How To Measure Windsurfing Harness Lines

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Windsurfing is one of the most exciting and exhilarating water sports. This sport requires a lot of energy, balance, and skill. One of the essential attributes of a windsurfer is the harness line. Harness lines are an essential piece of equipment in windsurfing as it provides a connection between the sail and the windsurfer. In this article, we will learn how to measure windsurfing harness lines and the different methods.


What are harness lines?

In windsurfing, harness lines are adjustable straps or ropes that attach to the boom (the horizontal bar that the windsurfer holds onto) and allow the windsurfer to connect themselves to the sail. Harness lines are an essential component of the windsurfing rig, as they help transfer the force generated by the sail to the windsurfer’s body, reducing strain on the arms and allowing for better control and maneuverability.

Harness lines are typically made of strong, durable materials such as webbing or rope and are adjustable in length. They are attached to the boom at two points, usually using a simple loop or a specialized harness line attachment point. The length of the harness lines can be customized based on the windsurfer’s preference, body size, and sailing conditions.

When windsurfing, the windsurfer slips their hands through the harness lines, which are positioned at a comfortable height, and then grabs the boom. By doing this, the windsurfer can transfer the pull of the sail directly to their body through the harness lines, primarily using their core muscles, hips, and legs instead of relying solely on arm strength. This allows for more efficient sailing, better control of the sail’s power, and the ability to stay on the water for longer periods without fatigue.


What are the materials used to make harness lines?

Harness lines are made from various materials, including polypropylene, polyester, and Spectra, among others. Polypropylene and polyester are the most popular and cost-effective materials. Spectra is a more expensive but durable option. The ropes should be strong enough to support the windsurfer’s weight and be comfortable on the hands.


How do I measure harness lines?

The following are the steps to measure harness lines:

Step 1: Stand on the board in your windsurfing stance.

Step 2: Extend your arms towards the boom.

Step 3: Ensure that your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle.

Step 4: Measure the distance from the boom to the harness loop on the waist.

Step 5: Add two inches to the measured distance to account for knots, loops, and adjustments.

Step 6: Cut the rope to the desired length.


What is the ideal harness line length?

The ideal harness line length is determined by the sailor’s height, weight, and windsurfing experience. Generally, shorter harness lines are better for advanced windsurfers, while longer harness lines are ideal for beginners or heavier windsurfers. The recommended length range is between 22 and 30 inches.


Should I opt for adjustable or fixed-length harness lines?

It is recommended to go for adjustable harness lines as they offer more flexibility and customization options. Fixed harness lines are ideal for beginners who are not yet sure of their preferred length. Adjustable harness lines allow you to adjust the rope’s length to match the wind, water, and sail conditions.


How do I set up my harness lines?

The following are steps to set up harness lines:

Step 1: Attach the harness line to the harness loop on your waist.

Step 2: Slide the rope through the boom, starting from the back towards the front.

Step 3: Tie a knot behind the boom to hold the rope in place.

Step 4: Adjust the harness line’s length to fit your desired length.

Step 5: Tie another knot in front of the boom to hold the rope in place.

Step 6: Adjust the harness lines’ position on the boom to match your preferred windsurfing style.



Windsurfing harness lines are essential for any windsurfer, whether a beginner or an experienced sailor. They help distribute the force on the sail and reduce arm and shoulder fatigue. It is crucial to measure the length of your harness lines and choose the appropriate material for your windsurfing needs. Adjustable harness lines are the best option as they offer more flexibility and comfort when windsurfing. Following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily measure and set up your harness lines for a perfect windsurfing experience.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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