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How to Attach a Surfboard Leash

How to Attach a Surfboard Leash
Written by Colin Kint

You do not need to swim after your surfboard if you have a surfboard leash. This means you don’t have to worry about losing your board in the water and then struggling to locate it.

However, most people are still confused about how surfboard leashes attach to their boards as well as how to get them on their board. Let’s take a look at how you can most effectively use your surfboard leash.

Why Do You Need A Surfboard Leash?

Why Do You Need A Surfboard Leash

To ensure the board stays close to you

Rip currents are strong in the water. It can take a while for your body to ‘recover’ after you fall. It’s plenty of time for your board to get dragged away by a powerful current!

Surf leashes Are Not Safety Harnesses

Despite being a safety mechanism, surfboard leashes cannot save you and cannot be used as safety harnesses.

How To Attach a Surfboard Leash?

Pinch and Push method

Step 1: Tie the leash string into a knot, grab the folded end, pinch it.

Step 2: push the string through the hole located on the fin box. If it is tight, it might help to use a stick, It can also help to push a toothpick through the hole to push the string.

Step 3:  Simply pull the string through your board until it is as close to the deck as possible.

Pinch and Push method

Attach With Fishing Line

Step 1: Get some fishing line, then loop it through the hole end and tie it off.

Step 2: Now, you just need to pull the string through

Step 3: Pull it through all the way to the bottom of the fin box, being sure the knot is tight.

Attach With Fishing Line

Position The Rail Saver Correctly

Rail savers need to go over your board’s rail. The string can damage your board if it is too long and hits your rails.

The string needs to be shortened if it is hitting the rail. Repeat the steps above if necessary.

Position The Rail Saver Correctly

Always put the leash on when its dry, never wet

Before entering the water, put your leash on your surfboard. By doing so, you will maximize your performance.

Putting it on while it is still dry will ensure perfect adaptability and give the ankles/knees more security. Wet conditions don’t let this happen as easily.

The Wrong Way

Don’t make the leash string too long. This will cause the leash string to pull through your rail or crack it.

The loop needs to be the length that allows the rail saver to rest on the board rail.

attach surfboard leash wrong way

When the cord is long, it can become pulled during a wipeout, and the force that the leash receives can cause damage to the tail of your board. Cords that are too long can carve through the board’s tail like a knife.

It is important not to use a coiled leash. They are designed for complete bodyboarding and should not be used as a leash for a surfboard. They will trip you over and are simply not designed to be used when surfing.

Do all surfboards have a leash attachment?

Leashes are attached via the leash plug on all modern surfboards. The leash plugs on some surfboards are fixed and can be found on each side of the stringer. This way, surfers can choose which side to tether their leash to.

When you buy a second-hand surfboard, you may receive an older leash. A new leash would be a good investment in this case for your new to be surfboard. Being safe is better than being sorry.

Tips To Use A Surf Leash

Always Attach To The Back Leg

Always Attach To The Back Leg

Leashes are tied to a surfer’s back leg around the ankle or the leg closest to the surfboard’s tail.

Tighten as much as possible

Leashes that spin around the ankle are not sufficiently tight. Both sides of the Velcro strap must line up for a strong hold.

Strap onto your ankle

Make sure you strap the leash all the way down to your ankle. Leashes can slip down if they are strapped on too high, causing you to trip over them.

Check the leash condition

Check the leash condition

Be sure the cord of the leash is not knotted. The leash will break under extreme stress if it is knotted. Some leash parts may break over time or look worn.

Don’t try to repair these, as they just leave a weak spot within the leash that can be dangerous if it breaks. Simply buy a new one if the condition of your leash has deteriorated.

How Can You Straighten A Surfboard Leash?

  • If the surfboard leash is kinked, soak it in hot water for 24hrs then tie it to two ends to stretch it out and straighten it while it dries
  • Tie it to something high, then pop a weight on the bottom of it to straighten it out.

Why Dragging Your Leash in the Sand Is Bad

As a result, the Velcro gets clogged with sand, making it extremely difficult to put on, as well as failing to stick. As the sand rubs on the Velcro, the Velcro is worn down and becomes less sticky as a result.


1. Which foot does the surfboard leash go on?

Ans. A leash should be fastened to the foot located at the back or tail of the board.

Where should you put your surfboard leash? On your right foot if you are a regular footed surfer. On your left foot for goofy.

About the author

Colin Kint

Colin is in his mid twenties and a professional skateboarder whom you may already know. He participated in most of the skateboarding competitions in San Francisco. His innate passion for the sport drove him to pursue his career as a professional skateboarder. Another reason why he’s so good at it could be his relentless practice sessions with his friends. Apart from that, Todd also volunteers in various community awareness programs. He’s an environmental activist with an undergraduate law degree and an expert photographer as well. He does most of the photography of our site.

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