Old 20th April 2008, 09:11 PM   #1
Brian S
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 36
Default comfortable waist harness?

Sorry to butt in on this forum, but my girlfriend is looking for new waist harness. She's currently using an old dakine that she finds very uncomfortable on her ribs. She's 5'3" and about 105 lbs. Any advice?
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Old 22nd April 2008, 08:39 AM   #2
Ellen Faller
Dream Team - School
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 75

Hi Brian,
I saw your posting on rec.windsurfing and provided my perspective there.
For anyone else interested in the same information, my perspective is that a harness is a very personal choice because most of us women are put together a little bit differently from each other. One has to TRY a harness on, in the store, AND on the water, to be sure that it not only fits, but is comfortable, and comfortable for more than the first 20 minutes.
I am a confirmed seat harness person, having not yet found (after trying many) a waist harness that does not ride up, squeeze my ribs to the point of major discomfort, make my lower back ache, etc.
I am "short waisted", i.e. high hip bones and not much space between hip bones and bottom of my rib cage. The wider the waist harness, the more it jabs me in the shoulder blades. My hip bones make the harness ride up. If I get it tight enough to keep it in place, I can't breathe.
If a woman has a long torso (or at least longer than mine!), she may well like a waist harness.
I also sail on larger sails, and in light/marginal conditions, and a seat harness is often better for that. But even in high winds, I'm happy with the seat, probably because I've used one for ages and my body *knows* how to use it.
Windsurfing should not be about "enduring discomfort" so I keep using my seat harness. I use my legs (which are strong) and the seat harness suits me just perfectly, even in high winds. I can position it so the hook is at my waist but the leg straps will keep it down. I can breathe and remain comfortable.
I've demo'd many waist harnesses, and owned 4 or 5, but not found one that really suits me. I've also been through a bunch of seat harnesses, but found that I had to be careful of how the leg straps work as a few of the ones I have tried would not allow me to be as flexible as I'd like when waterstarting.
good luck, and my sympathy to the lady. Sail near me and she could work through my collection of old harnesses!
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Old 3rd December 2008, 10:03 AM   #3
New Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3

Hi Ellen, I read your post about seat vs waist arnes and i have the exact impression, I have very long legs, and short space between hip and ribs. All the guys from my club keep telling me i am old fashioned using the seat arness, but i did a great progress by changing from waist to seat, and the main progress was that i could sail for hours with out getting back pain. I use it both with 8.mts sail (my biggest) and 4 mts. The hook is always at the height of my navel wich is just fine for every condition and stays there. With the waist arnes i had to set the boom at the highest position and felt really unconfortable. This is the first time I find someone with my same thoughts. Windsurf should be fun, and back pain is no fun!!! Ja Jaa.
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Old 6th December 2008, 02:03 AM   #4
Ellen Faller
Dream Team - School
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 75

Hi Maria,
Good for you! Only *you* know what works for you. Maybe the guys have not noticed (ha ha), but women are built *differently* than men? And they have more upper body strength while we women tend to have our strength in our upper legs. The seat harness lets you take advantage of your benefits!
The guys may also be jealous that you showed such improvement and are challenging them. Go for it!
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Old 8th December 2010, 05:44 AM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Perth
Posts: 6

Another man on a womens forum. While this thread is now quite old the infomation has been very usefull as my Partner feels the same back pain with her new waist harness. So I was thinking of getting her another seat haness, the current seat is a 95' DK Wahine, is it better to go for a womens specific harness over a standard one? I am concerned that the womens ones don't seem to be as 'upspec', the obvious answer is to try one on but I have found that most shops don't carry a geat range and you end up buying 'what they have got' not what is best.

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