- 06 December 2011 | Surfing
Surf leashes are a key surf gear. Also known as "kook cords" and leg ropes, surf leashes save you tremendous efforts and may save your life, too. How to choose a surf leash? You'll guide you through all the options when buying surfboard leashes.
Surf leashes were introduced in the world of surfing in the 1970's. In that time, the average surfboard was heavier and longer that it is now. If you had a wipe out in the small or big surf, your surfboard would end up in the beach sand or in the rocks.
At the same time, the surfer would be out alone in the line-up or caught in a terrible nightmare called inside white water. The surf leash was a great invention, even for experienced and proud pro surfers. It simply attaches your surfboard to your leg.
Today, "kook cords" are probably the most important gear in surfing, right after the surfboard and the wetsuit. Before buying a new surf leash, you should take into consideration four variables - length of the cord, thickness of the cord, quality of the connection between the cord and the ankle strap and the security conditions of the ankle strap itself.
If you've got a 6ft surfboard, pick a 6ft surf leash. If you own a 9ft longboard, then go for a 9ft. That is a simple rule. The best surf leashes are made of polyurethane.
In terms of thickness, it's always important to confirm the wave conditions. In small surf, thinner surf leashes can be enough, but if you're riding powerful medium-to-large waves then paddling out with a strong thick leash is compulsory.
To avoid breaking the surf leash, good and strong multi-directional rotating swivels are crucial. In rare cases, you may need to quickly leave your surfboard. That is why the best ankle straps have accessible fast detachable "buttons". The same applies to the rail saver. The ankle straps should be made of neoprene and might add soft lycra edges.