The 6 Best Kitesurf Harness (2020 Reviews)

Finding the best kitesurf harness for you is one of the most important kiting gear decisions to make. It’s unfortunate that many new riders underestimate the role of a kite harness. A harness isn’t an accessory, it’s a fundamental piece of gear for kite surfing & kiteboarding.

What Is A Kitesurf Harness?

A kitesurf harness is what connects you to the kite bar. Think of it as a large belt wrapping around you lower back and stomach.

It’s function is to transfer the pull of the kite from your hands to your body. The best harnesses will provide the right amount of lumbar support. This is critical for rider comfort and to prevent serious back problems.

Another crucial function of a kitesurf harness is to create a balance zone. The harness should spread out the pull of the kite around your mid-section. Doing this, allows you to turn, steer, and control a kite with only one hand even in the most powerful winds.

In general, during kiting, the last thing you want to experience is equipment failure. If you do, you may end up in the life threatening situation. For these reasons, I recommend you pick top quality kite harnesses which provide the best comfort and support.

To help you choose a kite surfing harness in 2020, I wrote this article. Discover harnesses from brands like Ride Engine, Mystic, ION, and Dakine. While colors and looks often attract buyers, there are 4 vital boxes to tick to find the right harness. These are user comfort, safety features, material quality and fit.

For ease of use there is a clickable table of contents to navigate to a specific product or section. Otherwise scroll down to learn which kitesurf harness is best for you.

We updated this article in April 2020 to reevaluate the kitesurf harnesses that we recommend to ensure they meet our current standards. For this year three new models hits our “best of” list. Plus updated versions of the editor’s choice and top hard shell for women. Read on to discover which of the best kitesurf harness for 2020 is right for you. 

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Table of Contents

Comparison Chart

Preview
Editor's Choice
2020 Elite Carbon Red Harness for Kiteboarding and Windsurfing
Dakine Pyro Kiteboarding Kitesurfing Surfing Kite Harness Seaford - Unisex
Top Marks
Mystic Watersports - Surf Kitesurf & Windsurfing Gem Womens Jalou Langeree Surf Waist Harness - Phantom Grey
Product Name
2020 Ride Engine Elite Carbon Red
Dakine Pyro
Mystic Gem Bruna
Verdict
Best Overall Hard Shell For 2020
Trusted Model For Long Torso Riders
Top Hard Shell Pick For Women
Shell Construction
Lightweight 12K Carbon Shell Skin
Hybrid Soft/Hard Shell Texon Composite Back Plate
Roven Composite Bionic Core Shell
Body Materials
Internal Fusion Foam Under Neoprene
Thermo-Molded Memory Foam Under Neoprene
Non-Slip IV Foam (Inner) & KiteFlex Neoprene (Outer)
Lumbar Support
Lumbar Lock Shell
Adaptive Fit Composite Back Panel With Memory Foam Inner
Non-Slip Fix Foam
Belt
Padded With Soft Velcro
Power Belt With Overlapping Velcro Closures
Battle Belt 2.0 With Integrated Safety Knife Pocket & Velcro Closure
Closure Type
Dual Strap Anti-Slip Webbing With Speed Lock
Dual Webbing Straps With Quick Clip Closure
Dual Straps With Battle Belt Closure
Hook Type
N/A
Single Hook
N/A
Leash Attachments
Dual Attachments (Rear Handle Pass & Front Point)
Two Front Short Leash Points Plus Rear Slide Bar
Single Front Attachment
Warranty
1 year
2 Years
1 Year
Spreader Bar Included
Editor's Choice
Preview
2020 Elite Carbon Red Harness for Kiteboarding and Windsurfing
Product Name
2020 Ride Engine Elite Carbon Red
Verdict
Best Overall Hard Shell For 2020
Shell Construction
Lightweight 12K Carbon Shell Skin
Body Materials
Internal Fusion Foam Under Neoprene
Lumbar Support
Lumbar Lock Shell
Belt
Padded With Soft Velcro
Closure Type
Dual Strap Anti-Slip Webbing With Speed Lock
Hook Type
N/A
Leash Attachments
Dual Attachments (Rear Handle Pass & Front Point)
Warranty
1 year
Spreader Bar Included
Preview
Dakine Pyro Kiteboarding Kitesurfing Surfing Kite Harness Seaford - Unisex
Product Name
Dakine Pyro
Verdict
Trusted Model For Long Torso Riders
Shell Construction
Hybrid Soft/Hard Shell Texon Composite Back Plate
Body Materials
Thermo-Molded Memory Foam Under Neoprene
Lumbar Support
Adaptive Fit Composite Back Panel With Memory Foam Inner
Belt
Power Belt With Overlapping Velcro Closures
Closure Type
Dual Webbing Straps With Quick Clip Closure
Hook Type
Single Hook
Leash Attachments
Two Front Short Leash Points Plus Rear Slide Bar
Warranty
2 Years
Spreader Bar Included
Top Marks
Preview
Mystic Watersports - Surf Kitesurf & Windsurfing Gem Womens Jalou Langeree Surf Waist Harness - Phantom Grey
Product Name
Mystic Gem Bruna
Verdict
Top Hard Shell Pick For Women
Shell Construction
Roven Composite Bionic Core Shell
Body Materials
Non-Slip IV Foam (Inner) & KiteFlex Neoprene (Outer)
Lumbar Support
Non-Slip Fix Foam
Belt
Battle Belt 2.0 With Integrated Safety Knife Pocket & Velcro Closure
Closure Type
Dual Straps With Battle Belt Closure
Hook Type
N/A
Leash Attachments
Single Front Attachment
Warranty
1 Year
Spreader Bar Included

