ION has been a very strong contender for harnesses, wetsuits, board bags, apparel and much more within the kitesurfing industry for a number of years now. Building well-made and comfortable harnesses in a variety of styles.
This issue we got hold of the Apex Select harness in blue and yellow. ION have put a lot of effort and a great deal of research into the design and materials of their harness range and it is apparent when you see one. The Apex Select is a stunning harness, (if the bright colours are not for you, then there is a more subtle black option too) with stylish panel cuts and a simplistic approach to design. Moving onto the features the Apex Select boasts; memory foam which adapts to fit your body, a Quick Fit 2.0 lever buckle system to ensure superfast and effort saving tightening, Pro Pad - a new lightweight and comfortable protection for your ribs and body, as well as X-Spine 2.0 which is an x-style shaped/thermo-moulded EVA protection that will soak up pressure in your back.
When hitting the water using the Apex Select it was apparent that this harness was very comfortable. It did soak up all the pressure from the kite and gave an incredible amount of movement in a variety of moves and riding styles. The only problem we found was that there were points of the harness that dug into hips and ribs on a couple of testers, particularly if riding without a wetsuit or rashie. We must specify this is not a fault with the design of the harness, every harness design is different and every body is different. This just emphasizes how important it is to try a harness on before you buy it to ensure you get the right size and style for your body shape. Despite this the Apex Select was one of the most maneuverable harnesses we have used. It was very grippy and didn't ride up at all. We did find that the spreader bar pad did ride up a little unless you crank it insanely tight, but due to its new soft design it wasn't a problem. With the new buckle system on the Apex it was super easy to tighten up your harness to the exact pressure you wanted.
All in all the Apex Select is an excellent harness for those wanting the best in quality, technical materials and features. We were impressed with the freedom of movement it gave when riding, making this a very versatile harness for riders who like to mix it up a little on the water. For those on more of a budget it’s worth looking at the regular Apex harness for the same style and build quality, just without the luxury of the memory foam. As with anything that requires a good fit, it’s advisable to try a harness on before you purchase.
This review was in Issue 51 of IKSURFMAG.