Forums > Kitesurfing Gear Reviews

Waist harness advise

Reply
Created by Andrash 7 months ago, 8 Dec 2017
Andrash
WA, 552 posts
8 Dec 2017 7:48AM
Thumbs Up

Which harnesses give the best lumbar support?

I have a long history of herniated disks due to sporting injuries. About 10 years ago I tried to switch from a seat (nappy) harness to a waist harness. Make it short: after half an hour I was off the water for two weeks and took 2 months to fully recover. I understood it may have been just that particular waist harness, but I could not afford to experiment. So I kept my nappy harness and modified it to suit wave riding (sliding spreader).
Now, I am thinking of giving it another try.
I ride the Perth shore breaks mixed with some low key ol' skool jumps, usually powered up on a smaller surfboard. The harness does not have to be wave specific, as I can modify the spreader easily. The most important thing is a firm lumbar support with a relatively low attachment point.
I appreciate any advise, especially from those with similar back problems.

KPSS Used
NSW, 197 posts
Site Sponsor
8 Dec 2017 1:51PM
Thumbs Up

You should look at some of the shorts harnesses that have a low hook height and don't put any stress through your waist, the forces from the kite go through your hips and legs.
Ion B2 shorts harness are a good brand to look for.

www.kitepower.com.au/collections/kitesurfing/products/ion-b2-2018?variant=46919130639

Or the NP version

www.kitepower.com.au/collections/kitesurfing/products/np-tracker-shorts?variant=881835540507

Andrash
WA, 552 posts
9 Dec 2017 8:14AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
KPSS Used said..
You should look at some of the shorts harnesses that have a low hook height and don't put any stress through your waist, the forces from the kite go through your hips and legs.
Ion B2 shorts harness are a good brand to look for.

www.kitepower.com.au/collections/kitesurfing/products/ion-b2-2018?variant=46919130639

Or the NP version

www.kitepower.com.au/collections/kitesurfing/products/np-tracker-shorts?variant=881835540507


Thanks Kp, I asked advise about WAIST harnesses, and I have no concern about how seat harnesses may look. It's about functionality, i.e. freedom of hip movement especially for radical turns, but without the strain on L5, L4 (the lowest vertebra).

KPSS Used
NSW, 197 posts
Site Sponsor
9 Dec 2017 11:49AM
Thumbs Up

Yeah but I can't see a way around any waist harness putting a strain on your lower Lumbar vertebra, thats why I suggested a seat/shorts harness. They do not have as much support or restriction as a normal seat harness but will take the load away from your lumbar area and transfer it more fully into your hips. Being able to move freely enough to smack lips is a combination of kite positioning, your board and where you are putting your weight, fins, and previous surfing experience, as well as riding a kite that depowers quickly when you need it to and then with power that comes back on again smoothly too.
Back pain is very frustrating, and I'm sure you know about building up core strength and doing as much stretching as possible. Definitely, ask your kiting mates that are a similar size if you can borrow their harness. What one person loves in a harness another often hates.

Andrash
WA, 552 posts
9 Dec 2017 8:44PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
KPSS Used said..
Yeah but I can't see a way around any waist harness putting a strain on your lower Lumbar vertebra, thats why I suggested a seat/shorts harness. They do not have as much support or restriction as a normal seat harness but will take the load away from your lumbar area and transfer it more fully into your hips. Being able to move freely enough to smack lips is a combination of kite positioning, your board and where you are putting your weight, fins, and previous surfing experience, as well as riding a kite that depowers quickly when you need it to and then with power that comes back on again smoothly too.
Back pain is very frustrating, and I'm sure you know about building up core strength and doing as much stretching as possible. Definitely, ask your kiting mates that are a similar size if you can borrow their harness. What one person loves in a harness another often hates.


