Importance of harness hook height

We previously mentioned the Pros and Cons of Waist Harnesses and Seat Harnesses for various styles of windsurfing. But not all harness types hook heights are equal. You can find higher-hooked seat harnesses and quite low-hooked waist harnesses on the market, so which is the one you need? Yes, generally speaking, seat harnesses allow a locked-in feel - such as for racing or performance free riding - and waist harnesses deliver easier hooking in and out and allow for more 'reactive' sailing. I.e., for freestyle or wavesailing, where you need to easily and regularly be in and out of the harness. LOW, MEDIUM OR HIGH? A lot of these riding positions are more specifically related to hook height. Seat harnesses usually have the lowest hooks and waist harnesses the highest.


Low hook height race seat harness - for ultimate low-down, locked-in power control.

 However, many top-level coaches advise that waist harnesses be worn with the hook below the belly button. In reality they are often much higher and ride up the stomach due to either poor fit or body shape. This advice suggests that no hook be positioned too high.


Waist harness with internal contours to fit the body and prevent riding up and maintain steady hook height

PERFECT BALANCE There are solutions such as mid-height freeride seat harnesses that allow a 'best of both worlds' solution for a wide range of sailing that will not ride up, but allow the rider to 'sit' on the power for faster sailing and still have some agility to unhook swiftly for gybes and jumps.

'Hourglass' figures can also benefit from having a seat harness that keeps the hook at the optimum belly button level.

Medium hook height seat harness - good for a mix of blasting/free riding and a few jumps.

People with straighter hips will be able to have their hook positioned in the recommended medium height by a quality, regular waist harness that grips the body and does not slip upwards.

Apart from correct fit -  a lot of hook height issues can also be solved by using longer harness lines than you might be used to that can prevent waist harness hooks riding up on lines that are too short. You can also experiment with boom height to get this balance right and your stance and equipment working in harmony. If you are in doubt, book a clinic with an experienced coach and trust your local store to help you get the right fit.