How To Choose The Ultimate Leash For Your Surfboard

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Surfing is an exhilarating sport that requires careful consideration when it comes to choosing the right equipment. One crucial accessory for surfers of all levels is the leash, which keeps the surfboard attached to the surfer’s ankle. With a wide range of options available, selecting the right leash can significantly impact your performance and safety in the water. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore six essential questions to help you choose the perfect leash for your surfboard.


What is the purpose of a surfboard leash?

The purpose of a surfboard leash is to keep the surfboard attached to the surfer’s ankle or calf during a surf session. It is a safety device designed to prevent the board from getting away from the surfer and potentially causing harm to others in the water or becoming lost.

Surfboard leashes consist of a durable cord, typically made of urethane or similar materials, with a Velcro strap that securely attaches to the surfer’s ankle. The other end of the leash is usually attached to the tail of the surfboard using a leash plug or other attachment point. When the surfer falls off the board or is separated from it, the leash prevents the board from being carried away by waves or drifting too far, making it easier for the surfer to retrieve the board and continue riding.

By using a leash, surfers can maintain control over their boards, minimizing the risk of collision with other surfers or swimmers, and reducing the likelihood of the board hitting rocks or other objects. Additionally, a leash can be particularly helpful in challenging conditions, such as big waves or strong currents, where it can be difficult to swim after a lost board.

It’s worth noting that while a leash provides added safety and convenience, surfers should still exercise caution and be mindful of the leash’s presence to avoid entanglement or other potential hazards.


How long should my surfboard leash be?

The length of your surfboard leash is crucial in determining how close or far the board remains to you in the water. It should be roughly the same length as your surfboard or slightly shorter. For example, if you have a 7-foot surfboard, opt for a 6- or 7-foot leash. A shorter leash minimizes the chances of the board hitting you during wipeouts, while a longer leash provides more maneuverability but may increase the risk of entanglement.


Which leash thickness should I choose?

The thickness of your leash is another important factor to consider. Thicker leashes are generally more durable and suited for bigger waves and stronger surfers. Thinner leashes, on the other hand, offer increased flexibility and are preferred for smaller waves and less powerful surfers. The recommended thickness ranges between 7mm and 9mm, but personal preference and local conditions play a role in determining the optimal thickness.


What leash material should I select?

The leash material affects the leash’s overall strength, flexibility, and weight. Most leashes are made of either urethane or a combination of urethane and other materials. Urethane leashes offer excellent stretch and durability, making them suitable for various wave conditions. Hybrid leashes incorporate additional materials like nylon or carbon fiber, providing enhanced strength and reduced weight for high-performance surfing.


Should I consider leash attachments or swivels?

Leash attachments and swivels play a crucial role in preventing leash tangles, which can hinder your movement and potentially compromise safety. The most common attachment is the rail saver, which prevents leash pull-through on the surfboard’s leash plug. Swivels, located near the cuff, allow the leash to rotate freely, reducing tangling. Opting for a leash with both an effective attachment and a swivel is recommended for hassle-free surfing.


What additional features should I look for in a surfboard leash?

Apart from the basic considerations, several additional features can enhance your surfing experience. Some leashes come with padded ankle cuffs for added comfort, while others incorporate quick-release tabs for emergency situations. Reflective detailing can improve visibility in low-light conditions, and hidden key pockets provide convenience. Assess your preferences and choose a leash that aligns with your needs and surfing style.



Choosing the right leash for your surfboard is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your surfing experience and safety. By considering factors such as length, thickness, material, attachments, and additional features, you can select a leash that suits your needs and enhances your performance in the water. Remember to prioritize safety, comfort, and the specific wave conditions you’ll be surfing in. With the right leash, you’ll be able to ride the waves with confidence and enjoy your surfing adventures to the fullest.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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