Your guide to choosing the perfect surfboard leash
Regardless of the size of wave you’re surfing, a surfboard leash is a surfing essential. A leash keeps your board connected to you, preventing it from drifting away and allowing you to quickly retrieve it if your board gets away from you! They are such an important safety accessory that surfboard leashes have been made compulsory in some surfing hotspots, such as Byron Bay in Australia.
The BPS team is all about buying gear that will stand the test of time. There’s nothing worse than buying new gear and finding out it’s uncomfortable or having it break after one season. A surfboard leash is one of those essential bits of kit and a pain if it breaks!
Here’s what we recommend keeping top of mind when picking out your surfboard leash:
Durability and Strength
No one wants to be out for a surf only for your board to get taken back to shore on a wave. Not only is this annoying, it’s also dangerous for other surfers around you. A leash should be able to hold up against the pull of the waves and withstand repeated use in salt water. Look for leashes made from high-quality materials such as polyurethane or nylon, as these materials are known for their strength, resilience, and ability to withstand the effects of saltwater. A leash with swivels and a strong ankle cuff will also help ensure durability.
The length of a surfboard leash is essential to get right for your safety and surfboard manoeuvrability in the water. Make sure your leash is a comfortable length - you want it to be long enough not to be restricting but short enough that it won’t get tangled or caught. We recommend getting a leash around 5 to 10 feet long, but this will vary depending on your height. You want your leash to be equal to or slightly longer than the length of your surfboard. It’s also important to consider the type of waves you'll be riding and your skill level when deciding the length.
Riding big waves? You’ll need a thicker leash that will be able to handle the power of the big waves and will be less likely to snap under pressure. On the other hand, thinner leashes are lighter and less restrictive, making them ideal for smaller boards and smaller waves. Consider the types of waves you ride and look to strike a balance between thickness and strength.
The swivel mechanism on a surfboard leash is designed to prevent tangling and reduce strain on the leash itself. Swivels made from high-quality stainless steel or brass mean that the leash will rotate smoothly as needed and stand the test of time. Look for a leash with swivels at both ends of the leash as this will minimise tangling, allowing you to move freely without getting entangled in the cord.
Comfort and Fit
How a leash sits on your leg can be the difference between a bad experience or having an epic time on the water. You want the ankle cuff to be comfortable and secure, with ample padding and an adjustable strap to ensure a snug fit. The cuff also needs to be strong enough to withstand powerful waves… but not so tight that it restricts your blood flow!
Looking for the perfect surfboard leash for you? We’ve got a variety of surfboard leashes to suit your needs, whether you’re riding small shore breaks or tackling big waves.