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The harness is a vital piece of equipment in kitesurfing, and you should dedicate some time to researching and finding a good quality harness.
The harness is so important because it connects you to the kite bar, it also allows you to balance as well as steer and control your kite.
Since a high quality harness is so essential, you want to make sure that you are choosing a harness that is not only right for your body, but also right for your style of riding.
While this sounds simple enough, there are so many brands that make kitesurfing harnesses and it can be overwhelming to start the research process, especially if you are new to this sport and don’t know where to start.
To help you start your research, we would like to highlight one brand in particular, Mystic, who develops a wide variety of harnesses for kitesurfing.
Let’s go over a Mystic Legend harness review to talk about this particular brand and to explain how many types of masks with different features there really are.
How to Choose a Harness
Type of Harness
There are two main types of kitesurfing harnesses: a seat harness and a waist harness.
A seat harness is a solid option for beginners because it is better positioned for our center of gravity. This can make learning how to kitesurf a little easier, which is why this type of harness is often used in kitesurfing classes.
One of the big differences between a seat harness and a waist harness is that a seat harness has straps that go around the legs. In this way, it is similar to a rock-climbing harness except the seat harness has more padding added on to it. There is also a large Velcro waistband that secures it snuggly against your body.
Because of the way they are designed, seat harnesses help take the pressure off your lower back, so it can be more comfortable than a waist harness, especially for people that have back issues.
One of the downsides to seat harnesses is that they are fixed in one position, which makes it harder for the user to maneuver their body.
The leg straps also cause a slight downside. While the leg straps do help prevent the harness from riding up, they can be somewhat uncomfortable, especially for people with larger legs or those who like to kitesurf without a wet suit.
The other harness option is a waist harness.
A waist harness sits a little higher on your body. It gets attached with one Velcro strap that goes across your waist and then tightened on the spreader bar for a tighter fit.
Waist harnesses give you more freedom of movement because it is not as restrictive on your body, and the straps do not hit in areas that would limit movement.
Waist harnesses are also beneficial because they help protect your lower ribs if you crash hard.
The downside to waist harnesses if they can potentially cause pain in your lower back because you are being jerked around more. Because of this, a waist harness may not be the best choice for you if you have a previous injury.
In addition to the two types, there are also three levels of hardness: soft, medium, and hard shell.
A soft harness is generally pretty comfortable because it does not have hard edges; however, because there is no frame structure, it does not offer very much support.
Some people can compensate for the lack of rigidity with their own core strength, but if you cannot, then you might want to consider a more structured harness.
On the other end of the spectrum, hard harnesses have a shell on the outside and padding on the inside. The hard shell helps you hold your body more rigid and provides back support.
This type of harness is not always very comfortable because of the hard shell, but it is of benefit to those who do not have enough core strength to properly support themselves while kitesurfing.
A medium harness is a great combination of the two, and as a result, tends to work pretty well for most people. Medium harnesses have a structured frame, but the material it is made from is not nearly as rigid as a hard-shell harness. This allows the user to have the stability and back support while still maintaining more maneuverability.
Purchasing a Harness
When you are trying to select a harness, you should pay attention to a couple key factors, including comfort, safety, quality, and proper fit.
The harness should fit you, and there should be no excessive pressure on any one part of your body.
When considering proper safety functions, make sure that that straps are easily adjustable and that they can be adjusted quickly. Kitesurfing harnesses should also have an accessible pocket for a kite knife.
Make sure that your harness is made from high-quality materials. For example, you should expect good stitching, a good quality stainless steel hook, and cushioned neoprene for added comfort in a high quality harness.
Finally, and most importantly, you need to make sure you purchase a harness that fits properly, and it needs to be the right fit for both your body and your type of activity. The harness that fits the way it is supposed to should provide support for your back, reduces muscle fatigue because of that support, and keep you safe.
A harness that is too small will squeeze too tight and cause discomfort and pain. A harness that is too big, will ride up while you are kitesurfing and will not give you much control over the kite.
You can figure out your size by measuring your waist and then finding that measurement on the sizing chart that the company sites offer. This will allow you to get the company recommendation on which harness will fit you properly.
The brand Mystic began in 2002 with a group of kiteboarders and windsurfers who decided to start making their own equipment because they felt like the existing equipment on the market was holding them back.
This group sought to create equipment that would push riders further and help them surpass their maximum potential.
Since beginning their company, the Mystic team has branched out from kiteboarding and windsurfing into the world of wakeboarding and stand-up paddling.
They do not treat these sports as hobbies, but rather as ways of life.
The Mystic team continues to come up with innovative designs that combine quality and durability with the latest technology.
They have a variety of products on their site for both men and women, including clothing, wetsuits, harnesses, impact vests, helmets, and more. They continue to add new products all the time.
Mystic Legend Harness Review: Right for you?
The Mystic Legend is the first ever unibody harness made out of one injection mold. The straps, belt, and support structure are all added to the exterior of the harness.
The result of this structure is a flexible harness around the sides with a structured and supportive fit through the back to give you back support.
The flex pattern allows the harness to contour to the shape of your body.
This harness does not have the usual foam and neoprene padding that harnesses usually have, but instead is really stripped down to the basics.
Because of this, the harness is extremely lightweight. It also does not absorb water much since there is no padding for the water to soak into. The harness dries really quickly and will not weigh you down when it does get wet.
This harness has a good body grip, with or without a wetsuit.
It is compatible with the surf spread bar, and the position and angle of the buckle keep the bar locked down.
This harness comes in a range of sizes, and you can view the sizing chart to determine your best fit. It also comes in several different color options.
Since the Legend is not one of the most recent models of harnesses, Mystic does not currently have it listed on their site right now. You can find the Legend on other online shops, though, so you are still able to purchase this model.
If you are interested at looking at other series of harnesses by the Mystic team, you can view a variety of different harness options on their website.
They have both waist and seat harnesses as well as harnesses that are specifically designed for women and some that are catered to men.
Whether you choose to go with the Legend or another harness series, you are bound to find something you love from the Mystic team.
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