At A Glance
The ION Apex Curv 13 is a top of the line hard shell harness from the popular accessories brand; they grade all their harnesses with a stiffness rating, were at 13 here. Their scale goes from 20 at the top end for the ultra-stiff Riot CS down to a rating of 4 for their Axis Kite harness. The backplate is made from the thermal composite Curv material that ION developed, it’s got a high profile to it to offer lots of support, and they grade it as medium stiff, to stiff.
The harness is compatible with the new C-Bar 3.0 and Kite Knife Multitool; this innovative set up is really something to behold. Instead of changing out the entire spreader bar when switching between rope and hook setups, you can use the multitool on the kite knife to unscrew three screws on the back of the spreader bar and swap out the hook itself.
ION has a range of hooks for this season, including the new Quicklock Hook; this creative system aims to ensure you are always securely connected to the chicken loop. The hook snaps over the chicken loop when you want to hook in, but you have to lift the lever to disengage the hook. This means you don’t need to use the donkey dick and should never have a ghost connection ever again. It’s really ingenious the way it’s been put together, and it’s a straightforward process to swap out the hooks.
On The Water
If you are a fan of the ION fit for their harnesses, then this is going to work really well for you. The slight give in the backplate widens the appeal across a range of body shapes and ensures you get a comfortable ride too. Unlike a lot of lower-profile harnesses, the Apex Curv does offer a higher aspect, which gives more support and spreads the load but provides a different feel to the more minimal harnesses out there.
We didn’t have any issues with the harness riding up and found it comfortable on the water. We are big fans of the Quicklook Hook too, for beginner to intermediate riders who aren’t unhooking it’s a no brainer. Extra safety is always a good thing. The C-bar 3.0 spreader itself is fantastic, it’s very light, it doesn’t ride up, and there is a comfortable EVA pad to protect your lower chest on those endless boosting days.
We did find initial set up tricky, the gap for the buckles in the buckle garage is quite tight, so getting the spreader bar on initially was a bit of a faff. Once on it shouldn’t ever need to come off as you can unscrew the hook and swap it out for the rope slider or the Quicklock Hook depending on how you want to ride.
The ION Apex Curv 13 is a very polished harness that is packed with features when you consider how good the C-Bar 3.0 is too; it’s a set up to rival the very best. If you want the extra support of the high back harness, then this is an excellent choice. We loved the additional safety of the Quicklock Hook too, easy to use, easy to swap out, and well designed.
This review was in Issue 84 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit ION Products
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!