Surf Gear: Surfboard Leashes

Understand What Surfboard Leashes are All About.

A surfboard leash or leg rope is the cord that attaches a surfboard to the surfer. It prevents the surfboard from being swept away by waves and stops runaway surfboards from hitting other surfers and swimmers. Modern leashes comprise a urethane cord where one end has a band with a velcro strap attached to the surfer’s trailing foot, and the opposite has a velcro strap attached to the tail end of the surfboard. –

  • Cuff. These days it is pretty standard to have a double wrap-around Velcro cuff in order to add extra strength and security to your connection. Key pockets have been implemented into some cuffs and are a good option for warm water city surfers that need a place to put their car key.
  • Swivel. Some leashes have a swivel feature at their attachment point to the cuff that allows the leash to spin and twist without the rider, preventing tangles that can trip up your feet. It is up to you to decide whether you prefer a one or two bearing swivel, or none at all.
  • Cord. Most leash cords are made of polyurethane. Typically, the thicker the cord, the stronger it will be and the less likely it will break. However, the thicker the cord, the more drag it will create in the water.
  • Rail Saver. The rail saver is the fabric that attaches the cord to the surf board. Its job is to provide a secure connection and not put too much strain on the rail. The wider and longer the fabric, the more it will protect the rail when you fall off the board and the cord is taut. While longer and wider rail savers may offer more protection, they also create more drag on the water’s surface. It is a matter of personal preference whether you value decreased drag or increased rail protection more. – Courtesy of

Generally speaking, a surf leash is seen as a necessary accessory for surfing. Some state beaches even have laws that mandate all surfers to wear surf leashes. With thrashing waves, a surfboard leash prevents the issue of runaway boards. A runaway board can cause serious injury to an unsuspecting surfer and can even knock surfers unconscious. For this reason, surf leashes are a must for crowded waters. In addition, a surf leash means that when you wipe out, your board is never far away. Exhaustion is deadly while in the water, especially with forceful waves and currents surrounding you. Swimming to a runaway board can easily exhaust a surfer making drowning a possibility before even attempting the lengthy swim to shore. –

Don’t forget to scoop up other accessories like surfboard bags, surfboard fins & other surf gear, too!

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