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  1. #1
    Super Moderator na-omi's Avatar
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    Harnesses for Women

    Just answered a Private Message (at the usual great length) and thought it might be worth posting here for all the girly lurkers out there . All identities have been removed to protect the innocent .

    So, response to a query from relative newcomer just trying the harness for the first time and wondering about getting one for herself (go for it early I say):

    on the harness front, get one of your own as soon as possible, you risk doing real harm to your back in your husband's.... trust me I tried this and really regretted it! You need properly-fitting support, particularly in the curvy lower back region.

    there are a few choices, from different brands, but always worth going for a female specific one as the anatomy is really different, also, guys harnesses are rarely available small enough for our waists and are mostly too deep to fit comfortably between ribs and hip bones, or even under shoulder blades in some cases.

    try the prolimit puregirl (called pure now I think)
    dakine wahine (dual kite and wind, make sure you get a wind bar, not the hammerhead kite one or you could get trapped in twisted lines. You can cut the kite handle off the back if you want, but it shouldn't get in the way)
    ion also do a women's harness
    there may be others in different shops...

    Make sure the bar is short enough not to pull away from your body when the harness is fully tightened. If it does this get it swapped for a shorter one, I use a 6" bar on all my harnesses to allow them to go small enough around the waist and the bar to stay close to the front of the harness.

    get the best you can afford, it's the one bit of kit you won't progress out of, but go on fit and function, not price, as the most expensive won't necessarily be the best

    I use guys' Dakine T3 and T4 but only in XS (extra small) which are really hard to come by, and also their older model Nexus (softer shell, good for hot climes with no wetsuit) in XS because I like the sliding harness bar, but to begin with a fixed bar is less complicated and easier to learn with as you always know where the hook is after a catapult!

    Make sure you get one with a quick release buckle that you can easily operate (in a panic, with your eyes closed, trapped under the sail and a breaking wave... just kidding). I've got one that's apparently quite tricky to release, but haven't ever got caught out (so far!), but if you're buying new you might as well get the most reassuring one you can, one less thing to worry about!

    for sure don't buy one you can't try on, but if you go to a proper shop you should be able to hang off a harness line rigged up in the shop and test the fit and feel with your weight in the harness. Get your husband or a knowledgeable shop person to show you the best positions to try , but make sure you really lean out and forwards, and twist your torso forwards and look over your front shoulder to simulate really pushing upwind with the rig raked back as this is when most harnesses are most uncomfortable, especially if they're too deep in the back like most guys' ones are.

    you need to be able to tighten the harness enough so that it doesn't ride up, and the bar stays down when you hang down on it (really test this in the shop by swinging on it with all your weight), but still be able to breathe! Some of the newer models have the kite-style twin webbing straps at the end to help keep the bar down.

    if you're going to be sailing without a wetsuit anywhere or have a double lined suit, it also needs to have a sticky inside surface so it doesn't ride up over a rash vest... a lot of the older women's ones forgot about this bit!

    hope this helps a bit, etc.....
    Last edited by na-omi; 18th July 2012 at 11:38 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Please tell me I'm not the only one that was expecting this to be the 1st Fifty Shades of Grey thread on the forum
    Can't jump, won't jump.

  3. #3
    Senior Member /Vico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boards_PaulP View Post
    Please tell me I'm not the only one that was expecting this to be the 1st Fifty Shades of Grey thread on the forum
    It is what it is.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator na-omi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boards_PaulP View Post
    Please tell me I'm not the only one that was expecting this to be the 1st Fifty Shades of Grey thread on the forum
    I was relying on you using your imagination ... take it away PaulP....

  5. #5
    Super Moderator na-omi's Avatar
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    and there was me thinking it wasn't going to get any views

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  7. #7
    Super Moderator na-omi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phill104 View Post
    aha, quite some choice, cheers Phil

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