Are you new to using windsurfing harness lines? Do you want to know what the best position is, what the best length is or how far apart they should be placed?
Than this article is exactly what you were waiting for!
Choosing the right harness lines makes your time on water more enjoyable and your session will last longer because of the lower amount of strength you need (when using the the right way).
So just run into a surf shop grab the first set of lines you can find and you’re fine, right? Well, not exactly.
The variety among the lines available is huge. So it’s easy to get lost when you don’t know whare to start. Of course it’s best to try them out before buying but when buying online this often is not possible.
What Length Windsurfing Harness Lines Are Best For You
Windsurfing harness lines are available in different sizes. Measured in inches, so which length should you buy?
A good tip would be to place your wrist in between the two Velcro straps on one of your boom arm and have the loop of the line touch and go around your elbow.
Most common windsurfing harness lines are available in the 20 to 30” range. Smaller and longer lines are available as well, so don’t worry if you like to experiment outside the 20-30” range.
The perfect harness line length for you depends on some important factors like:
Your Windsurfing Stance
When standing more on top of your board with a boom positioned at chest height you can do with shorter harness lines as when you have your boom at chin height and are pushing with your feet on the rail of your board.
Your body, Or More Specific, Your Arm Length
It should be obvious that shorter people have less arm length compared to taller people. This means that you can do with shorter harness lines as well.
The Type Of Windsurfing Gear You Use
Depending on what type of sail and/or board you should adjust the length of your harness lines. Although on wave equipment you could do with shorter lines as on a slalomboard, longer lines on wave equipment are more advisable as shorter ones are.
With longer lines it’s easier to unhook fast if you need to. This can be of benefit when a wave starts to break sooner as you thought.
On boards from freeriding to slalom or formula windsurfing longer lines have the advantage to keep the rig more upward on your board.
Do You Prefer Being Underpowered Or Overpowered
When sailing underpowered you might want short lines for standing more upright on your board when being hooked in to your harness lines. When overpowered you could choose shorter lines as well to have more control over your equipment.
What Windsurfing Harness Model Do You Have
First of all we need to know what kind of windsurfing harness you have or like to buy. There are two main options to choose from. A waist harness which you wear higher and brings you more flexibility when swimming or a seat harness which is the standard for flat water.
Depending on the model the hook is placed higher (waist harness) or lower (seat harness). With all other things equal, the lower hook height makes you need longer harness lines on your boom to keep the sail in an more upwards stance instead of being raked back.
What About Adjustable Windsurfing Harness Lines
Adjustable harness lines are the way to go if you’re not sure yet which harness line length you like best. This way you only need one set and can try 22 to 30” all at once.
The great thing about these lines is that they even can be adjusted when sailing hooked in and most have line length indications, this way you can easily remember what line length you like best.
Adjustable lines are a great option as well when you’re serious about racing. This way you can have different line lengths on different courses.
Because of the changing stance and body positioning when doing a cross the wind or upwind course, you benefit from different line lengths.
With an adjustable harness line set you can stay hooked in perfect on all courses.
Or Maybe Rather Go For Fixed harness Lines
The opposite for adjustable harness lines is having a set of fixed windsurfing harness lines. Most people use this option.
They can be a good option; it’s for a reason that people use this type of harness lines the most, right?
Well, they are a good option if you know exactly what length you need and if you could do without the option of changing positions of your harness lines.
However, if you plan on using the boom where your harness lines are mounted on for different size and types of sails, than you‘re better of with adjustable harness lines.
Because of the different CE (center of effort) of different sail types and sizes you need to relocate your lines, which you have to do with adjustable lines as well.
But as you also have to have different line lengths for efficient windsurfing with different sails, there’s no better way than to have adjustable harness lines.
At the end you decide on what you like. Windsurfing harness lines, no matter what system, together with a harness are the best and only way into high wind windsurfing and longer session.