The surf leash is a security element, which keeps us tied to the surfboard.

There are various aspects to take into account when choosing a leash for our surfboard. Today we´ll talk about the surf leash, a must have item when surfing.

Whats a surf leash?

The leash is a plastic rope that joins the surfer to the surfboard. It´s a stretched tube made of plastic that has great resistance and some elasticity. Its fixed by a cuff to the surfers ankle or knee and to the back of the surfboard.

Why use a surf leash?

As we said at the start, a leash is a security element that will help us avoid losing the surfboard, that we avoid getting knocked by the surfboard or hit any other surfer, and it will maintain us tied to our surfboard (life saver) in case of danger.

Surf leash

Do all leashes work for all waves?

There are different surf leashes for each wave and board. For small waves as a general rule the leash must be more or less the same length as our surfboard. That means that if we have a 5´8 board then a got choice for a surf leash is a 6´one. This way when we fall, we will avoid getting hit by our own board.

On the other hand, for big waves we should have a longer surf leash. Falling and tumbling with these types of waves is more common, and we should have a longer and more robust leash to minimize the possibilities for breakage or that our board comes back to knock us out.

What type of leash do I need for my board?

There are two types of leashes depending on what surfboard we are using. The ankle leashes and knee leashes. The ankle leashes are used for shortboards. As we said, the longer the surfboard the longer the leash.

Knee leashes on the other hand are used for longboards and SUPs. The cuff is on the knee, since in these types of boards the surfer will be walking around the surfboard and this avoids tangling yourself. In the case of a SUP, there are special leashes. Due to its greater volume and the bigger dragging force compared to shortboards, these leashes are thicker and more resistant.

How often do I need to change my surf leash?

Maybe this isn´t the question you want to be asking, because unlike food, leashes don´t have an expiration date. But this is a security element and it´s important to have it in good conditions.

It´s important to take good care of it. Wash it with freshwater after use, don´t leave it out in the sun for long periods of time, don’t roll it around the surfboard tail since this will make it take that rolled shape when we use it. Check the rope every time you go out surfing and have a backup.


Obviously each brand tries to demonstrate that their leash is the most durable and resistant in the market. But there are big differences in prices between the cheapest one and the most expensive. This is not a coincidence, check the quality of the surf leash, the build and don’t doubt consulting your friends about the brand reputation. The colors and design is up to you.

If you liked this post we recommend you visit our tag #surfbase where we will show you different surf articles, so that you can familiarize yourself with basic surf vocabulary.

surf leash