At A Glance
I've said it once (or twice, or three times), and I'll say it again: AK Durable Supply Co. has a unique approach to product development within the watersports industry, and I'm here for it! I love seeing what comes out of the workshop, and the new AK Ether waist harness has been on my radar for years.
Years, you say? But for a newly released product? Well, the AK Durable Supply Co. crew doesn't do things halfway. This product has been years in the making because it is such a unique design that getting it right was the key. The V2 version has put a little polish on what was already an impressive harness.
The Ether is a minimalist harness that is super light, and features a unisex design. It takes up minimal space in the board bag while still offering ergonomic lumbar support using their 3D ergonomically shaped load plate and what they call Fly-Line load distribution technology. If you took apart an Ether harness, you would find a web of lines designed to offer insane support without increasing bulk.
Yep, no bells and whistles like loads of padding, seams, or reinforcements that are not needed. This harness is light and slick, and it is somehow still very comfortable. How can a harness so small that it can roll up like a little burrito be comfortable? I doubted that myself until I finally got my hands on one in my size. In some markets, these things have been so coveted and hard to come by that if you can get your hands on one, I strongly recommend giving it a try!
Side note, the AK Ether harness is compatible with all AK spreader bars!
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
On The Water
I've been riding the AK Ether harness for several months now, and it's safe to say that, for the way I ride, it's perfect. It's not a padded, cushy, Harley Davidson style harness. It's a stripped-down, naked bike with only what it needs to do its job. Yet, somehow, it fits right and doesn't put pressure on undue places. It's unexpectedly comfortable, and I often forget it's there.
I'm not really a long session sort of person, so I couldn't tell you how it would feel after 3 hours, but for 60-90 minutes of free riding, wave riding, and some casual airs, this harness works a charm and doesn't cause a fuss. Not to mention, it looks sleek AF on the beach!
I should mention that this is a thin harness, but not a low-profile harness. It actually has some pretty solid coverage from top to bottom on the back, which provides a lot of support, even considering the thin profile.
I paired this harness with the AK Carbon Aerobar, another clever bit of technology that we've covered in a recent review, and I must admit that I feel quite techy and modern in this combo! Being able to click in and out of the harness using their aeroplane seatbelt style system is a breeze.
That said, harness development has been full throttle across the industry, and there's no way to compare an AK harness with an Ion harness or a Mystic, Manera or Prolimit harness. They're all focused on development in different areas, and you've got to choose what works for you.
Harnesses are so individual that trying one for yourself is the only thing I can recommend before making a purchasing decision. While I am a big fan of the AK Ether, you might not feel the same. The only way to know is to try!
I'm blown away time and time again by how this little package can deliver such enjoyable sessions. It's minimalist, compact, comfortable, stylish, and travels like a champion. I'm happy that the simple graphic and minimalist design will be timeless since I plan to be using mine for a long time to come!
This review was in Issue 93 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit AK Durable Supply Co.
By Crystal VenessEditor at IKSURFMAG, Crystal Veness hails from Canada but is based in South Africa. When she isn't busy kitesurfing or reporting on the latest industry news for the mag, she is kicking back somewhere at a windy kite beach or working on creative media projects.