Why I Love My Back Mounted Harness

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Let me count the ways!

First, I’d have to go back to my initial experience with the rear mounted or back mounted harness. I was a young operator… Maybe 2 or 3 years in, and I was hired for a feature film. Like most low budget features, they opted to save money by using ancient equipment. Save money…not your operators back. So I was charged with flying a BL4… A very heavy camera. In preparation for this I weighted my sled up to the 75lbs I expected to be carrying, and began to build endurance. My goal was to be able to roll out a 400′ mag from head to tail in one take. But I was barely making it to 4mins. In a panic I called Walter Klassen, who I had met a few times before, and asked if I could demo a harness. It arrived the next day and my endurance instantly went from 4 mins to 14 mins. This sealed the deal. I called Walter up and gave them my credit card info. As for the job, I rolled out several mags head to tail without a second thought!

Second, Let’s now jump forward to August 2009. I had just lost a ton of weight… Probably about 30lbs over 6 weeks. I’m now on a feature and the harness is not fitting me at all. I was in pain. Since I was in LA and had heard that Jerry Holway had made huge improvements to the traditional front-mount vest, I called up for a demo. Let me first say that YES, the vest was a huge improvement over earlier models. However, even with the discomfort I was experiencing with my harness… my endurance and operating were still better than when I suited up in the front mount vest. Perhaps a few weeks with the front mount vest would have allowed me to build up some endurance… But I’ve never had to really “build” my endurance with the rear-mount harness!

Now let’s jump to the last and perhaps most important reason I love my Walter Klassen Harness! After wrapping the feature with the oversize harness I drove up to Toronto to visit Walter and get the harness resized. He offered to do this for a small sum of money. When I arrived he measured me and the harness and said there was no way to make it fit. My heart sank… Here I am with an $8500 paper weight!

Then Walter shocked me… He pulled out a new harness whose measurements matched mine exactly. Then custom cut foam so the harness hugged my body (something I would highly recommend to any backmount harness owner.)  Finally he traded my harness for this new custom fit rearmount harness for the same amount of money he was going to charge me to mod my 5 yr old harness. That’s customer service!

So if you haven’t already… I suggest you give Walter Klassen a call and test drive a harness… You won’t be disapointed!

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