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Ride Engine Prime 2019 Review

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Created by mattma Two weeks ago, 2 Mar 2019
mattma
NSW, 21 posts
2 Mar 2019 10:57PM
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I've had a Ride Engine Prime harness how for about a month so have had a chance to use it a stack of times. I thought I'd write up some thoughts about it because I bought it online without trying one on which means I did a lot of googling around while trying to make up mind. Hopefully others in the same situation might find it useful.

In a nutshell: genuinely does not ride up, very comfortable/spreads the load over your lower spine, minimalist design so nothing on it to snag lines, ideally try on a used one (so its stretched somewhat) with the spreader bar you want as there are a lot of combinations that will fit but some will fit better than others.

My waist is 33" and I bought the 2019 Ride Engine Prime Medium with the 10" rope spreader bar. I almost exclusively kite foil; freeride and surf on a Moses Fluent for about 3 years and kiting for about 13 years. I've had the harness on while I've been out in 10ish knots with a 10m kite and 25+ knots on a 6m. My previous harness was an Ion waist harness with an after market rope slider now retired due to its sorry state after a good innings of 5 or 6 years.

Doesn't ride up

I really like to throw the kite around and have been practising tacks and 360's. and, tentatively, jumps This means the kite spends a good amount of time high above me. The initial draw card for looking into the Ride Engine harnesses was the claims and comments about it locking into your lower back and not riding up. I'm very happy say that it is indeed true. All the sculpted foam which makes it very comfortable really does lock it into the curve in my lower back. In the range of conditions from 10-25 knots I've used it in I have not had any cases of it rising up. Also, there is more than enough padding on the front side of the harness so that when the kite is lifting me and pulls up on the harness there is no noticeable pressure points on my lower rib cage ( which I'm very conscious of because I've popped the rib/cartilage connection on my lower rib cage twice on my previous harnesses because of the ends of the spreader bar ramming into it. )

Comfortable

I often ride with the kite very low ( race style) which means leaning back hard and holding that posture for reasonable length runs. No pressure points and no lower back fatigue whereas my old harness ( and granted it was an old harness so I have to give it some slack) was supportive primarily at the top and bottom of the harness and so didn't provide much support in between. I'v got some disk compression thing in my lower back around the L3 and unlike old faithful the support from the hard shell/ padding, I'm guessing, means that kiting doesn't aggravate the issue.

Something that I didn't expect or read about is that its is comparatively easy to swim in. I don't really know why but it is far less restrictive when trying to swim.

Sizing

This was the tricky thing to get right because I didn't have one I could try on and the sizing charts are a bit ambiguous because of the number of permutations of harness size and spreader bar combination. With a 33" waist I fell right on the boundary between small and medium. I had read a number of posts where people where advocating to go smaller if in doubt. Initially I did this: ordered a small and the 10" spreader bar. When I tried it on and in addition put it over a wetsuit top I didn't find that that it sat very well in my back and was just a too tight.

Also, the gap from top of the harness to my ribs was just a bit too big. It didn't ride up when I tested it but the gap to the ribs meant the harness (together with the skin/love handles) had too big of a range that it could move through. Also, the clincher, was the 10" spreader bar didn't overlap with the padding on the hardness (it was too short to reach) and from googling and looking at my old harness I wanted that overlap to be at least 3 or 4 cm to protect from the rib popping experience before. The 12" spreader bar probably would have fixed this. However, in the end I wanted the locked in feeling and the small allowed too much movement. So I returned it and got a medium and very happy I did.

With the medium there is still close to 1.5-2 inches of adjustment on the straps when I'm wearing it over a thin wetsuit top. This means I could have gone with the 12" spreader bar and Medium and still had some adjustment.

Spreader Bar: Spreader bar is fine. Generally there isn't much to them so there isn't much scope for things to stand out about it.

The knots in the rope are quite loose so expect them to tighten up and create more of a gap between the bar and the rope. The rope seems to be the unsheathed dyneema rope that I see on most slider bars. I'm not a fan of this stuff. My slingshot bars which have the same unsheathed rope would barely get a full season out of them until I covered then with pvc tubing (and trebled their life span). As I say this is not specific to the Ride Engineer and its no dramas to replace it ( I strongly suggest learning to do a bowline knot). When it wears out I'm going to replace it with the nylon sheathed dyneema rope (which is designed tolerate cleating on boats). I did this on my last harness and lasted 2 seasons and then some.


Matt

horey69
QLD, 257 posts
3 Mar 2019 8:03AM
Thumbs Up

Good review, I'm looking at up grading from my 2016 team series ride engine to a newer model. It's a tough call as the 2016 is so well worn in its hardly noticeable when on. I'm 32 in the waist and have been riding the small and 10inch rope slider with the slingshot talon connection (read Fark all rope wear and good slide).
Horey

gorgemay
72 posts
3 Mar 2019 9:06AM
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Select to expand quote
mattma said..
I've had a Ride Engine Prime harness how for about a month so have had a chance to use it a stack of times. I thought I'd write up some thoughts about it because I bought it online without trying one on which means I did a lot of googling around while trying to make up mind. Hopefully others in the same situation might find it useful.

In a nutshell: genuinely does not ride up, very comfortable/spreads the load over your lower spine, minimalist design so nothing on it to snag lines, ideally try on a used one (so its stretched somewhat) with the spreader bar you want as there are a lot of combinations that will fit but some will fit better than others.

