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Old 16th May 2010, 11:54 PM   #12
Dream Team - School Guru
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,177

Hi JSW225,
I use a DaKine XT Seat harness.
It looks about the same as the Speed Seat, but it has a 2nd set of adjustment straps down lower than the single adjustable strap on the Speed Seat.
Getting a harness that fits you really comfortably takes some trying them out.
Just because I am super comfortable in the XT seat, does not mean that you will be
You might want to go to a WS shop and try the XT Seat on and see if it fits you at least as comfortably as the Speed Seat.
The XT seat allows you to set the lower straps to keep the harness hook down.
I use mine with a Reactor Spreader bar (the one with the roller, but it's really a DaKine Knock off of the original Reactor bar.
The Reactor Bar makes harness lines last almost forever (no wear) and makes you get your harness lines balanced on the rig to a much closer balance tolerance. I highly recommend the roller harness spreader bar. It's also a little shorter (out from your hips) and tends to stay down better.
What hook are you using..... do you have the open side of the hook up or down?
We have not had our "harness line balance" discussion yet, so I'll give you a bit of my take on this MOST important aspect of getting hooked in and unhooked comfortably with the fewest possible catapaults.
Get your lines set so the rig will simply stand up pretty straight when you are hooked in and you take both hands off the boom momentarily.
If the rig falls forward, adjust your front lines back a bit. If the rig falls back, adjust the front line back a bit (see how this goes for you as I often get the adjustment direction backwards and I'm not sailing to day to check it out).
When the rig just stands there, with no hands, you have the fore and aft balance correct.
Then move the back line forward or back until the rig stays at the same sheeting angle.
If it sheets out a bit, move the rear line back a bit. If it sheets in (whoa, this leads to serious catapaults as if you are not paying attention and a gust comes along, your rig will load up and toss you over the lee side or the front very quickly) move the rear harness line forward until it just stay neutral (does not sheet in or out, giving you steady power.
When you get your lines all set up and balanced correctly, they should be less than a shoulder width apart. (I like mine the width of my hand apart, but you may like yours a bit farther apart.
The reason they need to be pretty close together is that when you spread them, they pull
with much more angular force both fore and aft as you sheet your sail in or out.
The idea here is to get the harness pulling pretty straight out from your hips in a balanced setup so that the rig does not pull your hips in any direction but straight into the sail.
Then set the length so that with your arms nearly fully extended, the harness pulls your hips and butt in (slightly up as well) toward the balance point in your rig which should be around the same height as the boom and at or just behind the point where the luff sleeve attaches to the monofilm in the sail (this does not apply on wide luff race sails).
Get it all adjusted, and you can sail along with both hands off the boom for quite a ways.
This makes other small adjustments etc. much easier as you do not need to focus on "holding the rig up" all the time.
I've taken quite a few newbies boards and rigs out, when they were having problems with their harness line balance, and adjusted the lines to balance for me.
Most of these new (to being hooked in anyway) sailors saw an improvement and a new (better) comfort level when hooked in, immediately.
Getting the lines correctly balanced is really important!
Hope this helps,

Last edited by Roger; 16th May 2010 at 11:58 PM.
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