How To Stop Your Waist Harness From Riding Up

by REAL Watersports

It's a question that we get asked all the time! If you're investing your hard earned cash in a top of the line waist harness then it should never ride up right? Unfortunately that's not always the case. To dig a little deeper into this problem I asked 10 of our REAL Pros for their tips and advice on how to tackle this simple problem and their answers were very surprising.

I expected to hear the same answer regurgitated 10 different ways but instead I found that everyone has their own little tips or methods to keep your waist harness around your waist (or stomach).

After gathering everyone's answers together I went out for a session and actually found myself using everyone's tips to help keep my harness in place while riding. These tips really helped me out so hopefully you will find them just as useful!

What the REAL Pros say:

Justin Hermann:
I try to avoid standing around with my kite straight above me and I always tighten my harness again once I get into the water.

Kevin Wilder:
When sizing your harness, if you're on the fence between two sizes then go for the smaller size. I could wear a SM or an XS so I choose the XS and that works well for me. Every time I put my harness on I make sure I tighten it as much as I can.

Tommie Kogut:
It's not always your harness - it can be your stance. Try to remember ass-in not ass-out! If you're still learning, you may find there's no way to stop it riding up so don't be afraid to use a seat harness for a while.

Nate Appel:
The hold down strap that most harnesses have is there for a reason - use it! That's the single biggest thing that helps me.

Matt Nuzzo:
Put your harness on right and get the right size the tighten it as much as you possible can. If you're still struggling, take a look at the Mystic Code. It compresses from the front and the back which makes all the difference!

Chris Lazinski:
I find that I can grab the edge of my harness and wiggle it down while riding. If you carry your width in the middle of your body and put your waist harness around your widest point (your stomach) - it's going to end up under your armpits! If that's your body shape, you are a better fit for a seat harness.

Lulu Vroman:
Wear your harness really really tight. I choose a harness that I can barely velcro when I first get it because I know it's going to loosen up over time.

Toby Diggens:
When my harness rides up I just ride towards the kite so the lines go slack. Then its much easier to push it back down and carry on riding.

Harmony Nadjiwon:
I often ask someone to help me tighten my harness before I launch my kite because I can't get it tight enough by myself!

Trip Forman:
Keep your board in between you and your kite. If you are jumping a lot, keep your kite low while riding in between jumps. It will force your harness back down.

My Answer:
I find it helpful to grab hold of the center lines just above the chicken loop to take the tension out of the lines. Then it's easy to push your harness back down.

Gear or technique?

Hopefully all of those tips will help you out when you are riding. The overall message is that in lot of situations, your harness will ride up a little and you just need to learnt to push it back down. If you're harness keeps riding up, we really recommend the Mystic Code. Because it has the BOA compression on the back as well as the spreader bar compression on the front - it stays in place like nothing else! Check out Matt's review of the Code 1 below...

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8 thoughts on “How To Stop Your Waist Harness From Riding Up”

  • Brian

    Some bad advice tight harnesses break ribs

  • Jason O'Brien

    I love my Liquid Force impact vest it really helps keep the harness down and prevents harness rash, also if you've ever gotten the wind knocked out of you it's no fun trying to tread water when you can't breathe.

  • chris kadyszewski
    chris kadyszewski August 26, 2013 at 10:56 am

    the single best thing you can do to is to NOT put on a dry harness. I always throw my harness in the drink, then put it on .

  • Michael

    i agree Pete's assessment here, I know two others, one girl one guy that had their harnesses on too tightly and wound up fracturing a rib. On Aug 3, my Mystic warrior iii may have jamped up against my intercostals making my upper left abdominal muscle and its adjoining intercostal spaz so hard I thought I'd broken a rib. Has anyone else experienced this?

  • Curt

    or get a Ocean Rodeo hybrid harness. Problem solved (nicely)

  • Dylan Foster

    I always try to keep my kite lower rather than higher while riding, it keeps the pull on your harness at a lower angle and prevents it from being jerked up any time you hit a piece of chop.

  • CSB

    Set it once and ride all day. Keep trying different brands and models until one fits right. Its not going to always be the same for everyone so try them all on.