Preview
Budget Friendly
ION 2020 Kite Waist Harness Riot 9
Manera Eclipse Kite Harness, Amber
Top Marks
2020 Prime Water Harness for Kiteboarding and Windsurfing
Product Name
2020 Ion Riot 9 Harness
Manera Eclipse Kite Harness
Ride Engine Prime Series (Water)
Verdict
Best Medium Stiff Harness, Wallet Friendly Too!
Perfect Harness For Foiling
The More Flexible Version Of The Carbon Elite
Shell Construction
Elastic HD EVA Molded Frame
Adaptive Hardshell
Shell Skin Construction
Body Materials
Internal EVA Hyper Foam Wrapped in Neoprene
Gel Foam Padding Under Neoprene
Internal Fusion Memory Foam Under Neoprene
Lumbar Support
Ergonomic Polymere Spine
Adaptive Shell – Stiff In Center & Soft At Edges
Lumbar Lock Shell
Belt
Padded “Belly Bra” Internal Flex Belt
Velcro Elasticated Belt With Down Hold System
Tight Weave Webbed, Padded Belt With Soft Velcro
Closure Types
Dual Web Straps With PVC Buckles & Tension Bar
Dual Asymmetrical Straps Click In System With Tuck Flaps
Dual Strap Anti-Slip Webbing With Speed Lock
Hook Type
Single Exchangeable Hook
Fixed Hook
N/A
Leash Attachments
HPL Slider Rear, Left/Right Side Rings
Rear Slider Bar With Integrated Bar Ends
Dual Attachments (Rear Handle Pass & Front Point)
Warranty
Dependent On Distributor
Unkown
1 Year
Spreader Bar Included
Budget Friendly
Preview
ION 2020 Kite Waist Harness Riot 9
Product Name
2020 Ion Riot 9 Harness
Verdict
Best Medium Stiff Harness, Wallet Friendly Too!
Shell Construction
Elastic HD EVA Molded Frame
Body Materials
Internal EVA Hyper Foam Wrapped in Neoprene
Lumbar Support
Ergonomic Polymere Spine
Belt
Padded “Belly Bra” Internal Flex Belt
Closure Types
Dual Web Straps With PVC Buckles & Tension Bar
Hook Type
Single Exchangeable Hook
Leash Attachments
HPL Slider Rear, Left/Right Side Rings
Warranty
Dependent On Distributor
Spreader Bar Included
Preview
Manera Eclipse Kite Harness, Amber
Product Name
Manera Eclipse Kite Harness
Verdict
Perfect Harness For Foiling
Shell Construction
Adaptive Hardshell
Body Materials
Gel Foam Padding Under Neoprene
Lumbar Support
Adaptive Shell – Stiff In Center & Soft At Edges
Belt
Velcro Elasticated Belt With Down Hold System
Closure Types
Dual Asymmetrical Straps Click In System With Tuck Flaps
Hook Type
Fixed Hook
Leash Attachments
Rear Slider Bar With Integrated Bar Ends
Warranty
Unkown
Spreader Bar Included
Top Marks
Preview
2020 Prime Water Harness for Kiteboarding and Windsurfing
Product Name
Ride Engine Prime Series (Water)
Verdict
The More Flexible Version Of The Carbon Elite
Shell Construction
Shell Skin Construction
Body Materials
Internal Fusion Memory Foam Under Neoprene
Lumbar Support
Lumbar Lock Shell
Belt
Tight Weave Webbed, Padded Belt With Soft Velcro
Closure Types
Dual Strap Anti-Slip Webbing With Speed Lock
Hook Type
N/A
Leash Attachments
Dual Attachments (Rear Handle Pass & Front Point)
Warranty
1 Year
Spreader Bar Included

