How to stay safe on your stand up paddleboard

Your leash is your #1 item of safety equipment for paddleboarding.  On this page you can check out our reviews and submit your own leash review, share your experiences with leashes and anything else you’d like to contribute. 

Leash Reviews

Here are some of the products that we have in-depth personal experience with and are prepared to recommend.  More reviews coming very soon – the website has only just been launched, and our main goal has been getting the books right.  If you would like to submit a review we’d love to hear from you!

In the book

Here are just some of the discussion points in the book about leashes.  Order your copy of the book now!

  • Why the leash is so important
  • Why is it so bad to lose your board
  • The history of leashes in SUP
  • The danger of fast-flowing water
  • Where do we find fast-flowing water?
  • How to tell if you are on fast-flowing water
  • Straight leashes pros and cons
  • Coiled leashes pros and cons
  • Ankle or calf fixing?
  • Quick-release waist leashes
  • Waist leash pros and cons
  • The argument that we should all be using waist leashes
  • Leash style preference vs function
  • Using your quick-release leash under stress?
  • Waist leashes with buoyancy aids
  • Disorientation and wipeout issues with waistbelt leashes
  • Why not just not wear a leash at all?
  • What about quick-release ankle leashes?
  • If you get caught out with an ankle leash
  • When your leash breaks…
  • How to stop your leash breaking
  • Leash customization
  • Paddle leashes
  • The leash attachment
  • Leashes and the surf environment
  • How long should your leash be for surfing?
  • Choosing the right leash
  • Applying the 4 golden rules of safety gear to leashes
  • Leash knowledge: test yourself

Yes, it’s a big topic and there’s a whole lot to say about it – but this is your primary piece of life-saving equipment so you really owe it to yourself to fully understand the issues and complexities of choosing the right leash for your environment, and knowing how to use it properly.   Order your copy of the book now!

Brands, Products and Links

Most board brands supply a leash with the board and have a couple of different options in their range. So there aren’t a huge number of specialist SUP leash manufacturers out there. However, any decent surf leash will work in a SUP context as an ankle or calf leash, and a few specialist waistbelt leash manufacturers are coming on to the market.  The following links and brand are for information only – they are  not recommendations as we have not tested their products. 

If you simply want a low price coiled or straight ankle/calf leash then there are plenty of candidates on Amazon, at very affordable prices. Personally, we wouldn’t necessarily trust a cheap leash for use in SUP surf or for more stressful environments such as open-ocean downwinders or fast-flowing river conditions, but for cruising around on your local stretch of water these will be absolutely fine. Click here for leashes on Amazon that are priced under US$25 and have a review rating of 4 star or more. 

If you want a high quality leash with a proper surfing pedigree, then here are a few of the top brands to consider.

Creatures of Leisure
This iconic Australian brand was the brainchild of John Malloy and responsible for many of the things we take for granted in modern leashes, such as the use of eurethane cord, and the stainless steel bearing swivel, plus a whole lot more. Fantastic quality leashes.

Ocean and Earth
Another iconic Australian brand  Ocean and Earth was founded by Brain Cregan in 1979 on the South Coast of NSW, and is now a world wide leading brand for high quality leashes.

What are your thoughts on leashes?

If you have anything to add to the discussion in the book about leashes then please let us know.  The discussion here will be moderated, and only relevant comments will be accepted. (Differing viewpoints are extremely welcome, but please do read the chapter in the book first, and base your comments on what has been written there. If your view has already been covered in the book there’s no point repeating it again). 

If you want to follow the debate then enter your details below and you’ll be notified when any new comments are added. 

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1 year ago

I was unhappy with what you wrote about waist leashes because it did not make sense to me and was not what other people have told me. But i continued to read and now I understand it all much better. I now understand why you say that safety is so complicated. I think I was completely guilty of making all the assumptions you say. I am very glad that I kept on reading.

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