The Imperial is a molded harness with neoprene trim. It’s a relatively flexible harness.
Out on the water the Underwave Imperial stayed put and preformed exactly as a harness should. It was a little difficult to adjust correctly as the adjustment buckles are covered with neoprene making them slightly difficult to loosen. This shouldn’t be much of a problem as you rarely have to adjust your harness after the first time.
While riding the small profile allowed more freedom of movement than we’re used to and the Imperial did a very good job of staying put. The hook showed no tendency to ride up and the harness did not ride up or twist while riding.
We also were able to try a prototype of the Imperial with an integrated vacuum patch. This version of the harness features a patch in the middle of the harness that molds to your body when you pump the air out of it. As the kite pulls you along, the harness feels custom molded to your back and it almost felt like the harness was locked in place. This harness should be available in the springtime and we’ll be excited to see the final version.
- Compact profile offers a lot of freedom of movement. This is one of the least-restrictive harnesses we’ve used.
- The Imperial had no tendency to ride up while riding.
- Very easy to put on and take off.
- The Imperial’s compact profile means it is very non-restricting but also means that the load is not spread out over a large area of your back.
- The neoprene covers over the strap adjusters are a little tight making the straps a little difficult to adjust when setting up the harness for the first time.
- The bright graphics might not be to everyone’s liking.
The Underwave Imperial is a very good harness for riders who want to maximize their range of motion on the water. The compact profile fits nicely into the small of your back and stays put while riding. Riders looking for the maximum amount of support possible might not be happy with the Imperial. The upcoming version of the Imperial with the integrated vacuum patch is a very interesting solution for riders who want a very customized feel to their harness.