The two main types of kitesurfing harness: seat and waist. It is also possible to get a seat harness incorporated with board shorts.
| Seat harness || Waist harness|
|Can be better for beginners as they prevent the harness being lifted under your ribs when you fly the kite high while learning ||More versatile for intermediate and advanced riders. Can be rotated and positioned where you want it.|
|Provide good support while jumping ||Can ride up under your ribs when jumping or kite is high|
|Provide some impact and abrasion protection for your bottom||No protection for your butt if you impact something with it|
|Not too good for toeside riding as the harness doesn't rotate and you get a twisting force from the pull of the centre lines.||Good for toeside riding as you can rotate the harness to adjust the direction of pull |
|Harness hook gets in the way if you want to paddle on your board ||Can rotate the harness book away from your stomach region if you want to paddle a directional board (e.g. during a self-rescue)|
|Can be difficult to fold flat for travel or packing||Folds flat for travel or packing|
Dakine Fusion seat harness with line knife
Dakine Tabu waist harness
Dakine Solo harness pouch
Kitesurfing harness pouch in use
Try a harness out before you buy it if you have the option. Some kitesurfing shops may have a rope you can hook onto and lean back to assess the comfort and fit of the harness.
A latch system on the harness is easier to operate than threading straps through buckles, but wash it out in fresh water after every session to avoid rust.
You can attach a harness pouch (pictured above) to the webbing on your harness, and use it to store small items of gear such as a GPS, mobile phone or waterproof money container.