At A Glance
ION have a new range of rigid harnesses that came onto the market at the end of last year. Dubbed CS, which stands for Composite Series, the range features a freeride model, the wave version we have here and also a Hadlow model. There are no prizes for guessing what the Hadlow version is for!
The idea is each harness has different amounts of flex according to the needs of the rider within that area of the sport. In addition to the rigid carbon backplate ION have developed the new C Bar spreader bar which uses a lever to lock the bar into place. It’s really easy to open and close and perfect for cranking the tension on.
The C Bar also features a moulded EVA pad which surrounds the fibre injected material that makes up the actual bar. There is a surf version which uses a rope set up and also a standard version with a hook. Ours was shipped with the standard hook version but we’ll get hold of the rope version for a test soon.
On The Water
This is definitely one of the more flexible harnesses we have had on test from the rigid genre. The idea is the flexibility allows the harness to move with your body rather than create any pressure points. We found the harness to be very comfortable, although for my body shape I did find it would sometimes rise up a bit. Harnesses are should be fitted to your body and when some of our other testers tried it they didn’t have this issue, so be sure to try one on first.
The C Bar Lock and Go set up was really impressive and it is great to see brands thinking outside the box when it comes to connecting spreader bars. You can get your tension set on your first ride and then just open and close the lever as you need to open and close the harness and get the exact same tension every time you ride. This is definitely the highlight of the system for us. No more riding out only to find you didn’t crank hard enough on the straps, once set up you can just forget about it and get the perfect tension every time.
There are two D rings on either side of the harness as well as a handle pass leash attachment loop too. Both welcome features on any harness, there is also a safety knife located in the bottom of the tension belt too, a great addition.
If you want a rigid harness but have found some of the stiffer models not to your liking the CS Wave might be for you, it has a lot more flex than some of the other models on the market. We love the C Bar locking system and the extra D rings and safety knife. A very well polished product with the usual excellent build quality from ION!
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!