So you’ve got yourself a new board, and now you want to know how to choose the right surfboard leash to match.
Should you just pick up the cheapest option and be done with it?
Or is there more to picking the right surfboard leash than that?
Turns out there’s quite a lot to consider, and it’s a more important purchasing decision than you likely first thought.
But don’t worry, you’re about to learn a step by step process to picking the right legrope for you.
THE PROCESS: HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SURFBOARD LEASH FOR YOU (STEP BY STEP)
Follow the steps below to help decide with surfboard leash is the right choice for you:
STEP 1: WHAT SIZE SURFBOARD DO YOU RIDE?
The size of the surfboard that you ride will dictate the length of the leash that you should choose.
A leash is there to keep you attached to your surfboard to stop it floating away when you fall off, however it poses a danger too of your surfboard hitting you - so there’s a delicate balance at play here.
You want a leash length that’s going to keep your board far enough away from you to avoid injury, yet not so far that it takes an age to drag your board back to yourself when you wipeout.
Hence the different leash lengths for different surfboards.
Use the surfboard leash length chart below to choose the right leash length for you.
STEP 2: LEASH THICKNESS & HOW TO CHOOSE
Ok, now that you know what length leash you need, now comes the thickness.
Naturally as you’d expect, thicker leashes are stronger than thinner ones, but with that extra strength comes increased drag.
So this is something that you’re going to have to way up.
How thick should your surfboard leash be?
Here’s how to make your decision:
What size waves do you normally surf? If you just like surfing small playful waves, you don’t need an extra thick leash.
How much does drag effect your performance? Competition level surfers will notice even the tiniest levels of drag, hence why they choose to ride thinner leashes (or no leashes at all sometimes).
If you're relatively new to the sport, just keep it simple and go for the standard thickness legrope and move onto the next step.
STEP 3: ANKLE OR CALF?
Should a surfboard leash be on the knee or ankle?
Here’s how to decide...
Do you ride a longboard? If no, you’ll ALWAYS want to choose an ankle leash.
If yes, you have a decision to make…
Some longboarders prefer the feel of a calf leash, and it can help to keep the leash away from your toes when cross-stepping.
Others however, prefer the feel of the ankle legrope.
There’s no hard and fast rule, just personal preference.
Made your choice yet?
Ok, move onto the next step.
STEP 4: SWIVEL: SINGLE OR DOUBLE
The swivel on a legrope helps to keep your leash from getting all tangled up, as without them, all sorts of knots can start happening.
Should you choose a single or a double swivel (one on each side of the legrope)?
In all honesty I see no benefit to the single swivel, so just pick the double and be done with it.
STEP 5: BRAND OR NO BRAND
Should you pay the extra and go with a reputable brand, or should you go the cheapo option instead?
Here are a few things to consider.
If you’re just a casual surfer, surfing in the whitewater, just dipping your toes into the sport - go for the budget option.
The power of the waves you’ll be surfing should be a non-issue for any legrope breaks.
If however you’re more serious, want to be surfing out the back and pushing yourself, I’d recommend going for a brand you can trust.
Well, a leash is your first point of safety, and the last thing you want is for it to snap on you in the surf, so my advice, invest in quality every time.
Here’s a list of some of the best, most reputable surf leash brands:
Anything you get from the above will serve you well.
STEP 6: DECISION TIME
If you’ve gone through steps 1-5 you should have whittled down the options to just a few, and from here, it’s just a case of personal preference:
Decision made, done!
There you have it, a step by step process for choosing the right surfing leash for where you’re at right now.
Is there anything I missed?
If so, pop it in the comments below to get the conversation started.