Get that puppy on a leash!
Leashes, or leg ropes, are a standard accessory for all of our Stand Up paddleboards because they help keep riders safe by keeping their board close. Whether you’re way out the back of the sets or taking a long fast ride downwind, if you lose your board it can be a long swim home.
At Stand Up Paddle Gear Australia, we stock a broad range of leashes from BIC, Balin, On A Mission and FCS. These brands really make sure that we have the range to satisfy the needs of everyone, from a SUP surfer, to the racer or all round paddler.
Where and how?
These are the crucial questions for selecting a leash – where do you need to attach it and how are you going to be using your board? They’re both important for comfort and safety.
The most common attachment points are either around the ankle or the calf, just below the knee. (Never on the knee – it inhibits movement and can endanger the joint).
SUP Surfers who like to walk the board as they ride the wave favour the calf attachment point. It keeps the leash away from their feet and avoids tangling. That trend has carried over into other SUP sports because, to be frank, your calf is easier to reach than your ankle! The calf attachment point is often more comfortable for paddlers cruising in flat water, and for racers, it helps keep the leash out of the water to minimise drag. With the release close at hand, you minimise the chance of pulling at the knee joint in bigger wipeouts because you can get free in a second.
Most wave paddlers prefer the ankle attachment point. It’s the most comfortable when getting pulled by a wave, plus it’s easier to pull the board back to you as you have more leg to kick back to tug the board towards you. And it doesn’t pull against your knee or calf muscle.
Curly or straight?
Next you need to decide whether you go straight, or go wild and get a curly coiled leash.
Once again, the type of paddling you most enjoy dictates the best choice.
For surfing, a long straight leash – at least as long as the board – helps to keep you a safe distance from the board if it’s being pounded by waves.
For racing, a coiled leash keeps it up out of the water to minimise drag and keeps the board close so you can quickly re-join the race after a spill. A coiled leash is also great for general flat-water paddling as it stops tangling around your feet and other accessories – like your speaker system, cooler or go pro camera.
So just like providing advice on the right board and the right paddle, we are more than happy to help you select the perfect leash to keep it all together.