New to the game and wondering what kind of leash you need? Let’s ask you one simple question: what kind of waves are you riding? Leashes come in various thicknesses. Thin for small waves and thick for big waves. So there you go, you’re all set! (**Quick tip: If you can't be bothered reading, just scroll down to the bottom of the page and watch the video instead... no judgement here :-)
But in all seriousness, it is rather simple, but lets take it a bit further.
Generally there are comp leashes (thin), standard leashes (thicker) and big wave leashes (thickest). Then there are also specific leashes for longboards, stand up paddleboards and body boards.
If you’re surfing small to medium waves — around 1 – 3/4ft — grab a cord from the RYD True range. They are the thinnest out of the lot and will have the least amount of drag. The thought here is you need the least amount of resistance when you’re riding small waves (you want to go as fast as you can), and you don’t need much protection from snapping a leash in these size waves either. Think of this leash as your go-to leash for everyday surfing. You’ve got two options here; a 5mm, 5-foot leash (also good for grom-sized boards) and a 6mm, 6 foot leash.
If you’re surfing medium to large waves — from 4ft to 6ft + you’ll need a standard leash from our Layback range. These cords are all 7mm in thickness, but come in lengths of 6 foot, 7 foot and 8 foot. Caio uses our layback range when charging Teahupo’o in Tahiti, and they are also the perfect partners for mid-lengths, mini mals and larger surfboards under 9ft in length.
If your name is Big Wave Dave, you need to step it up again. You’ll need to decide between the big wave cords in the Alt and Faith range. The RYD Alt range delivers a 8mm option in two lengths — 8 foot and 9 foot. These are the real deal when facing 8 – 12ft + waves... and with the extra length and thickness you’ll find an extra layer of security and confidence.
And if your name is Even Bigger Wave Dave, you’ll need a lot more than a strong leash to get you through a big wave session. The aptly named Faith range is geared up for those surfers who take on extra large, 15ft - 20ft plus aquatic mountains. These cords are 9mm thick and come in 10 foot, 12 foot and 15 foot lengths. And don’t forget to say a little prayer on the way out.
Of course if you longboard, SUP or body board there are leashes specifically designed to suit your choice of craft too. There are 9 foot and 10 foot 7mm leashes for longboards with the SUP offering also available in a coil option. And our 4-foot body board leashes come with the choice of wrist or bicep attachments.
The modern day leash is certainly one of surfing’s best inventions. Other uses for the humble leash include using as a clothes line when camping, as a strap to secure your boards to the roof of your car (if you’ve lost your RYD tie downs) and an alternative way to take your dog for a walk.