My waist is 33" and I bought the 2019 Ride Engine Prime Medium with the 10" rope spreader bar. I almost exclusively kite foil; freeride and surf on a Moses Fluent for about 3 years and kiting for about 13 years. I've had the harness on while I've been out in 10ish knots with a 10m kite and 25+ knots on a 6m. My previous harness was an Ion waist harness with an after market rope slider now retired due to its sorry state after a good innings of 5 or 6 years.

Doesn't ride up

I really like to throw the kite around and have been practising tacks and 360's. and, tentatively, jumps This means the kite spends a good amount of time high above me. The initial draw card for looking into the Ride Engine harnesses was the claims and comments about it locking into your lower back and not riding up. I'm very happy say that it is indeed true. All the sculpted foam which makes it very comfortable really does lock it into the curve in my lower back. In the range of conditions from 10-25 knots I've used it in I have not had any cases of it rising up. Also, there is more than enough padding on the front side of the harness so that when the kite is lifting me and pulls up on the harness there is no noticeable pressure points on my lower rib cage ( which I'm very conscious of because I've popped the rib/cartilage connection on my lower rib cage twice on my previous harnesses because of the ends of the spreader bar ramming into it. )

Comfortable

I often ride with the kite very low ( race style) which means leaning back hard and holding that posture for reasonable length runs. No pressure points and no lower back fatigue whereas my old harness ( and granted it was an old harness so I have to give it some slack) was supportive primarily at the top and bottom of the harness and so didn't provide much support in between. I'v got some disk compression thing in my lower back around the L3 and unlike old faithful the support from the hard shell/ padding, I'm guessing, means that kiting doesn't aggravate the issue.

Something that I didn't expect or read about is that its is comparatively easy to swim in. I don't really know why but it is far less restrictive when trying to swim.

Sizing

This was the tricky thing to get right because I didn't have one I could try on and the sizing charts are a bit ambiguous because of the number of permutations of harness size and spreader bar combination. With a 33" waist I fell right on the boundary between small and medium. I had read a number of posts where people where advocating to go smaller if in doubt. Initially I did this: ordered a small and the 10" spreader bar. When I tried it on and in addition put it over a wetsuit top I didn't find that that it sat very well in my back and was just a too tight.

Also, the gap from top of the harness to my ribs was just a bit too big. It didn't ride up when I tested it but the gap to the ribs meant the harness (together with the skin/love handles) had too big of a range that it could move through. Also, the clincher, was the 10" spreader bar didn't overlap with the padding on the hardness (it was too short to reach) and from googling and looking at my old harness I wanted that overlap to be at least 3 or 4 cm to protect from the rib popping experience before. The 12" spreader bar probably would have fixed this. However, in the end I wanted the locked in feeling and the small allowed too much movement. So I returned it and got a medium and very happy I did.

With the medium there is still close to 1.5-2 inches of adjustment on the straps when I'm wearing it over a thin wetsuit top. This means I could have gone with the 12" spreader bar and Medium and still had some adjustment.

Spreader Bar: Spreader bar is fine. Generally there isn't much to them so there isn't much scope for things to stand out about it.

The knots in the rope are quite loose so expect them to tighten up and create more of a gap between the bar and the rope. The rope seems to be the unsheathed dyneema rope that I see on most slider bars. I'm not a fan of this stuff. My slingshot bars which have the same unsheathed rope would barely get a full season out of them until I covered then with pvc tubing (and trebled their life span). As I say this is not specific to the Ride Engineer and its no dramas to replace it ( I strongly suggest learning to do a bowline knot). When it wears out I'm going to replace it with the nylon sheathed dyneema rope (which is designed tolerate cleating on boats). I did this on my last harness and lasted 2 seasons and then some.


Matt


Ride Engine couldn't have said it better!

Youngbreezy
WA, 492 posts
3 Mar 2019 9:11AM
Thumbs Up

I am a big fan of the ride engine harness!

One thing I would say to any potential buyers is that the sizing is tricky and you are best to try one on first and get fitting advice from your retailer.

I am 6'3" and 36 inch waist and i wear a medium with the biggest spreader bar (12-13" I think) I was advised to get this set up by the retailer and it's a perfect fit. If i was just buying my own I wouldn't have chosen a medium as I haven't worn anything medium since I was a kid. So I would advise anyone to try one on at a good shop to get the perfect fit.

exal
WA, 23 posts
4 Mar 2019 2:01AM
Thumbs Up

Great products. I am 6'1 with 75 to 78kg and waist around 32 inch. Started out on a small hexcore version with a 10'' spreader bar. When I tried to learn jumping it felt a bit uncomfortable and I thought that I am just weak and need to toughen up. I gave the small one to my sister and when I was shopping for a new one I ended up taking a medium prime version with the 8'' spreader bar and it was MUCH better. The length of the back must be a factor aswell since the medium is a lot wider than the small one. Jumping didn't feel unfomfortable anymore and it felt a lot nicer.

When I was shopping for the new one I also tried the mystic majestic x but I was already too comfortable with the lumbar lock from ride engine that I didn't like the mystic one. Felt like when sitting in a plane, the person behind you has the knee in the back of the seat (kinda). Worth a comparison though if you are getting a hardshell. The mystic one was also wider on the sides than the ride engine, on the back maybe also a bit wider. The new version coming out from mystic will be smaller according to the product videos I saw. Anyways! Ride engine rocks if you like the little lumbar lock feature that no one else is allowed to copy.



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