Is your harness weaker than your lines?

broken Ion Apex hook
broken Ion Apex hook

Angry. Disappointed. Hurt. Feelings that are hard to mix with a fun sport like kiteboarding. But when you come down the hard way -literally- because a harness hook gave way such feelings are understandable. It is worrying that we needed little effort to find 30 bent or even broken hooks. This is also when we realised how little we know about hooks. On our lines we can find much more information. Lines can hold a couple of hundreds of kilograms easily. And we usually have four of them. But what are the limits for our kite hooks? The majority of our list concerns two brands only. They clearly break or bent sooner than our lines. An issue that is unnecessary and potentially dangerous.

250 Kg’s the bare minimum

Not everybody needs a harnas hook that can withstand more than -lets say- 700 kg’s. But what should be a critical minimum? We asked Evan Kruger -a line, foil and custom bar specialist – explains that ‘From experience I know that a 70 kg rider already can bend a stainless steel ring which can hold 250 kg’s. So imagine a 100 kg rider in a powered session. I would say 500 Kg’s minimum is a nice approach for a harness hook to avoid stretching at all and the wear due to metal fatigue’.


We have gathered information on 30 hooks that are broken or seriously bend. The majority of breakage is with the Ion harnesses (15). We don’t know in which amounts harnesses are sold and thus we cannot say anything on percentiles. Nevertheless our list still contains interesting facts.Hooks statistics

Often a warranty is granted. But there in more than one occasion the hook broke again. But as Ion’s product specialist Julian Lange explains ‘…each year the Ion hook is -when possible- improved.’. Interesting in our list is that we see a lot of 2018 versions.

Ride Engine has 11 issues reported to us. Almost all of them are bent hooks.

We know from Ride Engine Brand Manager Gary Siskar that the hooks haven’t changed in 2020 to the previous version. Mind you that Ride Engine hooks are hand made and can be a little ‘a tad off axis’ fresh out of the factory as Gary explains. Ride Engine own test results show ‘A deformation to where the hook or support would not return to it shape at 226 Kg’s’. A lot of We Test Kites team members like the Ride Engine comfortable shell and actually own 2020 versions. But with this information we did make a change to our harness.Ride Engine shell with Mystic Stealth hook

The others brands that we saw issues on are 3 Dakine’s and 1 Manera. Remarkable; none of these 30 is one from Mystic. Which shows to us that it isn’t necessary that a hook breaks.

Knowledge so far

We tried to contact all harness manufacturers. Credits to Ride Engine who fully cooperated and showed their testing results. We also discovered that also other manufacturers do test their hooks. But unfortunately those are often a secret. See below the -rather disappointing- reactions so far.

Hopefully in the future its strength is stated on the product. We know a lot of people would be happy to pay more for a harnas that is stronger. Kiteboarding is ment to clear your head. In other words; when it is blowing 30+knots you want to be exhilarated for an epic session and not filled with anxiety and constantly worried if your harnas hook will hold.

Our next step will be trying to set up a full stress test on all hooks we can find in cooperation with Versus who wil provide the test bench. Currently Prolimit and Manera are willing to provide hooks for the test.

Stay tuned by liking our facebook page or subscribe by email.


  1. I have a ion sprectra spreader bar .. with the closed hook ( no need for chocken finger) found out its only alloy ! Also the clasp is a total joke 3 piece construction 2 are plastic …
    Im scared to use his clasp.. as popped open on me on powering up for a boost .. lucky didnt snap .

  2. Update: Just got the replacement part and is the one of the new models so no concerns about having the same design again. Thanks WET-TARIFA.

  3. I’ve contacted WET TARIFA (ION’s distributor in Spain) and they are shiftly sending a replacement hook.

  4. Hola,
    Thanks for sharing. Sorry to hear you broke it. To be honest the 2020 Ion hook is not bringing any confidence either to us. For you safety consider using a different brand maybe.
    We Test Kites

  5. I’m 100kg. Just broke the hook of an Ion Vertex 2018 (bought ~1 year ago IIRC). Luckily only one of the two connectors broke so I didn’t have an incident (it could have been quite bad).

    Also worth mentioning that the hook did rust. – I thought it was just superficial & cosmetic. I think that rust made it weaker. Just contacted the shop and they are saying It might come under warranty… but a replacement piece that is the same will not give confidence…

  6. Have had already second time mystic hook come off?. Now with stealth. Hurt myself badly. Using mystic over 10 years. No problems before, now two times in a row?. And I know others who have had the same problem. Bull….

  7. @Dave – ION should have made that recall more visible by contacting popular web sites/resources like your, so that everyone potentially affected can act.
    You are doing a great job, keep it up!
    Stay safe! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Wow,
    this is major news. Thanks, we did not know it until your comment came in. Thanks for the update.
    We Test Kites

  9. Hi Harry, thanks for sharing. We will perform a stress test. Ion will probably also provide us a hook to test.
    We try to make the sport more safe.
    Take care and support us by liking our FB page.
    We Test Kites

  10. Both my 2019 RE rope and hook harness are bent, after 6-12 months of riding. The steel bar is pulled outwards, thatโ€™s why it could even happen to the rope bar.

    Had to throw the hook away, replaced it with a Mystic Stealth spreader on the RE. See how that works.

  11. I have also seen a (very old) broken Mystic hook. So that does happen too…

    The 3 cases I experienced where my harness broke in such a way that it couldn’t cope with the load of the kite all were the straps that hold the hook to the harness. (1x mystic, 2x pat love) At some point the stitching comes loose! You cannot see / inspect those stitches easily on all harnesses. If this were climbing or flying gear, it would have been at least a product recall…

  12. Mystic Harness never any issues with hooks, however they wear on the tightening straps and belts, as most Harnass do. But this is visible by inspection.
    I see some new harness do not come with handle pass belt at the back, it is very important for safety, holding people at the beach, rescues dragging people to shore, every kite harness should comes with this by default.

    The tightening straps are always a hassle especially when new, when we do get something better?

  13. Still using my Dakine seat harness after 11 yrs. No problems with anything on the harness.

  14. Hi Stefan,
    This 2018 one is reported to break a lot. Good to hear there is really improvements.
    We Test Kites

  15. C-Kite hook 2018. The replacement (19 or 20) has not this part where it breaks and where it looks like welded.

  16. Had the hook break off a Prolimit harness, and bought ION as a replacement. Guess I have to expect the same again! ๐Ÿ˜

  17. Same problem with my STYLER made by ION for North, 2018
    The hook snapped clean off from one side, can clearly see corrosion marks around the welds.


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