Mystic launched its first hardshell harness last season and new for 2018, has introduced a new line of non-carbon versions of its expanded hardshell harness. Additionally, the company has dramatically increased its women’s lineup and has new products specifically developed for the foil market. Matt Aiken, lifetime windsports industry veteran, heads Up Mystic’s North America operation and sheds some more light on what we can expect from the company for 2018.
MYSTIC’S FIRST HARDSHELL HARNESS, THE MAJESTIC X, IS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR NEW LINE OF EXPANDED HARDSHELL HARNESSES. WHAT MAKES A HARNESS A TRUE HARDSHELL AND WHAT ARE ITS BENEFITS AND DISADVANTAGES COMPARED TO TRADITIONAL MODELS?
That’s a great question as there are a lot of ‘faux’ hardshells being introduced on the market right now. To be a true hardshell the harness has to have a rigid, continuous, C-shaped shell that resists folding and flexing under load. True hardshells have the advantage of distributing the load across the rider’s back, offering more support and eliminating uncomfortable pressure points. Making a true hardshell is difficult and inherently more expensive than traditional harness construction methods so it’s fair to say a disadvantage would be that the costs are going to be higher on a true hardshell. A nuance to hardshells is they are a more technical fit. A kitebarder with a 34” waist in a traditional harness could make anything from a medium to a XL harness work by tightening or loosening straps. With a hardshell the rider needs to be in the right size harness; if the harness is say a size too big, because of the rigid shell you can’t just crank all the straps down and make it work. So they have to be sized right.
FOR THE 2018 LINE, MYSTIC ALSO HAS A NEW LINE OF NON-CARBON VERSIONS OF ITS HARDSHELL HARNESS MODELS. WHERE DO YOU SEE THE NON-CARBON LINE FALLING IN RELATION TO MYSTIC’S HARDSHELL AND TRADITIONAL HARNESSES?
The Majestics are made from the same mold as the Majestic X, while the Gems have a smaller fit in all dimensions. They are the exact same construction as the Majestic X but don’t have the carbon content of the Majestic X. From a performance perspective, the new Majestic and Gem harnesses will fit and perform identically to the Majestic X but the different construction drops the price almost $100 which is significant and brings the price halfway between the Majestic X and the higher end harnesses like the Warrior or Diva.MYSTIC CURRENTLY HAS THE ONLY ASYMMETRIC ROPE SPREADER BAR ON THE MARKET. PLEASE EXPLAIN THE REASONING BEHIND THE ASYMMETRIC DESIGN.
In order to give the rider the greatest possible range of motion the designers designed the bar with the widest possible span of rope. The closure mechanism on the Clickerbar takes up some space on one side of the bar so the rope can’t go right to the edge of the bar on that side. Rather than centering the rope on the bar the design team decided to extend the rope to the outside of the bar on the opposite side from the closure mechanism and this created an asymmetrical bar. The rider can take advantage of this extra travel by setting it up one way or the other for either goofy or regular stance. Setting it up this way gives the bar a little extra travel when the rider is toeside and really gives the rider the maximum benefit of the rope spreader bar set up. It’s actually a lot less complicated than this sounds. The rider sets it up once goofy or regular and never touches it again.
FOILBOARDING’S POPULARITY INSPIRED MYSTIC TO DEVELOP NEW PRODUCTS FOR THIS MARKET SEGMENT. WHAT IS THE COMPANY OFFERING TO MEET THE NEEDS OF FOILBOARDERS?
The Foil harness is a new, low profile seat harness for the performance foiler. It features a BOA adjustment in the small of the back and will be sold with our Clickerbar Surf (rope) spreader bar. We have a couple of really great impact products as well. Our new Foil Impact Vest is a nice, slim fitting, low profile impact vest that incorporates our new NBR foam strategically placed to offer good impact resistance, but keep the fit slim and not too bulky. We also have the Impact Boxer which will keep foilers protected where it matters most. So far the response on the foil products has been really good.