December 8, 2022

Leash for the board – Details about leash

Fifty years ago, it was called “Dumb Leash.” While testing the first model, a man lost an eye. Today you are unlikely to go skating without it

The rope connecting the board and the surfer’s leg is called a leash (from the English leash – a leash).

Over the years of its existence, this accessory has come a long way in transformations and improvements.

However, modern lichens differ in many ways; from this article, you will learn about lichens and how to choose the one you need.


Until 1971, all surfers were excellent swimmers because the board was not attached to the body in any way, which means that it swam almost to the shore with every unsuccessful fall.

The sandy beach did not threaten the large wooden planks, but the generation of the first fiberglass foam shortboards suffered greatly, especially if their owners preferred sharper reef spots, where there were stones on the border of the beach.

In addition, it was more difficult to swim on shortboards. As a result, the surfers were exhausted faster.

The desire to ride longer and save the board pushed Pat O’Neill to the idea of ​​putting the surfboard on a leash.

He made the prototype from a medical catheter, which he tied on one side to the board’s nose and the other to the wrist.

Unfortunately, the design turned out to be very dangerous: the catheter was strongly stretched and then sprung back, literally “shooting” the board back at the surfer.

It is how Jack O’Neill, Pat’s father, lost his eye while testing the invention.

At the same time, the old school of surfing pioneers called the leash “Kook’s cord” and believed that this device was invented for the weak and lazy surfers.


In the early 70s, the leash could not gain popularity with surfers, as they thought it was either too dangerous or just not cool to use it.

However, as early as 1975, big companies such as BlockEnterprises and Surf became interested in the innovation and developed a more viable model still used around the world today: a polyurethane leash that attaches to the tail of the board and the surfer’s leg.

The classic model consists of a cord, a cuff, a safety guard (rail saver), and two rotating joints.


The cord is made of polyurethane; the thicker it is, the stronger it is

On the other hand, dangling in the water, the leash provides resistance, albeit slight, and thus slows down the surfer during the ride.

Therefore, the thinner the cord, the more speed you can pick up. Different lichens are used for other purposes. The information about the thickness of the line is reflected in the name:

Regular or Standart is standard, rugged daily riding bikes that can handle wave loads up to 6-9 feet.

Pro Comp or Competition is lightweight, thin leashes that offer less resistance.

As a result, they break much faster, and their use can be justified in competitions or when riding exclusively on small waves.

Premium, Big Wave, or XXL are extra tough, thick lids for waves 9ft and up.

The length of the leash should be at least the length of the board

Since the options vary by an integer number of feet, the size of the board should be rounded, preferably up.

So, for 8’8 “or 9’2” panels, a leash of 9 ‘is suitable, and for 6’4 “or 6’6”, it is better to take a leash of 7’.


The cuff is the part that wraps around the leg

Velcro carries out fastening. Leaves with colored cuffs are cute, but the black Velcro is more practical.

The fact is that when staining, some hooks and loops of the Velcro become clogged with paint and stop working; such a cuff is more likely to unfasten at the wrong time.

There are two types of cuffs: ankle cuffs and knee cuffs

There are two types of cuffs: ankle cuffs and knee cuffs.

Longboarders use the latter since they walk on the board back and forth on the wave, and with such an attachment, the leash does not get confused underfoot.

A small pocket for a key is sewn into the cuffs. You can also put a piece of wax or a slight change in it on the water after the gurney.

Fuse or Rail Saver (from the English Rail Saver)

This part protects the board’s tail from damage caused by the cord if it bends over the rail and stretches, often in batches

Naturally, the thicker and more prolonged the rail saver, the better the board is protected, but on the other hand, it also offers resistance when riding.

The rail saver is attached with a string and a triple-lock Velcro to the board.

The length of the rope must be less than the shortest distance to the edge of the board.

Otherwise, the whole point of the guard is lost.

Rotating joint

The cord is attached to the cuff and the rail saver using rotating joints that prevent the leash from twisting around its axis

The weakest part of the lichen is the cord near the attachment to the joint. It is the minor elastic part, where the line often breaks under solid tension.

In 2010, Ocean & Earth’s technologists presented the world with their latest development: a single molded cord and flexible joint system that relieves tensile stress and makes the leash 40% stronger.

In support of this, I propose to watch the video filmed by Magicseaweed, the guys fastened various lichen to the car, stretched it and watched which one would burst later than everyone else.


In conclusion, I would like to give some tips for operation.

Firstly, even the most durable leash does not last forever; the more often you throw the board, the more it stretches over time and loses its strength
Throwing the board at the mercy of the lichen is also wrong because there may be people behind in the affected area.

When a delegation of someone floating in front flies at you, it is very unpleasant. Please take my word for it; I have three scars on my forehead.

It makes sense to check the leash for damage regularly.

It so happens that he is slightly cut with a fin, but not wholly, and you can notice this either by carefully examining the cord on the shore or by losing the board during a robust set.

Wrapping the leash around the board’s tail is not a good idea:

  1. Sharp finches can cause microscopic cuts on a taut cord.
  2. Polyurethane can “remember” its shape: when the leash is on the shore most of the time in a twisted state, it will retain the same condition in the water, getting entangled in the surfer’s feet. Without tension, it is better to store it in a more or less free state, simply by throwing boards into the cover according to the principle “as it lies.”
  3. You can straighten the curled leash; for this, you need to leave it in a free suspended state for several days, fixing the cuffs on something high: a chandelier, ceiling beam, shelf.

There are still surfers in the ocean who ride without a leash, but this is relatively rare, usually, longboarders who are experienced enough to control the board on not too large waves without additional devices.

You can understand why they are doing this only by trying it. Surfing without a lichen is like sex without a condom, more dangerous but much more enjoyable.

You have to be on the lookout all the time, thanks to which the senses are exacerbated.

As for shortboarders, it’s hard to imagine that they would risk riding big waves and practicing various tricks without a leap.