Surf leashes are a key piece of surf gear. But how should we choose a surf leash? We'll guide you through all the options when buying surfboard leashes.
Surf leashes, also known as "kook cords" and leg ropes, save you tremendous efforts and may save your life, too.
They were introduced to the world of surfing in the 1970s. In those days, the average surfboard was heavier and longer than it is now.
If you suffered a wipeout in the small or big surf, your surfboard would end up on the beach, sand, or rocks.
Simultaneously, the surfer would be out alone in the lineup, caught inside, or involved in a terrible whitewater nightmare.
The surf leash was a fantastic invention, even for experienced and uber-confident pro surfers.
It keeps your surfboard attached to your leg in case you need something to hold on to. Today, "kook cords" are probably the most important gear in surfing, right after the surfboard and the wetsuit.
Length, Thickness, Connection, and Ankle Strap
Before buying a new surf leash, you should consider four variables: the length of the cord, the thickness of the cord, the quality of the connection between the cord and the ankle strap, and the security conditions of the ankle strap itself.
The best surf leashes are made of polyurethane. If you've got a 6-foot surfboard, pick a 6-foot surf leash.
If you own a 9-foot longboard, then go for a 9-foot rope. It's a simple rule of thumb.
Regarding thickness, it's always important to confirm the wave conditions.
Thinner surf leashes can be enough in the small surf, 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 situations, you will need to dismount your surfboard quickly.
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 include soft lycra edges.
Let's take a look at the best "kook cords" in the world for the 2024 season:
A revolutionary surf leash both visually and the way it's been designed and built.
FCS Freedom is a thin, light, and high-tensile over-braided nylon cord.
It features a limited over-stretch that will always return to its original length.
FCS Competition Essential
A surfboard leash for shortboards. A 5.5mm thick leash for 2-to-4-foot waves.
A shorter, lightweight model that minimizes drag.
Dakine Kainui Team
A surfboard leash for bigger boards. An 8mm thick cord for larger swells and double-to-triple overhead waves.
Features a molded neoprene ankle cuff, heavy-duty, corrosion-proof zipper, and maximum safety systems.
Dakine Kainui Longboard
A surfboard leash for longboards. A 6.5mm thick leash for log riders.
It will keep your toes on the noes, not wrapped up in the leash.
Creatures of Leisure Reliance Pro
A surfboard leash for shortboards and bigger boards.
Features an injection-molded urethan sure release tag with molded holes that allow water flow and reduce the weight of the cuff.
It comes with an unbreakable, self-lubricating swivel that produces continuous friction-free motion, eliminating leash tangles.
Creatures of Leisure Outer Reef
A surfboard leash for big wave surfboards.
A super-strong model that absorbs wave impact and stretches to resist breakage.
Sticky Bumps Day Glo
A surfboard leash for shortboards. A 5mm thick leash for competitive surfers.
Features molded rivets, a double webbed rail saver, and a padded ankle cuff.
Bullet Proof Surf Storm
A surfboard leash for stand-up paddleboards (SUP). A coiled surf leash for SUP enthusiasts.
It eliminates the drag and keeps your leash up on the back of your board and out of the water.
The surfboard leash review has been updated on January 15, 2024.