Ah, the lonely leash. Unpretentious, unappreciated, undervalued. Until you need it… I mean REALLY need it.
Case in point, exhibit photo 1. In a rush to try out a new board, yours truly attached too short a leash for the size board I was riding. The surf wasn’t big, but rather what we call confused. On my last ride of the day, rather than kick-out over the small choppy wave I lazily jumped into the shallow shore break. WHACK! The tail hit me right between the eyes resulting in 12 stitches and lots of bloody towels.
Lesson learned, albeit the hard way. Shortly after my emergency room visit I outfitted every board I owned with the proper leash. Here’s what I learned by doing so:
1. The leash should be about a foot longer than your board.
2. A coiled leash has the advantage of not dragging in the water behind you while paddling.
3. A straight leash is preferred for river paddlers to avoid getting tangled in the turbulence of white water.
4. River paddlers MUST wear a breakaway leash to be able to release themselves quickly if tangled in underwater structures.
5. Always wear a leash, it will save your life.
Regardless of your level of experience, utilize the knowledge of your local pro. At Nautical Ventures, we’re experts in helping clients outfit their SUPs. We live the life, practice what we preach, and have been helping the Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood and Palm Beach SUP community for almost 30 years.
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