A Beginner’s Guide to the Best Stand Up Paddle Board Leashes
Paddle boarding is a fantastic time, but let’s be frank: the sport would be near impossible without a SUP leash. Stand up paddle board leashes connect a rider to the board.
Without an ankle leash, your board can get away from you within a second. This is especially true when enjoying the open ocean. Even on a calm lake, one swift breeze can send your board far away without a leash.
No one wants to swim a quarter-mile to get back on their SUP. As such, a paddle board leash may be the most important SUP accessory outside your paddle. As long as you have a board, a paddle, and a SUP leash – you can hit the water whenever you please.
How Long Should Your Paddle Board Leash Be?
Ok, let’s dive into the details of finding the perfect SUP leash for you. First and foremost, you need to know how long you ankle leash should be. Most experts agree that the best leashes are around one foot longer than your SUP board. If you have an 11′ SUP, then a 12′ leash would be ideal.
Next, you’ll need to decide where you like the SUP leash to attach. Most paddlers prefer a flat leash that connects to the ankle. These tend to be the most common. Other SUP fanatics prefer a coiled leash that connects right below your knee.
For calm water, we’ve found the coiled leash to be a boarder’s best choice. These SUP leashes don’t drag around in the water as much as a straight leash. However, they often get tangled in turbulent waters.
As such, a straight leash tends to be the best option for people on rivers or ocean waters. These straight SUP leashes won’t get tangled up in waves or strong currents like a coiled one might.
Either way, the leash will attach to your body will Velcro and connect to your board. It’s best to leave the leash attached to the board at all times, so you’re good to go at all times.
Stand Up Paddle Board Leash Reviews
Once you have an idea of what to look for, let’s move on to the exact SUP leash models. We tested a few dozen leashes and decided these were are three favorites for paddle boarders:
Dakine SUP Coiled Ankle Leash
A well-priced model, you can grab the Dakine SUP Coiled Ankle Leash for around $30. The unique “straight-coil-straight” design of this unit ensures the leash stays out of the water, while still allowing ocean use.
Made with a sturdy urethane cord and padded ankle cuff, this leash is very secure. It can stretch to 11 feet long, which makes it ideal for boards up to 10 feet. You’ll barely feel this model once you have it on.
The Dakine SUP Coiled Ankle Leash doesn’t tangle easily and offers quick release breakaway technology in dangerous situations. As one of the better models on the market, this leash provides great value for your dollars.
XM Stand UP Paddle Coil Leash
Coming in at $32, the XM Stand UP Paddle Coil Leash is a great value for paddle boarders looking for a coil leash. The model doesn’t tangle often, and when it does – you can easily untangle it.
The quick release breakaway ensures this SUP leash is ideal in moderate waves and currents. The Velcro strap tab is incredibly comfortable. Many didn’t even notice the leash was around their ankle while riding. It’s that comfortable.
If you’re in huge waves or have a longer board, this may not be the perfect leash. For everyone else, the XM Stand UP Paddle Coil Leash may be the best option available today.
Sticky Bumps Stand Up Paddle Leash Coil
The Sticky Bumps Stand Up Paddle Leash Coil is an 8mm ankle cuff leash with strong Velcro, elastic binding, and a pressure releasing ankle mechanism. Double neoprene cuffs and molded rivets ensure stability and strength.
A unique and clever designed paddle board leash, the Sticky Bumps model can fit nearly every ankle size. While some leashes hurt riders with big ankles due to the spiky part of the leash scratching, this model fits all ankles comfortably.
If you have a bigger ankle, the Sticky Bumps Stand Up Paddle Leash Coil is the perfect model for you. It also offers a top-quality coiling design that won’t drag in the water at all.
One Quick Safety Note
Safety is of utmost importance here. If you plan to take your SUP on a river, you’ll want to invest in a breakaway leash. This type of SUP leash could save a life.
See, on a river, the current can be strong. You could fall off your board, and the ankle leash could keep you under water due to the strong current. If you cannot untangle or remove the leash, you may drown.
Always use a breakaway leash in a river. However, newbies to paddle board should still stay away from strong river currents.
A Beginner’s Guide to Stand Up Paddle Board Leashes
No matter what SUP leash you select, be careful out on the water. Check the weather forecast every day before you head out. While leashes and PFDs are designed to keep you safe, the easiest way to ensure you enjoy your time on the water is through weather watching.
Above you’ll find the perfect stand up paddle leashes on the market. If you’re looking for safety, smart design, and comfort – the three leashes above are sure to fit the bill.