Caution: The first thing we want to mention is make sure you check the Ride Engine Tech Bulletin. Basically the rope on the first run was too short and the knot is prone to coming out. We would love to know when China is going to get it together?? We are fairly certain we did not get any of this batch but it would be good to check just in case. Besides this glitch, the construction is top notch and the overall look of the harness is really nice.
The Ride Engine crew explains that this low-profile harness will dramatically improve your entire kiteboarding experience. This is a really bold statement. Ian (our gear tester) does not believe that it will change your experience dramatically, but he believes it will definitely improve, but this guy is a real critic. Engine states that it will stay in place and Ian is a tad disgruntled because it rides up an inch or so. He continues to explain that the harness wants to ride up as any other harness on the market, but this one stops at your rib cage. This could be contributed to Ian’s little Buddha belly but we are not 100% certain on this. Vadim on the other hand said he likes it because “when foiling it’s even more important to have a harness that does not ride up”. I guess what we are trying to say is that it will try and sneak up on you, but this is nothing compared to some of the other harnesses on the market.
How Does the Ride Engine Harness Fit?
The fit of the harness seems to be a size up from normal. Ian and Vadim usually use Medium harness and both needed to get in a Large. Ian explained that he could wear a Medium but there is no way it would have fit with a 5/4 or a dry suit on. Brian usually is in a small and he thought a Medium was a tad too big so he will use the Small with a 10″ spreader bar or the Medium with a 8″ spreader bar. The point of having the two sizes is to get the right fit. Maybe, this was Ian’s issue with the riding up an inch? Or maybe he needs to eat once less cheeseburger a week.
Getting in and out of the harness is a breeze with one massive Velcro enclosure and one strap to tighten. We want to mention that the strap wants to loosen up on you after a long period of aggressive riding. Another positive note is that the harness is real comfortable when doing moderate riding. It does not squeeze you like some of the others on the market. Brian said that “the harness won’t squeeze your guts out”; what he means is that the harness does not want to collapse from the pull of the kite. The ridged back holds it in place.
What Locals Think of this Harness
We asked some of our locals riding this harness what they thought. Mike, who is foiling and riding strapless in the waves more and more, previously had a Liquid Force Comp harness. He explained to us that the Ride Engine harness is a massive improvement and he cannot believe how much easier it is to ride toe side. Chris, who came from a Ion Vertex with a Jaybar said “I think the light weight and simple tightening mechanism make it a very attractive harness for most riding conditions. In larger surf conditions the rigid back make it a bit more restrictive toe side. Lastly the harness does ride up and is actually harder to adjust down than a soft harness.” The other guy we talked to was Dave. Dave has been in a seat harness since his old windsurfing days. Last year he finally broke down and got a Manear EXO waist harness that he often jokingly said was a chest harness. Dave said “this is one of the best harnesses available. A very comfortable fit for me from the start”. After 30min of trying it he wanted it…
Is This Harness For You?
The census from our crew is that if you are on the fence about a slider and hate harness that ride up you will probably love this puppy. If you are looking for a change and do not like pushing a harness down every other tack this could be for you. It stays in place and overall has a really nice fit. We also found that if you are a really aggressive wave rider this harness may not be for you. Our hardcore wave junkies like twice the movement that the Ride Engine Harness offers.