The originator of the hardshell harness concept, Ride Engine’s Coleman Buckley also has deep roots in surfing. Besides harnesses, the company designs and manufactures limestone-based SmartStretch neoprene wetsuits and new for 2018, will be rolling out a line of surf foil wings. Founder Coleman Buckley and product manager Alex Bloechinger point out the highlights of the 2018 lineup.


SINCE RIDE ENGINE IS KNOWN FOR ITS RIGID-BACKED HARNESSES, BREAK DOWN THE 2018 LINE OF WAIST HARNESSES AND EXPLAIN THE TYPE OF KITER EACH MODEL MIGHT BE BEST SUITED FOR?

We have used the saying ‘problem solved’ in a lot of our marketing over the last year and for such a simple statement it does a great job of describing what Ride Engine’s hardshell harness is all about. The crux of the problem comes down to the simple fact that traditional kiteboard harnesses were never really designed for kiteboarding. They were modifications of windsurfing harnesses and most often the modifications weren’t that dramatic. Standard soft shell harnesses just weren’t designed to handle the unique and often extreme loads and angle of pull associated with kiteboarding. Our hardshell harnesses were designed for maximum range of motion and support; I think that’s good for all riders. The Hexcore line is always a great choice and then our Elite line is a bit lighter but costs a little extra since we swap out fiberglass for carbon fiber in its shell.

RIDE ENGINE HAS A WIDE ASSORTMENT OF TRAVELER SPREADER BARS. HOW IS RIDE ENGINE’S APPROACH TO SPREADER BARS DIFFERENT AND WHY SHOULD KITERS CONSIDER TRANSITIONING TO A SHIFTING CENTER OF PULL?      

Getting rid of a fixed hook removes the twisting that plagues traditional spreader bars since the rope doesn’t act like a lever like a hook does. The way it feels in carves is really nice. Some big air folks prefer not having the shifting attachment but for them I’d recommend just tying a loop in the rope and hooking into that so it’s static but won’t twist like it would with a fixed hook. We also emphasize that people should ride the longest spreader bars they can since they ride up less than shorter bars.THIS YEAR THE WETSUIT LINEUP IS DIVIDED INTO THE APOC AND SILO LINES OF WETSUITS. WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THESE TWO MODELS AND WHAT ARE THE MAIN TECH FEATURES IN THIS YEAR’S OFFERINGS?         

Both models have wind skin strategically placed around the core area of your body to prevent heat from escaping in cold/windy environments, on and off the water. The men’s Apoc line is Ride Engine’s higher end suit with front zip entry and an interior synthetic fleece lining for the full suit models (5/4, 4/3, 3/2) which keeps you warmer longer during your sessions in/on the water.

THE WOMEN’S LINEUP FOR RIDE ENGINE WETSUITS HAS SEEN SOME SIGNIFICANT ADD-ONS FOR 2018. WHAT ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS FOR THIS YEAR?  

Hooded full suits! Ladies charge in the chilliest conditions too so we are stoked to offer high performance gear to keep them toasty out there! New to the line for the women this year is the 5/4/3 hooded Elara. This suit completes the list for the core line of wetsuit thicknesses needed for cold environment sessions. This year’s line (2018) of full suits now includes front zip entry models. Internally, we strategically place an increased area of synthetic fleece lining on the full suit line along with adding wind skin to help keep the ladies warmer longer.

WE KNOW THAT RIDE ENGINE FOUNDER COLEMAN BUCKLEY IS DEEPLY ENTRENCHED IN FOILSURFING AND FOR 2018 RIDE ENGINE WILL HAVE ITS OWN LINE OF FOILS. WHAT’S THE LOWDOWN ON THIS NEW SEGMENT?          

It’s so fun! We designed a super versatile and lively setup that’s also one of the most economical on the market. The stock H2 wing is really fun on small waves and works great for light wind kiting. As riders progress, we also have a full line of other wing options available. We are also distributing our foils through custom surfboard shapers; it’s cool to be a part of that culture instead of just packaging our foils with pop out boards overseas.


Want more gear info? Get the latest product info from all the top brands all in one convenient place with Tkb’s 2018 Buyer’s Guide.