Picking a harness is never easy especially with so many different brands, fits and features. When you look at all the harnesses there are common themes that arise. You have some harnesses described as soft, medium and hard shell. Additionally we now have hook and slider spreader bar options as well sitting and bathing suit options. For now though we will focus on soft, medium and hard shell options.
Depending on your body shape, gender and needs you will have one harness that works better for you than another. In the end when choosing a harness it comes down to your needs, what kind of support and comfort you want. Here are some tips when considering which rigidity in a harness to choose.
Soft: Soft harnesses are quite comfortable though are not ideal for people who are less muscular or need back support. The softness in harness increases comfort though decreases support.
Hard Shell: Hard shell harnesses offer the most support and are ideal for individuals that are less muscular or in need of back support. For some, hard shell harnesses are not as comfortable as soft or medium. These harnesses are usually the most expensive harnesses in a companies line up.
Medium: Medium harnesses are the balance between soft and hard shell harnesses. Normally they have some frame that gives support though leaves freedom of movement to the wearer. These are the most common harnesses sold as they are comfortable, supportive and work for the masses.
When choosing a harness it is important to make sure you find a harness that fits your body shape and fits perfectly. Having a harness that is to small or big will not only annoy you though can potentially hurt you and in the long run make your kiteboarding sessions shorter and less enjoyable. Finding the right harness for yourself is one of the most important things you can do for your kiteboarding career.