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Get full 2014 gear info from 28 brands in the TKB 2014 Buyer’s Guide.
For 2014 Mystic has updated their popular line of harnesses and wetsuits and introduced a few new products including a line of helmets and the KRS, a spreader bar with a built-in quick release. Evan Mavridoglou answered our questions about the 2014 Mystic product line.
One of the most interesting products we’ve seen for 2014 has to be the KRS spreader bar. What is it and why did Mystic develop it?
The Mystic KRS (Kite Release Spreader) is the first and only spreader bar that can be released in an emergency situation. Until the KRS was created, all kiters solely relied on the chicken loop release to disconnect from the control bar. While there have been many advancements in control bars and safety systems, we use our equipment in harsh conditions and having one more system in place to release your kite can be hugely beneficial. One obvious benefit is if your main release jams or fails in releasing you can pull the KRS release to disconnect the spreader bar hook.
This safely separates you from the kite as your safety kite leash goes into action depowering the kite. A less obvious scenario would involve a powered up day when a steering line breaks or a wingtip gets wrapped and the kite starts looping out of control. Imagine being pulled upside down and backwards underwater with no sense of direction. The KRS release is in a fixed location just to the left of the spreader bar hook. You always know right where it is and it does not move. After you have released the KRS, pulling your kite leash in and clicking the spreader bar hook back in is much easier and quicker than putting together most chicken loop releases.
Also new for this year is a helmet line. What are the highlights of those products?
The new helmet line offers three models each with various color options. All three have detachable neoprene ear covers and lightweight outer shells with ventilation holes. The Crown comes in two sizes (S or L) with detachable pads to fit a wide range of head sizes. The MK8 is available in additional sizes from XS to XL and has the addition of an adjustable head strap to add another level of adjustment. The Predator incorporates a small brim and instead of offering different sizing a full set of adjustable fit mesh pads are included.
Have there been any big updates to the harness line for 2014?
There have been many new color additions for the 2014 harnesses since as kiters we want to stand out and incorporate style in our sport. A few of the standouts are the black Majestic and the army Warrior which has a dark camo look. The new pro model Warrior Len10 (Ruben Lenten) and Artistic YZ (Youri Zoon) have cool new colors which also match special edition long arm shorty 3/2 front zip wetsuits. There is also a new women’s seat harness that girls should be excited about. It is lightweight and shaped specifically for women with soft edge neoprene leg straps. Most importantly the leg straps are very wide and comfortable.
How should a rider choose between the Majestic and Warrior?
This is a very common question. The easy answer is to visit your local Mystic dealer and try both on to see which feels more comfortable. The key to a great harness is support, comfort, and functionality. Both the Warrior and Majestic include features such as a safety knife, handle pass system, Clicker 3.0 system, and 3D-molded foam interior and exterior. The main difference is the Majestic has memory foam back support and a 360° pre-shaped back support.
This ensures the back support area form fits to the shape of your back for ultimate support and comfort. The padding throughout the sides is also more pronounced. The Warrior is lighter with slightly less pronounced padding throughout the sides. This allows more flexibility with your upper body for grabs and aggressive freestyle riding.
Can you explain the 2Face harness?
The 2Face is a unique wave harness with a sliding spreader bar. The name 2Face is derived from the ability to ride the harness with the spreader bar sliding to the left for regular foot riders or to the right for goofy foot riders. An adjustable clip can be moved to limit the amount the bar slides. The ability for the bar to slide allows two benefits over a fixed bar harness. The first is the ability for the rider to ride toeside with a much more comfortable body position. The spreader bar slides to the side of your hip allowing you to transfer weight onto the toeside edge without the kite pulling from an awkward angle. You can keep your hips in line with your upper body and lean forward rather than having to turn towards the nose of your board.
The second benefit is additional hip drive. The most important technique for any turn on a surfboard is using the driving force of your hips to power through your turn. The 2Face allows an increased range of motion with your hips and upper body to bring back the natural feel of surfing with less restriction. The 2face has been designed to slide in only one direction to limit any unnecessary movement. It is very important to be able to feel exactly what the kite is doing and where it is located through the control bar.
With so many harnesses in the line, what’s the best way for kiters to find one most suited to them?
The easy answer it to visit your local Mystic dealer and try them all on. Fortunately, a majority of shop employees own and use Mystic harnesses and have a great sense of what will work best for a person’s body type and riding style. For example, people with narrow torsos frequently benefit from a harness with softer sides and a narrow profile like the Artistic or Drip. Give your local shop a call and ask for advice.
The Majestic wetsuit is offered in both a back zip and front zip. Why would a rider choose one over the other?
Both have incredible features like the Aquaflush system to keep water from building up around the ankles, Polygiene antimicrobial treatment to keep the suit fresh and clean, and insane flex. For most, the back zip option is an easy decision. It is a bit easier to get in and out of and dries faster with the zipper open due to increased air flow. A front zip suit can have an advantage for those riding mainly along the coast in waves though. The neck seals tightly to keep water out of the suit in case you go down on a wave and get tumbled around a bit. Most wave kiters are also more likely to use the suit for surfing. Without a zipper down the back there is no loss of flexibility between the shoulders when paddling.
What are the main differences between the Crossfire and Voltage wetsuits?
The Crossfire is built to be the flashy, stylish suit for freestyle riders. With bright colors and graphics you will be sure to stand out in a pack of kiters. Shin protection is an exclusive feature with this suit guarding against the hard edge of your twin tip. The Voltage uses 100% M-Flex neoprene and liquid seals on a majority of the seams. The look is toned down for conservative riders and I find it to be slightly warmer in comparison.
Besides the large line of technical products, Mystic also offers a big line of clothing, luggage, and accessories. What are some of your favorite products for 2014?
Although it is a technical product I have to mention a cool new accessory called Strappies. This harness seat extension with comfortable padded leg straps and an adjustable seat height can transform any waist harness into a waist-seat harness. Mystic has more to offer than just performance products. Incorporating kiteboarding into our daily lives with a fashionable clothing line, luggage, and accessories is more than just representing your favorite brand. High quality materials and fashion-forward designs make for a clean look with comfort and functionality.