Which kite harness suits best?
This is a question we get very often during our camps. As every woman’s body is different, it is not easy to tell you which harness is the right one for you. There are a lot of brands that make harnesses especially for women. You just have to find out which one you feel comfortable with. And YES: there is a big difference between a good female harness and a man’s harness made pink ;) Girlzactive coach Vera made a guide that helps you find the perfect harness for kitesurfing. Not all women’s harnesses are listed, it just gives an idea of different shapes and options.
Fit of a kite harness
The fit of a harness depends on the shape of your body. Some of us have wide hips and narrow thighs, others are build more straight, have a round back or are tiny. For all of us there is a harness that gives the comfort and support needed. When you are searching for a kite harness, the best thing to do is try. Ask your kitesurfing friends if you can have a ride with their harness and test if you feel comfortable with it. It is like buying new shoes: it has to fit nice from the moment you put it on.
Always keep in mind if you are going to use the harness with bikini, wetsuit or with both. For bikini only you will want soft edges to prevent it from rubbing into your skin. Also it can be a smaller size because you do not have a wetsuit in between. The Girlzactive crew mostly uses the Brunotti Smartshell with soft edges. Coach Kelly is using Liquid Force Supreme and likes it so much that she is almost using it as a fashion accessoire during our kiteboarding camps ;)
Petit figure: wide hips, small thigh
+ Ion Nova
These harnesses are specially designed for women. They are supportive in the back and shaped small in the front, so they fit nicely in the small area in between the hip bones and the ribs. A lot of women with wider hips have a problem finding a kite harness that does not hurt near the ribs or hips. These type of harnesses are shaped for you, girls! The harnesses are also available in size XS and therefore perfect for the more petit women amongst us. All mentioned above are similar, yet still a little bit different.
These harnesses are build more straight and are a bit wider in the front, so they give more support to the back. When you have more space between your hip bones and ribs there is no issue with these harnesses being a bit wider in the front; it can only give you more support. The models are all quite the same, only the form of the foam patches on the inside of the harnesses are shaped different.
Other important things
For safety reasons check if there is a safety knife attached in the harness. Besides the safety knife the harness always has a few possibilities to connect your leash. The most safe place is in the front, but not all harnesses have that option. An other option is to connect the leash on the left side when you are left handed or on the right side when you are right handed. Why is this important? Simply because when you are in panic you will grab to the side you use most. Don’t connect your leash on the back of the harness, as you won’t be able to find it when upside down under your kite after a release.
Try before you buy!
We hope that all of you kiteboarding girls are able to find the right harness with the help of this guide. If you need more support, let us know. We know what we are talking about after hundreds of female guests ;) But our best advice: fit, fit again and try before you buy!
Enjoy your ride,