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Do You Really Need A Surfing Leash?
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Do You Really Need A Surfing Leash?

Wave Tribe

Out of the many gears that a newbie surfer needs to acquire, a surfing leash is most often last on his list.

Published by Wave Tribe

It’s probably because of its size; compared with a surfing board or a wetsuit, the leash is small and easily overlooked.

Even when it was introduced to the public in 1971, reception was admittedly lukewarm. And yet a surfing leash can be very important in helping you enjoy surfing as a sport. It can even be a life saver.

A surfing leash is essentially a piece of rope that’s attached to the tail of the surfboard and has a Velcro wrap on the other end which is fastened to the surfer’s ankle. The first leash was actually made of surgical tubing which wasn’t safe for surfers. That’s because the material was very elastic; once stretched, it sprang back quickly, slamming the surfer into their surfboards.

These days, leashes are made from polyurethane, nylon and velcro. These materials give the leash a manageable recoil and a better tensile strength.

Surfing leashes are important in many ways:

It Keeps Your Surfboard from Slamming into Nearby Surfers

The modern surfing board is a far cry from the early designs which were more heavier. But even with the relative lightness of polyurethane foam and fiberglass, surfing boards can still cause accidents at sea.

Among newbies, most especially, learning how to surf will inevitably result in a lot of wipeouts. That’s the nature of the learning curve in surfing. One has to fall off many times from the surfboard in order to learn how to ride the waves.

When that happens though,in a crowded surfing spot, your surfing board can hit swimmers and surfers nearby potentially causing injury.

But if one has a surfing leash, it can keep the surfboard close to you so that it doesn’t cause any accident.

It Keeps Your Surfboard Close to You

When you’ve been wiped out by a big wave and you’re not accustomed to being slam-dunked by a heavy wall of seawater, being submerged underwater can be a panicky experience.

This is another reason why leashes are useful. It keeps the surfboard close to you so that when you need something to hold you up in the water, you can easily grab the surfboard.

When you are a newbie, you can easily get worn out from riding a wave. Knowing that you can easily grab your surfboard to use as a flotation device right after you’re swamped, will help you have more confidence in riding the surf.

Our Eco Leash is made from recycled plastic pellets. It costs us a little more money to produce them but we don’t care about the cost because we want to do our bit to save our planet.

— Derek Dodds, Wave Tribe Founder

It Saves you Time and Effort

In the olden days, before the surfing leash was invented, it was considered part of the essential surfing experience for wiped out surfers to chase after their surfboards before it reached the shore.

Not only was this tiring (right after being swamped), but it also made getting back on the waves more arduous because one had to swim back again to meet the wave.

With a surfing leash, no surfer ever needs to do that again. In fact, this was the reason why the surfing leash wasn’t welcomed by most of the surfing community right when it first released.

They thought that it made surfers even more lazier. Now that they didn’t have to go through the effort of chasing surfboards, it made them less of a hard-core surfer.

Fortunately, this opinion didn’t last long. Today, many recognize the value that surfing leashes provide to their surfing game.

It Protects your Surfboard from being Broken

If the surfing spot had rocky beaches, it was imperative to chase after the surfboards before it hit the rocks. If one failed to do so, chances are that the surfboard would be broken into pieces upon the jagged teeth of the shore.

These days, with a surfing leash, one need not to worry about having their expensive boards broken on the shore. Because it’s tethered to one’s ankle, it won’t stray far enough or dash upon the cold, rocky shore.

Bad for the Environment?

Recently, however, with the rising levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, there are concerns that most surfing leashes may not be good for the environment.

Urethane, which is the primary material that gives surfing leashes their elasticity, is a synthetic polymer that is made with a large carbon footprint.

This means it contributes a lot of greenhouse gas emissions when this polymer was being manufactured. And that’s a bad thing because global warming is real and the effects of climate change are becoming more pronounced each day.

Eco Leashes

Fortunately though, there’s an ongoing eco-movement in the surfing industry that seeks to produce surfing gear that is sustainable and does not harm the environment.

Here at Wave Tribe, we’re part of that movement. And along the many eco-products that we produce, we’ve also come up with an alternative to the conventional surfing leash.

Our Eco Leash is made from recycled plastic pellets. It costs us a little more money to produce them but we don’t care about the cost because we want to do our bit to save our planet.

Using recycled plastic resulted in lower energy consumption and since we were no longer dependent on polyurethane to produce the cord, it also reduced carbon emissions.

But lest you think that they are not durable, think again. There’s a reason why we have a one-year UNBREAKABLE guarantee on our Eco-Leash. It’s really that unbreakable. In fact magazines like Surfer’s Path and Outdoor have recognized the quality of our product.

To check out more on our good stuff, go surf our site.


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Can Our Beaches Survive Climate Change
The Ultimate Guide on How To Lower My Carbon Footprint - Surfer's Edition
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