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Kiteboarding 101: Everything You Need to Know

A step-by-step guide to Silicon Valley's most popular extreme sport.

Harnesses

There are two styles of harnesses for kites: a seat harness and a waist harness.

Seat Harnesses

Most beginners will opt for a seat harness while they're learning for the added security and fit. "A seat harness puts you into a sitting back posture while riding," says Meyers, "This is helpful if you struggle with back problems," but it also helps novice kiteboarders gain more control over the kite since "you can use more of your body weight as leverage against the kite." However, a seat harness has a few setbacks, it doesn't quite provide the freedom and range of motion that a waist harness does, and according to Meyers, "can put a little unwanted pressure on the man parts."

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Waist Harnesses

Waist harnesses offer a little more freedom of movement and mobility, but are harder to control. "A waist harness sits above your hips and requires a bit more back and core strength until your muscles get used to it," says Meyers. It "puts you into a leaning back and more controlled upright position. Proper fit is really important; you don't want too much pressure on your ribs.

Choosing which type of harness is best for you is ultimately a matter of comfort and fit but always make sure that the release system can be adjusted and released quickly and easily.

The kiteboarding pros recommend these harnesses:

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