Yes, at least theoretically, it is very well possible for a waist harness to extend to the lumbar area and a spreader bar low enough to distribute the force of the kite along the lumbar / lower thoracic area. Otherwise, I would not have asked advice. Of course, a rotated spine is always more vulnerable than a straight one, but as long as the power is distributed, the vulnerability can be reduced.
Physiologically it is quite obvious to me that radical turns are much easier with the free movement of the hip, so I am still hoping for someone talking from experience.
As to "previous surfing experience", I have none. Never been interested... probably too lazy to paddle. I like to surf with the power and movement of the kite on a fast short surfboard, rather than park and ride on a larger board. This certainly increases the strain on the spine (due to having to hold more power from the kite), but compensates with the "fan factor".

TomW059
175 posts
10 Dec 2017 6:08AM
Thumbs Up

All back problems are unique. I've had problems on and off for 40 years. ( I'm 58). I've found the Ride Engine works really good for me. I rode seat harnesses windsurfing and then kitesurfing 2001-2015. Switched to a Mystic waist harness and it was very painful, switched to RE, took a few sessions and I prefer it on surfboard and foil.

Andrash
WA, 552 posts
9 Jan 2018 4:19PM
Thumbs Up

A follow up for those who followed this and other threads on wave harnesses.

I did my homework, and tested 2017 and 2018 Ride Engine and ION's latest 2018 hard shell harnesses. I could not demo either of them, their price tag seems to limit what local shops can do, but I put them side by side under a thorough test in the shops.

Finally, I chose the ION CS Freerider with a sliding rope bar. This model comes with fixed hook, and local shops could not sell it with the sliding bar, so I ordered from Victoria.

My first impressions.The harness is really a piece of art, I have not seen anything like this in the past 16 years. The attention to details and workmanship is quite amazing. The reasons I chose this model were its absolutely perfect fit and extended back support.

So, after 16 years in seat harnesses, I took this out for two hours on a 2m+ reef break with 20-22 kn quite gusty winds. The first hour was mainly adjustment with wipe-outs and pulling off the board in gusts etc, but the harness stayed on the waist even in heavy wipe-outs dragging through the white water.

The second hour was more decent. The wide sliding rope bar worked like a dream, smoothly without any rotational force, and the free hip movement was really liberating. Unfortunately, after the first hour I started to feel my L5/S1 tightening and then more or less ceasing up, and by the evening my long-forgotten sciatica returned.

After a couple of days of treatments, it's all fine now, but with a broken heart I had to put the harness on sale (see my Seabreeze ad. it's a bargain :-(( . Perhaps I could adjust to the new feel of the harness, but at the ripe age of 65 the meaning of this word changes a bit..

That I was disappointed with my back is an understatement. However, on the positive note, I became aware of some obvious advantages of my seat harness which I largely have taken for granted in the past. Two of the most important advantages were the low attachment point, and the free movement of the thoracic spine.

The low attachment point makes ol'skool jumps much easier, and the power of the wind and gusts is diverted to the board through the hip and legs without any pull on the spine. This results in a smoother ride in gusty conditions.

The significance of the free rotation of the thoracic spine was rather surprising. Although, my seat harness entirely locks up my hip, it gives unhindered movement for the rest of the spine. It results in a different style of wave riding which, I think, is equal in effectiveness and fun factor, although different from traditional surfing. With surfing, the turns seem to be initiated by snappy hip rotations. With seat harness the hip is locked to the board and the turns are initiated by the upper lumbar and lower thoracic spine which are otherwise locked in when using a waist harness. So, both for their merits, and personal liking.

So I am back into the seat for now, at least for the next 10 years, and then see....

SonnyRider
74 posts
9 Jan 2018 6:33PM
Thumbs Up

Have you tried a seat harness with a Jaybar?

It helps free up the hips some more.

Andrash
WA, 552 posts
9 Jan 2018 8:31PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
SonnyRider said..
Have you tried a seat harness with a Jaybar?

It helps free up the hips some more.


I've been using sliding rope harness since before dynabar was conceived (see my pics), if that's what you mean. As far as I can see nothing can mobilize a hip already locked in a seat harness. Sliding bars have different purpose, i.e. to reduce / eliminate the rotational force of the kite.



Subscribe
Reply

Forums > Kitesurfing Gear Reviews


"Waist harness advise" started by Andrash