Leashes! We go on about them a bit but that's only cause they're SO important. Such a crucial piece of your safety kit, possibly even THE most crucial

Having a leash is essential, but also the right type of leash for the job is just as important. Use the wrong leash, and it could end up being detrimental to your safety.

Check out this video (what not to do) posted by Bill Dawes (Treasurer and Safety Officer for NZSUP), that shows you just how IMPORTANT your leash is to your safety on the water.

To help you work out what is the right leash for you and your paddling environment, we've simplified the reasons for choosing one over the other. 

Keep in mind that nearly all leashes will attach to a particular part of the body via a velcro "cuff"; so when we say ankle, calf or waist we're talking about where the leash attaches; which part of the body is determined by personal preference but should be driven by the environment in which you paddle. 



Coiled leash (calf or ankle) 

This type of leash is becoming more and more common, as they're a pretty standard addition to most inflatable SUP packages.

Coiled leashes appear shorter than a straight leash and do not drag in the water, so they're less likely to caught up in seaweed/weeds, snagged on a rock, or by someone else's paddle...

Perfect for flat water or sheltered water, with minimal current.

Not suited to surf, as the recoil after falling in from a wipe out can be pretty vicious - you really don't want your board to come flying back towards you in the surf. It will also end up getting all tangled up like an old telephone cable, restricting its usefulness.




WARNING: Any type of leash that attaches to the calf or ankle should NEVER be worn in fast-flowing water (rivers, white water, harbour mouths with strong currents etc.)

Check out our range of coiled leashes here.


Straight leash (calf or ankle)

Probably the most common leash out there, and one that is great for just about any type of paddle environment. Again the choice of calf or ankle attachment is your call.  On flat water, a leash attached to your calf will give you a little less drag in the water but can create a little discomfort if you are paddling on your knees for long periods of time.
When choosing the length of your straight leash, a quick rule of thumb is that it should be at least the same length - or slightly longer, if your board is in-between sizes. For example, if your board is 9', use a 9' leash. If it's 9'6" board, grab a 10' leash.
Perfect for any water with minimal current, such as lakes, open sea, harbours, etc, and with little weed or few obstacles that the leash could catch on.
Definitely the best option for SUP surfing, as the board is kept at distance while you get washed around following a wipe out.  Minimal recoil, so a safer option that prevents board and body impact.



WARNING: Any type of leash that attaches to the calf or ankle should NEVER be worn in fast-flowing water (rivers, white water, harbour mouths with strong currents etc.)

Check out our range of straight leashes here.  


The quick-release leash

    If you have had anything to do with white water paddling of any kind, then you should be familiar with the term "quick release", however, if not and it's all new, then you might be wondering what the hell this has to do with paddle boarding?  

    Basically, it's a leash that attaches to a paddlers waist with a mechanism that, when activated, can be quickly released, even when under extreme tension, via a pull toggle or tag situated at the front of the paddler.

    It can be attached directly round the waist, or as an integral component of your PFD (Personal Flotation Device).  Basically, a waist leash built into the PFD, that has a quick release buckle/Cam at the front, example below. 



    Perfect for, and the only leash you should be wearing in fast flowing water, such as rivers, any white water, harbour or estuary mouths with strong currents.

    Not suitable for surfing, again you want the board away from your body when you wipe out. 

    Newer developments in this style of leash, allows you to connect your existing leash to a quick release belt - watch this space!




    Waist Leashes (coiled or straight)

    For years this type of leash was predominantly used by the SUP racing community, who wanted a leash that stayed off the deck and out of the water, and offered an easy release when dumping the board and running up the beach to the finish line. Basically a standard leash with a bigger cuff to fit around your puku.

    A small word from the wise, a waist leash is probably not the best option for beginners, as they're more likely to be falling off a bit, and a leash attached to your waist will mean you're more likely to get all tangled up with your body, your paddle, and your board. We don't need to make our first attempts at paddleboarding harder than it needs to be aye!

    In recent years, the Wing Dingers and SUP Surf Foilers are using a coiled version of the waist leash.  Prevents any tangling with foils and spreads the shock load after bail.  Also a good option on flat water for all levels of paddler.

    Perfect for Winging, SUP foilers, flat water. 



    Check out our range of waist leashes here.


    Here's a great video from SUPboarder to check out: SUP Safe - Leashes / A must watch.


    For the moment, there's still no perfect leash that fits all (as in all conditions), so just remember to choose and wear the right leash for the job.

    Stay safe out there whānau, and remember we're always up for a korero (chat)!


    Team Moana.



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