Since 2002, Mystic have developed, improved and extended their harness range year on year proving to be best in class in the harness department and 2021 is no different. By combining quality, innovation, technology and sustainability, Mystic has built an unbeaten reputation that provides a harness for every kitesurfer for every type of riding style.
With the number of different harnesses on the market, it can be easy to get completely lost figuring out which one is right for you. To help you decide which harness is for you, we’ve provided a little insight into the world of harnesses. We then put it to the Mystic team to show us their personal picks, asking them why and we hope it helps you make the choice between hardshell vs softshell, lots of flex vs little flex, Stealth vs Majestic X vs Majestic plus more…
Before the introduction of hardshell harnesses, the softshell harness was the most commonly used harness on the water. The affordable harness that provides flexibility, comfortability and freedom of movement on the water and this still stands today. However as times moved on, the hardshell harness has now become the harness of the future. Providing more back support than the softshell, the hardshell keeps its shape, it’s lighter (absorbs less water), has further freedom of movement and fits to your body shape giving you the feeling that you're more connected to your kit.
What about stiffness and flex? To keep it simple, if you’re making it rain waveriding or throwing down some freestyle tricks, The Majestic provides less stiffness and more flex allowing the harness to twist and follow your body. If freeriding or big air is your thing, then the Stealth and Majestic X is your choice, more stiffness and less flex allowing the harness to stay in place at all times. And if you don’t want to break the bank and want a harness for all round, then the Warrior X is your choice, less stiffness and more flex giving you more freedom of movement.
So what do the Mystic Team have to say and what they ride.
Nick Jacobsen, the crazy Danish man who prefers to jump off buildings with his kite is the ultimate big air and freeride rider. His weapon of choice, the Stealth harness.
No stranger to the King Of The Air podium, when you are going this big, you need the ultimate in stiffness and control.
Add to that the fact he kites, for a his job, multiple daily sessions are a norm, as well as hectic international travel (well pre 2020 anyway), this makes the lack of water absorption a dream! No heavy water-logged gear, no cold wet harness for session number two!
Probably the biggest name in female kitesurfing, the unstoppable waterwoman, she lives off kiting big waves in stormy weather, the days where most people stay inside. Her weapon of choice, the Gem Jalou Harness. Using the same Roven Compositie Bionic Core Frame as the Majestic, the Gem Jalou Harness has a specialised female shaped form for women to shred in.
“Besides that my harness looks feminine and very cool, the Gem Jalou Harness provides me the comfort and support that I need when being out on the water for hours. I never doubt my set-up, it sits well, has amazing flex and I know I can always rely on it which allows me to completely focus on my riding and have a hell of a ride!”
Now to the guy who’s writing this blog... My name is Joe, I am part of the sales team at Watersports World UK, we are the UK/Ireland Distributors for Mystic. With the world going remote, I’ve based myself in the bottom corner of the UK in our own little world, Cornwall, a Mecca for UK watersports. You will either find me waveriding, on the foil, freeriding and even a bit of freestyle here and there. Having the fortunate luxury of testing all the Mystic harnesses, I hope my personal advice will help you make your choice if you are still unsure…
Warrior X Harness
Before the Warrior X was introduced for 2021, the Warrior was my choice of an all round softshell harness. The snug fit, flexibility and comfort was a dream. But then the Warrior X arrived on the scene. Imagine the Warrior was the caterpillar and the Warrior X is the butterfly. Made from zero waste and recycled material, the Warrior X stepped it up with a Bionic Core Frame, meaning better back support and durability than the Warrior. Riding this harness for freeride is the perfect choice, all the benefits of a hardshell harness but it won’t cost you an arm or a leg.
If a harness can make you feel like you are riding like the Mystic athletes (even though I’m not, let's be honest), then Mystic have done something right. When the waves are pumping on the South Coast, the Majestic harness is the harness I grab straight away. I used to grab the Majestic X because I thought the more expensive the harness, the better it will be. BUT, how wrong was I! Getting the right harness for your discipline and style will make a huge difference to your riding, comfort and support. The Majestic has more flex than the Majestic X which I need for wave riding when making a bottom turn or foiling when making a toeside transition. Whereas if I dabble into a bit of Big Air, then the Majestic X is the one, with more stiffness, the harness stays perfectly in place when riding overpowered.
My advice, if you know your preferred style, choose the harness that has been made and developed for that style. If you are an all round, find an all round harness. The key choice is softshell vs hardshell. A hardshell harness is the harness of the future, providing better back support, keeps its shape, it's lighter and fits to your body shape. And if you don’t want to break the bank but still want a hardshell, keep an eye out for that Mystic Warrior X arriving this year...
Hopefully, this has helped you pick the right harness for you. If not, we gave the team at Wetsuit Outlet all the product training they need, so they are on standby ready to answer any questions and get you kitted up.
Written by Joe Taylor, Watersports World UK
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