Best All-Around Kitesurf Harness: Carbon Hardshell

Purple label with gold anchor stating Editor's choice
2020 Ride Engine Elite Carbon Red
  • Body Materials: Fusion Foam Under Neoprene
  • Shell Construction: 12K Carbon Shell Skin
  • Lumbar Support: Lumbar Lock Shell
  • Belt: Padded With Soft Velcro
  • Hook Type: Sold Separately
  • Closure Type: Dual Strap Anti-Slip Webbing With Speed Lock
  • Leash Attachments: Dual Attachments (Rear Handle Pass & Front Point)
  • Spreader Bar Included: No
  • Warranty (years): 1
What We Like
  • Premium Materials
  • Best-In-Class Lumbar Support
  • Molded Soft Foam Interior
  • Simple & Secure Speed Closure System
What We Do Not Like
  • You Either Fit Ride Engine Or You Don't
  • Wish It Was Cheaper
  • Doesn't Include A Spreader Bar

Ride Engine Elite Carbon Red Review

Looking for a super stiff hard shell with unshakable support? The Ride Engine Carbon Elite is the best in 2020. These are the stiffest lightest low profile hard shell harnesses from Ride Engine (RE).

Skin Shell

New for 2020 it uses the shell skin technology. This provides ultra violet, impact and abrasion resistance, plus Water and tear Resistance. The construction of the shell is a 100% carbon fiber composite called 12k carbon. In my hands it’s rock solid and much more solid than the Prime Series from RE (before known as the Hex Core).

Fit wise the profile of the harness is low and firm around the middle of my torso due to RE’s “lumbar lock” system. This is an ergonomic contour on the shell which locks into place along your spine. By locking in, you don’t experience twisting or riding up. This means the common back pain related to softer, flimsy harnesses is a thing of the past. For this reason, it’s a top kitesurf harness for riders that suffer from lower back pain. When wearing it, the precise fit of the shell distributes even traction over my entire back.

Inside the soft fusion foam core molds to shape of my body, cushioning pressure and load from my kite. Over top, neoprene wraps around the edges of the harness to help reduce any pinching on my ribs.

Ride Engine Sizing

Note: I find that for sizing it’s the same as last year. For reference, I am 5’10 with a 31 waist and I wear a small for in the Carbon Elite model.

Keep in mind for sizing a Ride Engine harness, it either fits your body or it doesn’t, there is no in-between. If it fits you are in for a treat, but if there is even slight movement, don’t pick this one.

It’s important to understand that movement is bad for kiting harnesses. Movement allows the harness to torque around and put painful pressure on your sides. If you feel significant movement in a harness it doesn’t fit you body shape,

For riders that do fit this harness it has an excellent and improved fastening system. In 2020 they add dual webbed anti-slip straps that stay in place. Plus it uses a stainless steel clasp with buckle guards to stop you line from snagging on them.

