At A Glance
The ION Apex CURV is the top end waist harness in the CURV range; this line up utilises a new moulded composite structure that promises to be lighter while still being incredibly supportive. The back of the harness shows the distinctive 3D plus spine shaping, and the range features a slightly higher outline than some of the other models for additional support. ION rate this as a ten on their stiffness scale which runs from zero to twenty, they label it as medium stiff.
Elsewhere you will find the C Bar spreader set up as standard, again a moulded piece with plenty of EVA padding Available in a hook and rope sliding version we had the hook set up on this test. The spreader bar also features a relatively new locking mechanism that allows you to easily tension the harness and release it too at the end of the session. There is an Internal Flex Belt to keep the harness in place and plenty of soft EVA and neoprene to ensure you can wear it comfortably for long sessions.
On The Water
The moment you pick up the CURV, you can feel the quality, as harnesses go this is an exceedingly polished product with a lot of attention to detail. It’s incredibly stiff vertically from top to bottom, but there is some flex laterally at the sides. This small amount of flex allows the harness to suit a wider range of back profiles and shapes than a rigid one.
Putting the harness on is a treat, the C Bar spreader bar locking system works well and is easy to use. Put the harness on and tighten up the straps once, then for every session afterwards use the lever style mechanism to loosen and remove and to quickly tension and reattach.
Even though you should rarely ever need to use the straps ION have utilised some of the beefiest ones I have seen in a harness. The plastic coated metal buckles are easy to tension, and the ribbed webbing ensures there is absolutely no slippage. There are a couple of D Rings on either side, which have a non-removable sliding leash attachment point. If you have a short wave or freeride leash, you can easily attach it straight to a D Ring.
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I was seriously impressed with the comfort of this harness, the fit is crucial, and in the past, I have found ION harnesses to perhaps not suit my frame or shape. I was fully expecting this new CURV harness to fall into the same “well made, but for me slightly uncomfy" trap. I was soon eating my preconceptions though, as I found this to be an exceedingly comfortable experience.
I regularly spend hours and hours on the water I need a harness that I can put on and forget about. The Apex CURV 10 did that admirably. Even with the fixed hook riding toeside on the foil, it excelled in the comfort stakes. Of course, you will need to try one to see if it will fit you; we all have different body shapes after all. For me though, the ION Apex CURV 10 gave me no pressure points or discomfort over the hours I spent wearing it.
While the harness is laterally soft, the excellent spreader bar does a good job of keeping the harness shape and preventing any pinching in the sides. I also really liked the wide rubber strap “garages” which make it easy to tuck the extra straps into and keep them out of the way. The included kite knife finishes off what is an excellent package already.
We were hugely impressed with the levels of comfort on offer here, that is then backed with some impeccable build quality and clever features, as harnesses go this has jumped up the ranks to be one of our favourites. It’s a fantastic harness that has been finished to an exceptionally high standard.
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By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!