Surfboard Leash Guide

A surfboard leash is a long rope that is attached to your surfboard and your leg. With a leash your body is attached to your surfboard at all times. With a leash you don’t have to swim for your board every time you fall off and it also protects the surfers around you from crashing into your board. A leash is made from a very strong but elastic material. It allows to withstand the force of the wave but also to stretch and absorb some its power.

Here’s a short introduction to the surfboard leash:


A small piece of nylon string that is tied to the surfboard leash plug in the tail of the surfboard.


Protects the surfboard’s tail from the rubbing of the nylon cord. Without it the tail of the board would eventually crack or break.


The cord (see featured image) is the majority of the leash. Cords have a length and thickness measurement. Thicker cords are stronger but also create more drag in the water.


The part of the leash that attaches around the leg. It’s made of soft material and velcro is used to wrap it around your leg.


Usually the connection between the cuff and the cord and the rail saver and the cord are on a swivel joint. It prevents the leash from getting tangled around your feet. We recommend to get a leash with two swivels.


When buying a leash the length of the leash depends on the size of your board. It needs to be at least the length of your board. So if you surf a 7 ft board get a 7 ft or 8 ft leash. Remember that longer leashes create more drag and that a leash will stretch when used frequently.
A thicker leash is obviously stronger and safer but it also creates more drag in the water because of the leash hanging off the tail of the surfboard in the water. If you are not sure what to buy ask the shop for advice since it is a very important surfing accessory.


A leash with two swivels is better than one so if you can afford it buy it. Some have a key pocket to put one or two keys in. Check the cuff that it is comfortable and wraps around your leg. Good brands are Dakine, Ocean&Earth, FCS and Creatures.

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