The belt and speed lock clasp system is super easy to clip in/out, and the connection is very strong. I welcome being able to ride without the spreader bar unclipping in strong gusts of wind. It also has two front-mounted leash attachment points if you don’t use the rear handle pass.

Lacks A Spreader Bar

One thing to note, Ride Engine doesn’t include spreader bars. Their explanation is that every ride style is different. The company sells three compatible options including:

  • Fixed hook spreader bar: the classic hook for freestyle riders
  • Slider spreader bar: pass through cable for wave riders
  • Special fixed hook spreader bar: designed for windsurfing

Bottom line: The Best Kitesurf Harness

While the Carbon Infrared is expensive, you definitely get what you pay for. What you get is the finest materials, ultimate lumbar support and safety to boot. Do yourself a favor and buy it.

Classic Hybrid Shell For Long Torso Riders

Dakine Pyro Kitesurfing Harness
  • Body Materials: Thermo-Molded Memory Foam Under Neoprene
  • Shell Construction: Hybrid Soft/Hard Shell Texon Composite Back Plate
  • Lumbar Support: Adaptive Fit Composite Back Panel
  • Belt: Power Belt With Overlapping Velcro Closures
  • Hook Type: Single Fixed Hook
  • Closure Type: Dual Webbing Straps With Quick Clip Closure
  • Leash Attachments: Two Front Short Leash Points Plus Rear Slide Bar
  • Spreader Bar Included: Yes
  • Warranty (years): 2
What We Like
  • Massive Back Plate = Full Back Support
  • Popular Trusted Harness For Long Torso Riders
  • Great Step Up From A Seat Harness
  • Easy To Clip In & Out With Hammer Head Spreader Bar
  • Precise Load Dispersion
What We Do Not Like
  • May Not Fit Riders With A Short Torso

Dakine Pyro Review:

If you are a kite surfer with a long torso and prefer a hybrid harness pick the Dakine Pyro. The Pyro continues to be super supportive via it’s super large back plate. It’s much bigger than any of the other harnesses in this article. A large hybrid harness is a great option for beginners looking for a step up from seat style kitesurf harnesses.

Massive Lumbar Support

The shell for the Dakine Pyro is an adaptive fit composite with Texon support. In the middle it’s stiff but being a hybrid the side panels flex and soft wrap on your sides. As a result, a tall torso ride has full support, with less slippage and great range of movement. This massive back coverage gives precise load dispersion throughout the body. Inside Dakine uses thermo-mold memory foam which has bolstered neoprene on top. To add, it has two side key / knife pockets with elastic loops to store important items. I like that there are two points on the front to attach a leash.

I don’t have the body type to wear the Pyro, so I asked my friend Jay for his thoughts. For reference Jay is 6’3” and wears a medium in the Dakine Pyro.

The Best Hybrid Harness For Riders With A Long Torso?

“At first wear of the Dakine Pyro I noticed the enhanced fit and comfort. The bolstered memory foam molded interior, is soft and plush on my skin. Each side panel is flexible and suctions onto the shape of my waist. Like most Dakine harnesses it has the elastic overlapping belt closures. For beginners, it’s a great harness because it doesn’t slip up and it holds you in a perfect position. The three straps are easy to tighten and don’t loosen which is super important to reduce ride up. Is this the best harness for long torso riders? Well if you love hybrid harnesses, my answer is a definite yes!”

Combined with the Dakine Pyro is the hammerhead spreader bar. This features the easy-connect/disconnect push button with dual webbing straps. Its nice and comfy due to the freedom shape spreader bar pad.

All in all, the Dakine Pyro is a classic hybrid shell kitesurf harness that work best for long torso riders. Or it is a good option for beginners looking to move up from a seat harness. As an added bonus, riders get versatility due to it being compatible with the Maniac spreader bar and the Option spreader bar.

