How to Use SUP Board Leashes?

If you’re a paddler, you know how important the paddleboard leash is every time you go for an outing. A leash is very important for the security of your equipment and also for your safety.

When choosing the best SUP board leash, there are some things you have to take into consideration. From the length to the design, and whether it should be a breakaway or an attached leash.

Making a decision can be daunting but it should not be that hard.

Benefits of Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

Before you choose the best SUP board leash, you must first understand what stand-up paddleboarding can do for you. Aside from being a fun and relaxing activity, stand-up paddle boarding is also a very good workout.

This is the best complete body workout! It’s a low-impact exercise and a combination of balance, strength, and also endurance which can be achieved whether you’re paddling or even if you’re balancing on your board!

It affects almost everything in your body: your toes, legs, shoulders, arms, back, and neck.

The Importance of a SUP Leash

All paddleboards have a leash, no matter what type of board you have. Whether you go to the river, the lake, or the ocean, it’s important that you have a paddleboard leash. This will ensure that your board will stay close to you even if you fall or get knocked off your board.

Never take this for granted because if you don’t have the best sup board leash, it can be easily taken away by the water’s current.

Chasing the board is not a good idea because you can become exhausted and this can put your life in danger.

When you paddle in the cold water, the leash is very important because this can help prevent your body from getting hyperthermic while you’re retrieving your board. When you have the leash, it can help you get back to the board quickly. 

How to Use A SUP Board Leash

New paddlers are wondering how to use the paddle board leash properly. According to expert paddlers, the leash should go to your dominant foot. This should be the one that is closest to the tail of the board. If this is your right foot, then it is known as ‘regular-footed.’ If this is on your left foot, this is called ‘goofy-footed.’ If paddling in the river, wear the leash at the waist for easier release.

Length Is Important!

The best SUP board leash should be approximately one foot longer than your paddleboard. This is the standard length for every paddler. The reason for this is that when recoil happens, your board will snap back and hit you if your board is short. Remember that SUP leashes are not similar to surfing leashes.

The surfing leash is normally shorter and thinner compared to the ones used by paddlers. If you’re putting your board at the top of the back of your car, make sure that the leash is tied tight to prevent it from getting loose when driving.

Parts Of A SUP Leash

The SUP leash has three different parts: the rail saver, the long cord, and the cuff. The RAIL SAVER will keep the leash string on the board. You can tell that the quality of the leash is good when the rail saver is attached to the board.

This should also have an extra Velcro strip to reduce the chance of the leash falling off when you have a bad fall. On the other hand, the LONG CORD should be able to stretch without breaking and should be made out of urethane. The CUFF is the part that is attached to your calf or ankle.

The River Paddle Board Leash

When choosing the best SUP board leash, there are some things that you need to consider, especially if you’re a river paddle boarder. The leash used here is not a quick-release, and the risk of drowning is high, especially during a strong current or when your board gets stuck between rocks. Choose a leash that can be worn above the waist so when you fall off, you can easily release it from your body without putting your life in danger.

SUP Paddle Board Leash Types: Calf vs. Ankle

Some new paddlers are wondering whether to choose a calf or an ankle SUP leash. Other people say that one is better than the other. In reality, it depends on your preference, whether you want to use your SUP leash or not. When you want to wear your leash around your ankle, this means that the leash should be thinner. The thicker leash should only be worn around your calf. Your choice will also depend on your riding style.

Some of the slight disadvantages of wearing a calf leash are that it can pull your leg harder when you fall. This can also leave a thick tan line on one leg. The disadvantage of the ankle leash, on the other hand, is that it’s thinner so it can feel like it drags your leg in the water.

Different Cord Leash Styles: Straight vs. Coiled

The cord of the paddleboard leash comes in two different styles: straight and coiled. When choosing the cord style, it will depend on the environment where you will be paddling.

  • Straight Leash. The ‘straight’ leashes are the best choice for beginners. They are very easy to use, and they keep your board close to you and also, keep you close to the board. However, you must remember that straight leashes can get stuck in seaweed or other non-aquatic garbage easily. Straight leashes are not the best choice for racing paddleboards because they can add extra friction with the water which can limit your speed.
  • Coiled Leash. This, on the other hand, can be the solution to the friction and the cord getting caught in the water. This can be used in calm water with no waves. The coiled springs should NEVER be used in waves because when you fall off, the board will continue to move forward until the cord reaches its full extension. Once this happens, it will snap right back to its original form, and it can directly hit you in the face or cause severe injury.

Four Easy Ways of Attaching Your Leash To SUP

The best SUP board leash is the most important part of your equipment after your board and your paddle.

If you want to make sure that you have a fun and safe paddling experience, you have to make sure that your leash is correctly attached to your SUP.

Once you have already chosen the right SUP for you and your board, the next thing that you have to learn is how to attach it correctly and securely. Here are the four methods that you can follow:

  • Using A D-Ring. This is the most convenient way to attach your leash, especially if you have inflatable SUPs. This will use the large D-ring which will allow you to connect the rail saver directly to the board without the need for the pigtail string. This is the quickest and also, the easiest way to attach your SUP leash.
  • The Traditional Method. The hard SUPs have a sunken leash plug where you can attach the pigtail string. This will give you a larger loop that you can attach the velcroed rail saver securely on your board. This may not be very important for inflatables, but on the regular SUPs that come with leash plugs, this is very helpful.
  • Using a Pigtail String. This is applicable both for hard SUPs and inflatables when you’re short of pulling it all the way through. Keep both ends up and open in the loop, then thread the rail saver through. This will keep the string secure but looser to the leash plug or the D-ring to make it easy to connect and disconnect. This method will also cover the pigtail string knot under the velcro to prevent it from untying by itself.
  • Using a Traditional Method with Leashes Without Velcro Rail Saver. Some leashes that you buy have a sewn pigtail string or what we call refined or closed rail saver strap. This style is not that common. For this method, you need to thread the entire leash through the pigtail string for you to create the loop to make sure that the leash attachment is secure.

Once you have the best SUP board leash secured to the board, the next thing you want to do is attach your leash to your ankle.

The process is very easy, and it’s a no-brainer. All you have to do is open the Velcro cuff, slide it around your ankle, and then close the Velcro firmly.

That’s it! Now that you’re ready to paddle away; make sure that you adhere to the local rules and regulations regarding safe and responsible paddle boarding. Safety should always be your top priority!



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