Pics: WSUK, James Jagger Photography
Windsurfing harnesses have come a long way in the last few years. Gone are the days of having exposed, chafe inducing webbing straps rubbing at your sensitive bits. Nowadays everything’s a bit more engineered, polished and tech. Ergonomic 3D pre-shaping, support where you most need and all manner of bell and whistle features make harnesses more than just an accessory you chuck in your kit box at the end of each session.
When you think about it windsurf harnesses are super important pieces of gear. It’s the main thing that connects rider to rig, without which you wouldn’t be as comfortable planing in high winds and nowhere near as efficient. Plus, spaghetti limbs would be a thing for everyone post-sail – either that or we’d all feature Popeye pumped forearms!
ION need no introduction. The brand’s range of windsurfing accessories having been on the scene for a while. All products are high end with functionality and style in mind. ION’s distinct looking Radius waist harness is a case in point – especially the grey and electric blue version we’re testing here.
Billed as a crossover type, that will suit sailors into manoeuvre orientated riding with a bit of freeride blasting chucked in for good measure, its design offers support where windies need it most, yet doing away with excess material. The result is a slim fitting harness manufactured from memory foam that literally welds to the user’s body shape for best possible fit. We’ll also add that it can help flatter wearers, if that’s is a requirement…
With a 3D contour system each part of the Radius has been independently formed to get that super snug fit. As we said at the start harnesses are no longer just a bit of foam to hug waistlines. As such there’s minimal movement when the Radius is in place, feeling part of your bodily unit as a whole.
A foam cushioning pad across the spreader bar adds further comfort while excess webbing hanging loose can be tidied away inside ION’s nifty rubberised Belt Garage. We loved the spreader bar locking mechanism which is a push and release affair – super easy to use but equally 100% secure.
On the water we found the Radius sits a tad higher than some harnesses, which fits in with the manoeuvre oriented sailing theme. This allows smooth transitions between hooked in and unhooked riding – key if a ramp or optimum piece of water should show up for your desired move. Blasting is no issue with ION’s Radius, there being plenty of support for a few straight line runs and the whole thing feels dependable.
Attention grabbing, stylistically appealing and functional to boot ION’s Radius harness is a dependable tool for anyone into freemove windsurfing. Straddling wave, freestyle, bump and jump whilst coping with back and forth blasting runs the Radius will suit a wide range of riders. Levels of detail and technology put into the Radius are evident making it look, feel and perform every bit the top shelf waist harness it is.