Harness lines are a minefield of a topic.
Ask 10 pros, amateurs (or even coaches) on any beach which is best or what the ideal size or placements are and you’ll get at least 10 different answers.
It’s the same in our team and with every dedicated, experimenting rider that will find their own personal preferences on the most efficient setup.
Here speed and wave sailor Steve Thorp, who uses both fixed and adjustable lines, gives us his take. (Steve is 5' 10" & 165 lbs / 178 cm. & 75 kg.)
For waves I prefer to use fixed 28-cm. lines, clean and simple.
I don't think line length is super important, but for me, according to the classic convention, the 28s loop to my elbow and are short enough that I can rest my arms easily, but not so long that I accidentally hook in.
The other way of preventing accidental hook-in is to go super long, but I just can't sail with them that long.
I've tried slightly longer than 28s, but just don't get on with them either. 28s every time …
For speed I use adjustable lines 28-34 cm. and I do occasionally adjust the length to suit different conditions.
But having just checked them now they are fully wound in to 28 cm. on both sides!
If my lines are too short, I feel like I'm too close to the rig and not able to stick my weight out far enough to balance against the gusts.
If my lines are too long, I feel like I can't control the trim angle of the rig easily enough as both my arms are outstretched.
It seems that again 28 cm. is about right for me.
I might use slightly longer lines for speed if I'm not fully powered and perhaps a slightly higher boom.
I can then concentrate and getting the rig as upright and efficient as possible. (A different technique to hanging on in 50 knots …)
I'd be wary of ‘Gurus’ telling you there's a right or wrong way to set your lines up.
If you look at the top 10 fastest sailors, they all have massively different stances and line lengths.
Experiment and be prepared to adapt a little - but often what feels right is best.
Posted by Brian McDowell, Marketing.