At A Glance
Dakine have been pumping high-end sporting goods into the extreme sport market for many years now. In kiteboarding they are well known for their Pyro harness, Wahine ladies harness and tons of accessories; board bags, foot straps, clothing. Harnesses from Dakine have undergone many years of research and development and this is visible in their products. When you get your hands on a Dakine product you can feel the quality and know it's going to be robust on the water.
A recent addition to the harness line up is the C-1 harness which is a hard shell harness. These “hard shell” harnesses are becoming more and more popular across the kite market providing added support and less stress being placed on the rider. The adaptive fit composite with a Texon stiffener ensures you get all the support you need without compromising comfort, buddied with a narrow profile shape, it really locks into the lower back. Dakine have added in some memory foam relief zones in the C-1, just to make you even comfier on the water.
Looking at the other design features on the C-1 we see the classic kite handle and leash attachment points, Power Clip lock buckle, safety knife, primary and secondary power belt, spreader bar hold-down strap and buckle covers. These all come together to give you the ultimate non-slip, safe fit.
One feature we love on the C-1 is the left or right leash attachment rings, we all know it's not ideal clipping a safety leash to the rear of our harness. Dakine have added metal loops around the webbing straps on both sides of the harness, simple but a great added feature!
We got our hands on the Maniac spreader bar version. The Maniac spreader bar is a sliding version of Dakine’s famous hammerhead spreader, perfect for slashing the waves, foiling or racing. The webbing is replaceable so if you experience any wear there's no need to don out for a new full spreader.
On The Water
As soon as the power belt of the C-1 is on, you feel secure. It’s incredible how much tighter the harness locks onto your body with this. Buckling up the spreader and locking it in place is simple, keeping the straps tightened and tucked away with ease.
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It really is amazing how much comfortable it is twisting to power upwind with the Maniac spreader. Hitting the waves the Maniac spreader excelled again, the extra movement created gave such a free flowing riding experience. The Maniac is less flowing than that of a rope or pulley system and we did have some moments where there was slight amount of friction, however, it gives more of a solid feeling which some people prefer. Another massive plus was that there is less change in bar position vertically, which great for those with shorter arms.
We popped the normal hammerhead spreader on for a boost and to see how the C-1 felt with some big hangtime and freestyle. Riding with power is something we all love from time to time, when these narrower designed harnesses hit the market a worry of mine was the movement you could get with these. On the C-1 there wasn't one bit, on stacked days trying to push your harness back down is a nightmare, but that's a distant memory with the C-1. This narrow design gave so much flexibility and a huge range of unrestricted movement. Hours on the water felt like minutes, the C-1 was super comfortable and supportive.
The C-1 rocks, the narrow design gives you so much flexibility and feels far less restrictive. It feels solid when riding, stays in place comfortably and doesn't budge. Constructed to the usual robust standard that Dakine has become renowned for it should last for a good few season, and has plenty of neat extras too. With the Maniac sliding spreader it is amazing for those slashing the waves, foiling and racing, and those who want to enjoy some carving freeriding too.For more information visit Dakine