Top Women's Hardshell Kitesurf Harness

top marks label in blue with yellow check mark
Mystic Gem Bruna Kitesurf Harness
  • Body Materials: Non-Slip IV Foam (Inner) & KiteFlex Neoprene (Outer)
  • Shell Construction: Roven Composite Bionic Core Shell
  • Lumbar Support: Non-Slip Fix Foam
  • Belt: Battle Belt 2.0 With Integrated Safety Knife Pocket & Velcro Closure
  • Hook Type: Sold Separately
  • Closure Type: Dual Straps With Battle Belt Closure
  • Leash Attachments: Single Front Attachment
  • Spreader Bar Included: No
  • Warranty (years): 1
What We Like
  • Great Female Specific Back Support
  • Super High Quality Materials
  • Killer Hard Shell That Fits Small Hips!
  • Stiff But Forgiving In The Waves
  • Locked In Fit That Won't Ride Up
What We Do Not Like
  • Fit Problems For Long Torso Riders
  • Higher Price

Mystic Gem Bruna Harness Review

To provide a proper review, I am deferring to another member of the OI crew Lori for this pick:

My pick for the best kitesurf harness for women in 2020 is again the Mystic Gem hard shell harness. I prefer Bruna Kajiya’s 2020 model colorway this year but that’s my preference. Beyond cosmetics, I love the close attention made to the shape of this harness.

Female Specific Construction

To ensure lumbar support Mystic uses body mapping to create stiff horizontal support. For diagonal flex the Gem uses a “Roven Composite” shell, the same material as the Mystic Majestic. Consider Roven composite as a softer material than a 100% carbon shell. This means its more forgiving and offers a little bit more flexibility for wave riding.

While it’s low profile in the side plates, on the back it curves up more than the male specific waist harnesses. This bigger curvature supports my back better and reduces uncomfortable ride up. While the shell is stiff there is some flex to help me feel confident slashing big top turns in the waves.

Inside the harness uses this cool rubber-like non-slip EVA foam. It stays in place as I ride and doesn’t smash into my chest like others I have tried in the past. When worn I appreciate soft neoprene edges called knit flex. It doesn’t pinch me as I make brisk movements and doesn’t jab into my hips. The battle belt closure is thick and comfortable.

I like that it comes with key pocket and easy to tighten dual webbing straps. The one I tired didn’t come with a hook knife but I don’t mind buying one after. I enjoy that there is a single leash attachment on the front of the harness because I ride with a short leash.

For spreader bars, the Gem doesn’t come with one, but I actually prefer that. Instead Mystic sell modular hook or slider spreader bars to give ultimate versatility.

Verdict

Buy the Mystic Gem if you want an excellent women specific kite surfing harness. It’s the best option for a waist harness which molds to ladies bodies. Plus if you kiteboard this harness has spreader bars to accommodate every style kiting you could want .

Best Budget Friendly Kitesurf Harness

green budget friendly label
2020 Ion Riot 9 Harness
  • Body Materials: Internal EVA Hyper Foam Wrapped in Neoprene
  • Shell Construction: Elastic HD EVA Molded Frame
  • Lumbar Support: Ergonomic Polymere Spine
  • Belt: Padded Internal Flex Belt
  • Hook Type: Single Exchangeable Hook
  • Closure Type: Dual Web Straps With PVC Buckles & Tension Bar
  • Leash Attachments: HPL Slider Rear, Left/Right Side Rings
  • Spreader Bar Included: No
  • Warranty (years): Dependent On Distributor
What We Like
  • Amazing Price!
  • Excellent Lumbar Support
  • Resists Sucking Up Water
  • Great Tension Bar Lever System
  • Built In Safety
What We Do Not Like
  • May Not Fit Short Torso Riders

2020 Ion Riot 9 Harness Review

For kite riders that want a high back flexible harness, a good choice is the Ion Riot 9 model. In fact, it is my pick as the best harness for experts at foiling due to the vast freedom of movement it gives. While some kiters who boost big air prefer a low profile stiff harness, for foiling, a high back is a better choice. Since full back support lets you focus on those ultra tight turns! But the biggest advantage of the Riot 9 is the price, it’s the least expensive kitesurf harness.

