Types Of Windsurfing Harness

Table of Contents

Windsurfing is an exciting water sport that involves riding a board while being propelled by wind using a sail. A harness line, also known as a boom line, is a crucial accessory in windsurfing that connects the harness to the boom, allowing the rider to balance the sail’s power. Different types of windsurfing harness lines exist, varying in length, thickness, and material used for construction. Choosing the right harness line can enhance comfort, control, and performance, depending on individual preferences and wind conditions. In this article, we will explore different types of windsurfing harness lines and their lengths, answering some common questions beginners and experienced windsurfers might have.


What are the Different Types of Windsurfing Harness Lines?

The three main types of windsurfing harness lines are Adjustable, Non-Adjustable, and Fixed Harness Lines.

a) Adjustable Harness Lines: These harness lines can be changed in length according to the rider’s preference, and they come in two types.

i) Snap-clamp Adjustable Harness Lines: These harness lines have a snap-clamp mechanism that adjusts the length by snapping the line into different holes on the boom. They are quick and easy to adjust in the water, but they can be challenging to use if the snap-clamp wears out or if the size of the hole on the boom is not compatible with the snap-clamp.

ii) Sliding Adjustable Harness Lines: These harness lines have a sliding mechanism that allows the rider to move the line along the boom without needing to adjust it in the water, providing more flexibility and control. They are also easier to change if the size of the boom changes, and they work well on a wide range of sizes and shapes of booms.

b) Non-Adjustable Harness Lines: These harness lines have a fixed length and can be bought in standard lengths or cut to measure. Non-adjustable lines are less versatile than adjustable harness lines, but they have the advantage of being more dependable, durable, and less bulky.

c) Fixed Harness Lines: Fixed Harness Lines are the most basic and are fixed to the harness and the boom. Unlike adjustable harness lines, they cannot be changed without replacing the entire line. They are less common and offer less flexibility and control than other types of harness lines.


What is the Ideal Length for a Windsurfing Harness Line?

The ideal length of a windsurfing harness line depends on individual preferences, skills, and the sail’s size and type. If the harness line is too long, it will prevent the rider from controlling the sail’s shape and power. On the other hand, if the harness line is too short, it will cause tension on the arms and restrict movement. Generally, shorter harness lines are used for smaller sails and stronger winds, while longer harness lines are used for larger sails and lighter winds. The recommended length for an adjustable harness line is around 20 to 30 inches, while a non-adjustable harness line should be cut to measure to fit the rider’s arm span comfortably.


What Material is Used for Constructing Harness Lines?

Harness lines are made of different materials, ranging from polyester, nylon, dyneema, and spandex. The material used determines the line’s durability, flexibility, and strength.

a) Polyester: Polyester is a common material for windsurfing harness lines as it is relatively affordable and has good wear resistance. However, polyester does not offer the same level of stretch and flexibility as other materials, which can lead to discomfort and strain on the arms.

b) Nylon: Nylon is a more flexible and durable material than polyester, offering better resistance to abrasion and UV rays. Nylon harness lines also offer more comfort during long rides, reducing the risk of arm and shoulder fatigue.

c) Dyneema: Dyneema is a high-performance material used for making windsurfing harness lines. It has exceptional strength, flexibility, and resistance to wear and tear. Dyneema harness lines are also thinner and lighter than other materials, reducing drag and providing better control.

d) Spandex: Spandex is a stretchy material that offers extreme flexibility and comfort for windsurfers who prefer a tight fit. However, spandex is not as durable as other materials, and it tends to stretch out over time, reducing the length of the line.


Can You Use Kiteboarding Harness Lines for Windsurfing?

Kiteboarding harness lines can be used for windsurfing, but they are not recommended. Kiteboarding harness lines are generally thicker and stronger than windsurfing harness lines, offering better support for the heavier power generated by kiteboarding kites. However, they are not as flexible or comfortable as windsurfing harness lines, leading to arm and shoulder fatigue during extended rides. Using kiteboarding harness lines also poses a safety risk as they can become entangled with the rigging components while windsurfing.


How Do You Choose the Right Harness Line for You?

Choosing the right harness line depends on several factors, including your skill level, riding style, body size, and wind conditions. The following tips can help you select the best harness line for your needs:

a) Consider the sail’s size and type: The size and type of sail you use will influence the harness line’s length and thickness. A smaller sail will require a shorter and thinner harness line than a larger sail.

b) Determine your riding style: Freestyle windsurfers may prefer shorter harness lines for more control and maneuverability, while wave riders might opt for longer harness lines for better stability.

c) Think about your body size: Your height and arm span should also be considered when choosing a harness line. Taller riders may require longer lines than shorter individuals.

d) Check the materials: The material of the harness line will influence its durability, stretch, and flexibility. Consider the material that best suits your individual needs and preference.

e) Try before you buy: If possible, try different harness lines to find the one that suits you best.


How Do You Maintain Your Windsurfing Harness Line?

Proper care and maintenance of your windsurfing harness line can prolong its life and ensure optimal performance. Here are some tips on how to maintain your harness lines:

a) Rinse with fresh water after each use: Saltwater can cause corrosion and damage to the harness line’s components. Rinse your harness line thoroughly with fresh water after each use to remove any salt or sand.

b) Check for signs of wear or damage: Regularly inspect your harness line for signs of wear and tear, including frayed areas, rips, or knots. Replace any worn or damaged lines immediately to prevent them from snapping during a ride.

c) Store in a cool and dry place: Store your harness line in a cool and dry place away from sunlight, moisture, or extreme temperatures. This will prevent the material from degrading and loss of elasticity.



In conclusion, windsurfing harness lines are essential accessories that play a crucial role in maintaining balance and control while windsurfing. Choosing the right harness line depends on individual preferences, skill level, and wind conditions. There are different types of harness lines available, including adjustable, non-adjustable, and fixed harness lines. The ideal length of a harness line depends on sail size and preference, and the material used influences the line’s durability, strength, and flexibility. Proper care and maintenance of your harness line can prolong its life and ensure optimal performance for your windsurfing experience.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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