat harness.

pattiecannon
QLD, 575 posts
22 Mar 2017 11:26AM
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Gorgo said..
I think a waist harness is far better for your low back. It promotes a good stance and kite angle and it provides lots of good twist and flex that is good for your back. It engages the muscles of your torso and generally strengthens your core.

A seat harness is locked solid on your hips. Particularly when riding toeside it's like riding with a big wrench attached that is trying to crank your spine far more than is good for it.

I used to suffer chronic low back pain (from life and general deterioration, not kiting). I credit switching to a waist harness and all the flexing and twisting involved in the improvement of my back health.

PS I'm an old bugger, currently wearing wetsuit, booties, life jacket and helmet on all sessions. "Cool" is not an adjective that the general public would use to describe me. Conversely, I am so not cool on the surface that I am as cool as it is possible to be.


Judging by the replies here Gorgo, you're on you're own on this one.
A force pulling on you back, a cross you're spinal chord, for fun, is just asking for trouble.
Also how is the authors stance worse in a seat? Does he ride toeside everywhere? First time ever I've heard this. You look at any noob in a waist then stick them in any seat and they're stance improves in a minute.
Then you just gotta find the one that won't wedgie your fat ass.

Dakine Nitrous with a maniac or dyna bar spreader have zero wedgie. I prefer he LF shorts with the dyna but they do cost more.
It's worth it

Richoa
NSW, 210 posts
23 Mar 2017 11:41AM
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Made my decision and bought the ION B2 shorts. But could of been influenced bias I wasn't aware of at the point in time!

Went to shop still undecided and was offered sales attendant to try all on test rig in shop, tried a few waist harness's and just couldnt breath dramatically uncomfortable, thought to myself I cant wear those but didn't seem so bad in my lessons. so tried the shorts instantly chalk and cheese going with that! Maybe look at waist later in my progression if I deem it important to gain more mobility (beyond slider bar which I didn't buy).
But then on the way home, it began to dawn on me what in large part was going on! I still was really restricted in my breath and getting worse. Was going to go out today due perfect conditions for me, but stayed awake all night with the worst chest infection I can remember. Cant go out and probs didn't give the Waist harness a realistic test as I know from my lessons its not that bad but didn't put 2 and 2 together in my shopping frenzy!

Sure harness will be great anyway!
noob lesson no.1 don't try on harness's with onset chest infection trust me they will all feel like a vice clamping from your waist to middle of yr ribs



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"Seat vs Waist Harnes" started by Windsock