If you are wondering what the “9” stands for in the name, it’s the flex rating of the harness. Ions flex index Ranges from 1 – 20, with 1 being soft and flexible up to 20 being hard and rigid. A 9 rating is a little below mid stiffness, which in total equals a supportive and comfortable fit.

First Wear

Fit wise the Riot 9 has cool internal lumbar support construction called Plus_Spine. This 3-D polymer spine locks the harness right up against my entire lower back. While my waist is on the small side (30″), the harness will actually hug my torso. I like that the side plates feel flexible but mold to my body shape.

Inside Ion uses “Hyper Foam” this is a viscous elastic foam which creates an ergonomic fit. What I notice is that dunking it under water the harness resists soaking up the water. As I swim with it, the harness seems to glide through the water instead of dragging me. Other bonuses of the Riot 9 are its safety features. Including two ways of disconnecting the harness in an emergency. One is a safety catch to disconnect the line or if this fails a built-in safety knife to cut the lines.

Next the “c-bar” spreader bar with the tension lever closure system, both are simple and secure. On the sides it has dual webbing straps and PVC clips that will last for years. The tension lever lets me tighten the harness without dealing with the side buckles. My sequence for tightening is to first set my basic fit with the PVC side buckles. Second, I use the tension lever to make mini adjustments.

Bottom Line:

With a flex index of 9 and the best price out of the bunch, the 2020 Ion Riot 9 is a great hybrid harness. In fact, if you have a small waist and love to use foiling techniques, it’s the perfect pick.

Perfect Hybrid Shell Harness For Foiling

Manera Eclipse Kite Harness
  • Body Materials: Gel Foam Padding Under Neoprene
  • Shell Construction: Adaptive Hardshell
  • Lumbar Support: Stiff In Center & Soft At Edges-Adaptive Shell
  • Belt: Velcro Elasticated Belt With Down Hold System
  • Hook Type: Sliding Hook
  • Closure Type: Dual Asymmetrical Straps Click In System With Tuck Flaps
  • Leash Attachments: Rear Slider Bar With Integrated Bar Ends
  • Spreader Bar Included: Yes
  • Warranty (years): Info Not Available
What We Like
  • Innovative Adaptive Shell
  • Soft Gel Foam
  • Down Hold System
  • Lightweight
What We Do Not Like
  • Belt Is A Bit Long
  • Lacks D-Rings On Side On Harness
  • No Leash Attachment On Safety Catch Line

Manera Eclipse Harness Review

The Eclipse harness from Manera is their version of a semi-rigid “hard shell” harness. Manera is all about proper support for the back via a lower fit. But without a 100% rigid hard shell, because each riders body shape is unique. Thus, they aim to design a kite harness that strikes a balance between flex and stiffness. To create the balance, the Eclipse focuses stiff support in the middle of the harness. While allowing the outer sections of the shell to contort to the users body shape and any movements.

Adaptive Shell

The main design feature of the Eclipse is the ‘Adaptive Shell’ technology. It’s what allows the stiffness to fade from hard in the center area to softer on the edges . Looking at the harness you can see a rigid frame pattern. On first wear I can sort of feel the frame wrapping around my spine. But on the edges it feels pliable which is great for hard turns but still hugs against the shape of my body.

For shape, this harness isn’t as low profile as others but it isn’t considered a high-back style either.

Inside Manera uses gel foam to lower pressure against the torso to achieve a “pillow comfort.” I like that it gives a unique slime feeling that shifts with me as I move. The point of this is to prevent any rash or rubbing discomfort riders can get.

The elastic belt fits snug but it’s a little long for the medium size I tried. Next to help prevent the spreader bar from riding up, the eclipse uses a “Down Hold System.” As I pull these uneven straps they do pull the harness down while staying nice and tight.

For a spreader bar you get a fixed hook which is fine, and a leash tab attached to the spreader bar. It has a little ring on the end for attaching your kite leash too. I prefer a mini-leash for waves or foiling that attaches in front as it’s easy to reach in an emergency. There is also a safety catch line on the back to detach.

