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Tkb Review: 2022 Ride Engine Saber V2

Sizes Available: XS, S, M, L, XL
Spreader Bar Sizes: 8, 10, 12”

Ride Engine Says:

From the outside, the Saber looks the same. Pop it on the scale, however, and you’ll see a whopping 25% reduction in weight. We are legendary for being at the forefront of material science, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that we were able to substitute in the latest thin, lean materials without diminishing the Saber’s performance and durability.

Using the same proprietary data that created our Elite Carbon hard-shell shape, the frame of the Saber is built with a slightly softer composite material for the kitesurfer or windsurfer that wants a bit more freedom in their ride. The injected-molded shell has purpose-driven contours that deliver increased torsional flex while still providing the full benefits of Lumbar Lock fit with and that coveted Ride Engine locked-in feel. The Saber comes equipped with Unity Ladder-Lock Straps so it’s ready to plug into our Unity Spreader Bar for maximum connectivity and zero slippage.

Visit for more info: www.rideengine.com/collections/harnesses/products/saber-v2-black


Tkb Says:

The Saber V2 is the model that lands at the top of the flex spectrum in Ride Engine’s three-model deep line of rigid backed harnesses. The Saber’s materials and construction keep the cost down while providing somewhat rigid support with decent flex that allows for some extra movement in the torso and is ideal for freestylers or those working on boned out grabs.

The key features on the Saber are its glass-filled composite material that steers clear of the more rigid carbon materials and as a result you get a softer shell that bends and flexes in your hands. The Saber comes with Ride Engine’s patented Unity Spreader bar system and inside, the harness features a smooth neoprene surface that is padded with ergonomic memory foam. There’s two front mounted leash tabs for those riders who use shorter freeride kite leashes and the back handle doubles as mounting point for a traveling handlepass leash.

The Unity Spreader Bar system uses a ratchet-style ladder-lock enclosure with hard tuck flaps that keep the spreader bar pinned to the harness’s frame. While there’s a lot of cool features built into this design, the significance of the Unity system is as much about what it adds as what it subtracts from the spreader bar equation. Gone is the old-school webbing that stretches and locks up with the wet/dry cycle of kiteboarding, and in its place, the Unity system reduces upward torsion of the spreader bar from the kite’s lifting forces and transfers that force into the entire harness frame.

When it comes to the Unity’s design, we learned that fit and adjustment are key to getting the best on-the water-feel. The trick is to run as large of a bar as possible (8”, 10” and 12” available) and to sink as much of the ladder lock strap into the ratchet this pulls the bar as close as possible to the frame, enhances back support and significantly reduces hook torsion.

The Unity Spreader Bar makes getting out of the harness easy by just pulling open a little tab and sliding the bar off of the tab. There are two latches on the actual spreader bar for getting in and out of the harness and there are two gates on either side of the harness that control the ladder-lock adjustment and sizing of the spreader bar. The levers have a little red visual button for indicating whether they are properly closed or not and the spreader bar has a tuck flap in addition to the ladder-lock straps, so you get an extra connection between the harness back and the bar. The Unity Bar lets you switch between a sliding rope with a stainless ring or a fixed rope connection point in the center as well as both a windsurf and a harness hook. Swapping out the harness hooks requires removing four screws (3mm hex Allen) and there’s a pocket for a kite knife in the tuck flap.

As each harness in the RE line has its unique blend of shape and coverage, the Saber has the lowest back of the three harnesses and the shell doesn’t wrap quite as far around the torso. When you combine this with the softer composite shell you get more room for movement within the harness which helps for grabs and body movement, but you also don’t get the perfect load dispersion benefits of the more rigid shells in the line. The Saber felt like it carried a bit more load in the hips, and although this is solid improvement compared to conventional harnesses, it just doesn’t give you the same distribution as the rigid Elite or Lyte harnesses.

For smaller riders, the Saber’s lower back works great and sits perfectly in the lower lumbar area, and for those who aren’t fully ready to commit to a hard-shell harness, the Saber still provides moderate stiffness with some extra flexibility at a reasonable price. With lower weight for this year and all the benefits of the Unity System, the Saber is a solid value in the Ride Engine line and an excellent option for those seeking more movement and flexibility.


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