So, I've been riding without a spreader bar for awhile now. Just replaced it with a piece of rope and have a quick release shackle on that. Much improved range of motion, esp. for me riding waves backhand the vast majority of the time. Watched a few of the BWS and TDZ videos and saw those guys running without spreader bars and um, ahhh, well, monkey see monkey do... Seems to work a treat and that has got me thinking, why do we need a spreader bar at all?
What purpose do they serve in relation to wave kiting?
After 5 years on a fixed, I switched to the Dynabar because I wanted the changed tow point for toe side riding (all strapless)
I started to unhook (on easy days!) 2 years ago. Since conventional spreaders are stiffer, if unhooking was going to be the focus of my practicing, I would go back to my '05 fixed bar. Easier out, more reliable in - and I practiced plenty with the Dynabar. (My Dynabar eventually wore out, so I am back to the fixed hook.)
Tell you what though Surfinsmiley, my next move is to go no-bar. Why? 1. The hook is responsible for 95% of the damage on my poor, abused surfboard. 2. My new kites, 2012 Rallys, are so tugless when depowered that I have moved away from unhooking unless bored.
I'm also using the engine harness with the engine spreader plate... But that is still a spreader... Which by the way is really not needed with the engine simply because the harness is rigid The spreader bar on a typical harness is designed to stop the sides of the harness from squeezing in and pinching... Engine harness cannot do this because it is rigid, therefore the pull is transferred across your back more evenly and your sides don't get sore and it eliminates the need to keep the harness "spread" open. So I really hesitate to use the word spreader with anything related to ENGINE.
On non-rigid harnesses the spreader bar is necessary (even when using a pulley on a line for a gybing wave harness) to prevent the harness from compressing the body. People who have removed spreader bars for a non-unhoking gybing wave harness have had ribs broken and other crushing injuries from removing a spreader bar. I have seen bars with hooks ground off too accomplish this.
So, do you think you could DIY an ENGINE style harness? I like the concept of those harnesses... the logistics of actually getting my hands on one here in New Zealand though...
@ RORKE. I have a 8M 2011 Rally and feel the same way you do.
Yes you could probably make one considering they are hand made as it is. You would need to find a way to make a mold from you back, ENGINE uses some type of liquid plastic that turns clear and soft when heated, then it is formed to you back. Then he uses that mold to layup the carbon fiber, cut to shape, sand off the sharp edges, it gets lined with I believe 3/4" to 1" memory foam install your straps and finish off with neoprene... So if you have skills I think it is very doable, be ready to learn from trial and error though.... it might take a few trys to get it right
On the other hand I am pretty sure ENGINE would ship to New Zealand...