Two Disadvantages

For some reason, the Eclipse lacks a leash ring on the safety catch line on the back of the harness. Plus, they don’t include any D-rings on the side of the harness. I like attaching my handle-pass leash to the side of my harness so this is a disappointment.

Verdict:

In total, the Eclipse is a great option if you’re looking for a new alternative to a classic hard-shell. It’s stiff where it needs to be and more forgiving where you need flex. If you add Manera’s sliding spreader bar and a short leash, you get the ideal setup for the wave, foil or free rider.

Top Flexible Harness From Ride Engine

top marks label in blue with yellow check mark
2020 Ride Engine Prime Water
  • Body Materials: Internal Fusion Memory Foam Under Neoprene
  • Shell Construction: Shell Skin Construction
  • Lumbar Support: Lumbar Lock Shell
  • Belt: Tight Weave Webbed, Padded Belt With Soft Velcro
  • Hook Type: Sold Separately
  • Closure Type: Dual Strap Anti-Slip Webbing With Speed Lock
  • Leash Attachments: Dual Attachments (Rear Handle Pass & Front Point)
  • Spreader Bar Included: No
  • Warranty (years): 1
What We Like
  • Super Locked-In Fit
  • Improved Padding
  • Doesn't Ride Up
  • Several Leash Attachments
  • Easy To Swim In
  • Tight Speed Lock Closure
What We Do Not Like
  • Either You Fit Ride Engine Or You Don't
  • No Spreader Bar Included
  • Concerned About Long Term Durability

Ride Engine Prime (Water) Harness Review

If you dislike the amount of stiffness in the Carbon Elite, take a peek at the Prime Series. It’s the flexible version of a classic hard shell harness from Ride Engine. The Prime replaces the older Hex Core Harness from Ride Engine. It has a sleek minimalist design which is great because my lines won’t snag on it.

The Prime uses the same inner contour “lumbar lock” on its shell as the Carbon Elite. Where it differs is the shell material, the Prime uses a glass composite shell. This gives the shell a bit of flex but still locks tight against your spine for ultimate support.

Doesn’t Ride Up

Putting on the Prime harness for the first time I notice the famous “bear hug” around body. This is the locked-in feeling that makes Ride Engine so popular. The Prime is low-profile, on me it sits right between my ribs and hips.

Wrapping over the shell is a sculpted fusion foam that’s comfortable and supportive. To secure the harness there is the front belt with thick padding and Velcro. It’s tight but not too much to create pressure points on my lower rib cage.

On top of the foam it has soft neoprene that’s great for riders who wear shorts due to it reducing chaffing. As someone who hates fussing with my harness on the beach, it has a d-ring speed lock which is simple to open and close. Other notable features I love are the a range of leash attachment points. Either front or back means you have a lot of options.

New for 2020 is the tight weave webbing to reduce spreader bar slip. After I tighten it the bar sit exactly where I want it. In the water the Prime is super easy swim in, it’s like an extension of my body.

Any Downsides?

The main problem riders find with this brand is that your body shape either fits the harness or it doesn’t. There isn’t any wiggle room with Ride Engine. The second negative is that Ride Engine harnesses doesn’t include a spreader bar. Although they do offer three compatible spreader bars. The last downside is that older models had durability issues, after a year the stiching would come loose.

In A Nutshell

The Prime series harness is a great option if you want a classic hard shell that give a bit a flex. It locks you in and doesn’t ride up. With the right spreader bar it does an excellent job of spreading the load around your torso.

Finishing Up: The Best Kitesurf Harness

All things considered, you can now make an informed choice for the which kitesurf harness is best for you. Whether you have a long/short torso, are male or female and even if you just want a great deal we have you covered. Remember to focus on comfort, safety features, material quality and fit over looks.

Whichever you choose, thanks for allowing Outdoors Informed help you with your research. We love to research, so spend more time out there ripping it up in the waves.

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Last update on 2020-07-12

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