why you should surf with a leash

Back in the fifties and sixties people often went surfing without leash, so why shouldn’t that be possible nowadays?

Back then surfing wasn’t as popular as it is today. Accordingly, there were less people in the water and the risk to hit someone with your board was pretty low. But safety is quite an important topic in surfing and should never be underestimated. The surfboard is our best friend in the water and can be our savior in strong currents. So why not fasten the surf board on ourselves?

Table of contents

Leash Fly

What are the advantages?

The leash connects us with our surf board. If you fall from the wave this connection prevents your board from being washed away. You are faster back on your board and you can react quicker in dangerous situations for example in reefs or currents. You just pull on your leash and the board comes back to you.

Furthermore, you are not only protecting yourself but also the other people who are in the water. Whether swimmers, surfers or bystanders at the beach; by fastening your surfboard to your leg you avoid your board hitting someone else when being washed away.

But not only other people are grateful, when your board is not flying around. The environment also prefers if your board does not vanish into the ocean.

Leash Wie

What does a leash look like?

A leash consists of three parts that connect you with your surfboard.

  1. The ankle strap (cuff): like the name says already, this part goes on your ankle. The strap is attached to the ankle with Velcro. In most cases this strap is made of neoprene or something similar, which makes it comfortable to wear.
  2. The rope (cord): The rope is made of very stretchy rubber. The length of the rope depends on your surfboard. It is important that it has a certain tensile strength and elasticity. The rope is connected to both the ankle strap and the board strap with rotating joints in between for more comfort.
  3. The board strap (railsaver): Consisting of three velcro fasteners and a little cord, it is used to attach the rope to your surf board.
Leash Kook

What kind of leash do I need for my board?

Looking out for quality is important when buying a leash. The Velcro of the board strap should be strong. To be on the safe side, the board strap should always come with three layers of Velcro. Depending on your surf level you can choose between a thin and a thicker rope. The thinner the rope the less resistance is pulled through the water. As a beginner you won’t notice the difference. We would always advise to opt for a slightly thicker rope, because it won’t break too easily.

But how long should my leash be?

As an adult surfer the rule of thumb is that it should be at least as long as your board. As a beginner it is even adivsable to use a slightly longer leash to avoid accidents between yourself and your board. If the leash is too short you are more likely to collide with your board.

How do I attach a leash to my surf board?

As we know now, the leash is an important part of surfing, since it connects you and your board and keeps you safe. If you looked our for a good quality leash, the board strap has three velcros. In the following video you can see how to attach the board strap correctly to your surf board.

Good to know about leashes

Cleaning the leash

You should not only make sure your surf board is well maintained but also the rest of your surf equipment. Clean your leash after your surf in the ocean from salt water and sand. Because the more you take care of your equipment, the longer it works. And please make sure to not pull your leash through the sand if you don’t want to be the kook of the day.

Check the conditions of your leash

Don’t forget to check the condition of your leash every now and then. It is an object of use and of course wears out. When in the water, try to make sure that your leash is not always pulled at full capacity between you and your board. Try to keep your board as close as possible to you, even if you fall. The leash is made of stretchy rubber so the rope stretches over time. Check regularly if everything is still fine to avoid losing your board because of a broken leash.



Surfing with leash makes the risky sport surfing a little safer. You protect yourself and the others, lessen the risk of serious accidents and losing your board.