Features of surfing without a leash – how to do it right

Surfing is a thrilling and challenging sport that allows individuals to connect with the power of the ocean and ride the waves. While most surfers rely on a leash to keep their board attached to their ankles or leg, a subset of experienced surfers chooses to venture into leashless surfing.

Features, technique, rules. Going leashless requires high skill, confidence, and respect for the ocean. In this article, we will explore the key considerations and guidelines for those interested in pursuing leashless surfing, highlighting the importance of experience, equipment, safety, and respect for others in the lineup.

Features of the execution technique

Surfing leashless, or “going leashless,” refers to surfing without a leash attached to your surfboard. This surfing style requires advanced skills, experience, and confidence in controlling your board. Here are some guidelines to consider if you want to surf leashless:

  1. Assess your ability: Leashless surfing is not recommended for beginners or intermediate surfers. You should have advanced surfing skills, including confidently paddling, maneuvering your board, and maintaining control in various wave conditions.
  2. Choose the right board: Select a surfboard that suits your skill level and the wave conditions. Leashless surfing is often done on shorter boards, such as high-performance shortboards or fish-style boards, which are more maneuverable. Make sure you’re comfortable and experienced with the board you choose.
  3. Know the risks: Surfing leashless carries risks. If you fall off your board or lose control, you’ll have to swim and retrieve your board, potentially endangering yourself or others. Be aware of the potential hazards, such as the risk of hitting rocks, reefs, or other surfers.
  4. Pick appropriate conditions: Start leashless surfing in smaller, less crowded waves with mellow conditions. Choose waves that break in deeper water to minimize the risk of your board hitting the bottom. Avoid crowded lineups where your board could pose a danger to other surfers if it gets away from you.
  5. Strengthen your swimming skills: Since you won’t have a leash to keep your board close, you must be a strong swimmer. Practice swimming and being comfortable in the water. Be prepared to swim after your board if necessary.
  6. Practice control: Practice controlling your board in small waves before going leashless in more challenging conditions. Learn to duck dive, turtle roll, and quickly recover your board if you lose it. Develop skills to stay connected with your committee during turbulent situations.
  7. Be considerate of others: If you choose to surf leashless, be mindful of other surfers around you. Make sure you have complete control of your board and can avoid collisions or injuring others.
  8. Progress gradually: Start by going leashless for short periods in smaller waves, slowly building up to more challenging conditions. Take your time to gain confidence and experience before leashless surfing in more giant, powerful waves.
  9. Reassess regularly: Continuously evaluate your skills, conditions, and comfort level. If you struggle or feel unsafe, you must reattach a leash to your board for everyone’s safety.

Remember, leashless surfing is an advanced technique that carries risks. Always prioritize your safety and the safety of others when making decisions about surfing without a leash.


Leashless surfing represents the pinnacle of skill and control in wave riding. It offers a unique experience of freedom and connection with the waves and involves inherent risks and responsibilities. As discussed, experienced surfers with skills and a deep understanding of the ocean environment should only attempt leashless surfing.

By choosing appropriate conditions, practicing control, and being considerate of others, surfers can navigate the challenges of leashless surfing safely and responsibly. Whether one decides to surf with or without a leash, it is crucial to prioritize safety, respect, and enjoyment in every session on the waves.

Max Surfer


About Author

>> Professional surfer with over 10 years of experience >> Participant in numerous international competitions, including World Championships >> Experience in training and instructing beginner surfers

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