CHOOSING A HARNESS ?

4 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU TO FIND YOUR HARNESS …
1 – WHICH TYPE OF FLYING ?

Which type of flying are you planning to do?

 

Teaching

– Passive safety is the priority.
– Seating posture, easy transition from running to seating to standing.

Progression – ( seating posture, solidity, protection )

– Easy transition from running to seating, comfort and turbulence buffering factors.
– Weight and volume are not priority factors.

Cross country / Competition – ( reclined posture, comfort, protection )

– Performance is at the heart of the choice decision: The contour ( reclined posture, speed-bag, foot-rest ), comfort for long duration flights.

Hiking & Flying: overall light weight with minimal volume

– Weight and volume are key factors.
– Passive safety level chosen based on the preferred overall gear weight.
– A reserve parachute is an option not to be overlooked.

Tandem

– Two harness types to consider for either pilot or passenger.
– The decision will be based on the seating style scenario.  The type of protection – Airbag or Bumpair.

Acro ( safety, strength, feeling )

– Safety is the essential element. Passive protection, dual reserve parachute pocket ( see ACRO BASE SYSTEM ).
– A proper fitting harness is a determinant factor for good piloting skills.
– Solidity is important in view of a load bearing impositions.

2 – WHICH SIZE ?

Most of the harnesses are nowadays, produced in several sizes to outfit various pilot shapes and weights.

 

SUP’AIR harness size table

tabeau_tailles

All dimensions change from one harness size to the next. It is therefore strongly recommended to do a “hang-test” to find to best height / weight compromise and choose a harness size best suited to the pilot’s physic.

– The backrest height adjustments.

– The seat width adjustments, to adapt to various waist sizes.

– The seating depth, accommodating leg length and waist width.

 

Hang-test

Mandatory. Will enable to :

– Verify the harness size

– Verify the comfort level

–  Identify and play with the various adjustment

– Preset the harness

 

Harness size pilot

– XS (Extra Small) = 1,45 – 1,55 m

– S (Small) = 1,55 – 1,70 m

– M (Medium) = 1,70 – 1,85 m

– L (Large) = 1,85 – 2,00 m

– XL (Extra large) = > 1,90 m

 

Warning !

Always try a new harness with your usual wing. It will place you in a better spot to compare the previous harness model with the new one. As a precautionary measure; try one new adjustment at the time only.

3 – WHICH SEATING POSTURE IN FLIGHT ?

Which level? : beginner, progression, confirmed pilot or advanced

Determine the flying possibilities and seating postures possible – upright, semi recline, reclined…

Ask yourself the question on whether or not a speed-system, a foot-rest, additional gear and passive protection are needed.

 

Seating upright

A natural posture for good visibility. Easy to adopt while facilitating a harness exit foregoing the landing phase. Very comfortable, reassuring for stabilizing the pilot while restraining flight behavioramplitude. Recommended to beginner or intermediate pilots.

Semi-reclined

Slightly recline seating posture. Allows for better support. Becomes more adapted and natural when pushing the speed-bar with the legs. Give a heightened sense of control and better contact with the wing. Increased chance of experiencing a «Twist» in case of a collapse. Requests an adaptation period. Comfort will increase ( warmer ) and so is the Cx ( Drag coefficient factor ) when using a Speedbag ( cocoon ).

Reclined flying posture

Enables for better Cx numbers. Can only be implemented by use of a Speedbag and Speed-bar. Can be enhanced with a streamlined rear harness profile to minimize resistance while always pointing /flying into the relative wind, or the overall performance will suffer. Always mind the amplitude and speed of any occurring flight problem.

4 – SAFETY ?

 

ACTIVE Security 
– ABS ( Anti Balancing System ) located at the harness / risers connection points

The ABS, the main carabiners connection points, the harness structural design are other ways to limit or not, the harness’s stability while modifying the wing’s behavior.

Being able to transit from the running phase to a seating posture without the use of one’s hands, is an added safety factor.

The chest strap adjustment is important as well ( see ABS ). All harnesses do not react in the same way with similar and equal adjustments.

abs

 

– ABS(Anti Balance System)

The ABS is a device enabling the pilot to weight-shift on the lifting side of the wing while limiting the extent of him tilting toward the non carrying part of the glider ( asymmetrical collapse ) and slow down the acceleration of the veering collapsed side.

 In turbulent flights, the ABS limits tilting motions due to lateral instability. Inversely, the ABS limits the pilot’s weight-shifting abilities in the harness.

The ABS acts on the cross-straps located at chest strap level. The chest-strap width adjustments has a profound effect on the overall harness stability.

 

PASSIVE Safety
– Shock absorption system

To protect back and vertebras while limiting injuries after impact from a low elevation fall.

 

Bumpair(Mousse Bag)

The shockwave absorption is made by escaping air from a specially designed housing incasing medium density foam blocks. The shockwave absorption is therefore promoted by the air volume able to escape through the housing’s fabric.

Several sizes: the thicker the foam; the more efficient the inertial damping effect.

+ : Better profile design than which of an Airbag. Lateral deviation does not occur during a sided fall). Not prone to tearing the BumpAir housing material

– : Not as good a damping effect as with an AirBag due to lesser internal air volume. Large volume and added weight when stowed away in the backpack

 

Airbag

works by letting internal pressurized relative air, escape. The shockwave absorption is therefore promoted by the air volume able to escape from the bag.

+ : Reduced packing volume. Light. Pre-infllated protector by use of the Pre-Inflation Wire System® enabling the Airbag to be filled with relative air while offering an efficient protection prior takeoff and without relative wind ( SUP’AIR Patent ).

– : Not immediate full protection capacity during takeoff. Can twist itself during a slanted fall. Can be damaged on abrasive surfaces