Harnesses and harness lines allow windsurfers to maximize the duration of their time windsurfing. They do so by taking the weight of the sail off of their arms and are therefore a must-have for any intermediate windsurfers. Windsurfing harnesses can be attached to the waist, chest, or backside depending on your preference. Once you feel that you are able to windsurf for long periods of time, it’s time to buy a windsurfing harness.
How Does The Windsurfing Harness Work?
Harnesses are used both in windsurfing and in kitesurfing. Harnesses are worn around the body and then connected with a hook to the boom. The sail is brought towards you body and then the harness is hooked.
There are various ways harnesses are connected to the rider’s body:
1. Around the waist, for back support.
2. Around the backside, with straps around the leg.
3. Over the chest worn like a vest, for better protection.
4. Crossover harnesses have padding and support for the chest and backside.
The most common way to wear a windsurfing harness is around the waist which allows ease of movement.
Harness lines are extra adjustable pieces of equipment that allow for length adjustments of up to 6”. Isthmus Sailboards and other online shops offer harness lines for windsurfing at prices of around $25 to upwards of $50.
How Hard Is It to Windsurf with a Harness?
Assuming one is using the windsurfing waist harness, it allows riders to be more efficient in how they expend energy. For example, by moving one’s body closer to the boom and letting go of the weight necessary to hold up the sail, riders become more efficient at windsurfing. However, working the harness requires focus to make sure the sail is kept upright and is in balance.
All things considered, get the technique down before windsurfing in open waters. Learning to relax your arms to allow for the sail to rest in its upright position, supported by the harness, does not come intuitively. Once you develop the basic reflex motion needed for the harness, then you are ready to hit the water.