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Getting the Right Board Leash for the Job

There are a number of factors which decide what surfboard leash to get, and you should be aware that not all leashes are created equal.

What's The Correct Leash Length?
Your leash needs to be at least as long as your board. This allows enough room between you and your board when you take a mullering. If your leash is too short, you'll find yourself hitting your board or being hit with your board. Keep in mind that some manufacturers will list the length of the leash as the cord length and not include the cuff or the rail saver. Ask at your surf shop before buying to make sure.

  • New to surfing? Get a leash that is over a foot longer than your board.
  • In control of your board? Get a leash ~6 inches longer than your board.
  • Surfing big waves? The bigger the waves, the longer the leash.

Another couple of things to note about leash length:

  • The longer the leash length is, the greater the drag will be in the water.
  • A leash will stretch when used repeatedly. Surfing in larger, more powerful surf will quickly increase your leash length.

Do I Want Swivels?
Swivels keep your leash from getting tangled around your feet. A tangled leash is not only annoying; it also can be dangerous. We suggest that you get a leash with at least one swivel, but we recommend getting a leash with two.

What About Leash Thickness?
The thicker the leash is, the greater the drag. For surfing small waves or competition surfing, it's sensible to get a thinner leash which will create less drag and make it easier to catch waves. For everyday use or when surfing in bigger waves, it's best to get a thicker leash. A thicker leash is less likely to snap and will last longer.

Choosing the Right Cuff
The most important thing about the cuff is that it be comfortable. Check the padding, and if possible, try it on before you buy. We prefer a cuff that has a double wrap-round for a little added security.
Did you want a cuff with a key pocket? These can be really handy for keeping your car or house key safe when you're having a paddle. At a minimum, you can use it to store your fin key.

The Rail Saver
Make sure the rail saver is long enough to protect the rails of your board, but not too thick as to create too much drag. Rail savers tend to be quite similar, but it's worth a quick look before buying.

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