Useful Tips to Use Windsurfing Harness Correctly
When you decide to get engaged into the sport of windsurfing, you should know that a harness is a must. Windsurfers can achieve maximum speed and leave others behind just because of a harness. You cannot windsurf without getting knowledge about how to set your harness and how to use it.
Types of Harnesses
There are two types of windsurfing harness, viz. waist harness and seat harness. As a first harness, it’s recommended to get a seat harness. This is because a seat harness facilitates a better high wind stance, at least during the learning phase. A seat harness makes you less likely to bend at the waist as you should not do that. In the later stage, once you have a decent high wind stance, you can try a waist harness, especially if you try freestyle or wave sailing.
While buying a harness, you also need to buy a spreader bar with hook and also harness lines. Certain seat harnesses are combined with board shorts, while some waist harnesses are combined with a PDF (life jacket). These are good if they fit perfectly.
When you wear your harness, all its straps should be tight. This is especially essential for waist harnesses. Your harness should not creep up your body while sailing. If the straps holding the spreader bar/hook are loose or if the harness moves up your body, the hook will be in an incorrect place.
Factors to Consider before Hitting the Water
There are many of them such as harness line length, boom height and harness line placement on the boom. How low the harness lines will hang will be determined by harness line length and boom height. This can be understood by knowing that the base of the harness line loop of your windsurfing harness should be low enough to come closer to the hook so as to be easily hooked in. but if the lines are longer than required, you cannot get downward pressure on the boom causing the harness lines to be ineffective. Your boom height and harness length will decide where the loop of the lines is situated.
There have been so many style changes of the boom height over decades. You have to decide where you’d like to have your booms. As a rule, it should be shoulder height (or slightly higher) when you are sailing comfortably. This is a position where you are able to lean back comfortably against the sail’s force without having to use your shoulder muscles or triceps. Here you should experiment a little. Once you know a height that you’d like, return to the beach and measure it.
Harness Line Length
Harness lengths with fixed length are available in the range of 16 to 26 inches. In that case, adjustable harness lines might be better because you’ve no exact idea of how long your harness lines should be. Still, if you don’t want adjustable lines, take a ¼ inch rope and fasten it carefully on to your boom. Again, you should be able to hook in; hence the loop cannot be too high. However, you’ll have to put your weight on the lines, so as to prevent the loop of the lines from being too low.
Using Harness Lines
This is not difficult if you have your boom of the correct height and lines of the correct length. Before hooking in, head off to a beam reach. Once you hook in, either lean back or sit-down. The windsurfing harness should take all the force from the sail and your arms shouldn’t. You should lightly grip the boom.
If you’re using your harness correctly with the right stance, you should be perfectly balanced in your harness lines and enjoy windsurfing.