How to Choose the Right Surfboard Leash?

Curious about how to choose the right surfboard leash for your surfboard to have the most epic surfing adventure?

Choosing the right surfboard leash not only protects other surfers in the water from getting in an accident with an awol board but it also eliminates the fear of losing control of your board which could mean dings and breakages or having to leave the lineup and swim back to shore to get it - which can sure be a pain in the neck!

Whilst a great variety of leash sizes, styles, and lengths may make you feel overwhelmed, this blog will help you on your journey to assure a comfortable and water-safe experience from your local break to our kick-ass surf camp in Sayulita and Punta Mita.

What’s the Purpose of Using a Surfboard Leash?

Wild Mex Wave Coaches at our Surf Board Rental in Punta Mita Can Guide You In Detail About Choosing Your Leash Length

The purpose of using a surfboard leash is to have full control of your surfboard while still having fun in the water. The famous leg leash will prevent your surfboard from being swept away by waves and will stop runaway surfboards from hitting other surfers and swimmers. 

Leg Ropes Need-To-Know!

Leashes, also known as leg ropes, are sort of belts/ropes that you tie with your ankle/knee at one end and with your surfboard at the other end. They are a great invention as they remove the stress of controlling your surfboard. With leashes, you don’t need to swim against waves to get your board. Moreover, leashes protect your surfboard from hitting shorelines and/or other surfers.

In addition to this, leashes also play their role in ensuring safe surfing for you. They don’t only save you from longest swims but also allow you to fall away from your board during falls (if there are no other surfers around.)

An important piece of advice to follow is that you must always put on a leash when there are numerous surfers around. The reason behind this is to protect yourself and others from an unexpected board flying towards others or you. To avoid such injuries, many towns recommend surfers use leashes as per their law. 

Dangers To Be Aware Of

Although leashes play their role in ensuring your safety, they can break too. Therefore, you must keep in mind that leashes may break and leave you alone out in the swell. For such an incident, you must always know the below useful tips that would help you in your local waters and here at your WildMex surf camp in Punta Mita or Sayulita.

  • Don’t surf when you’re already tired. If you start feeling low on energy during your session, we recommend heading in before you get too tired. 
  • Some wave-lovers who fit in the category of surfing for intermediates in Sayulita do opt to go without the leash. We recommend learning to surf with the leash first and moving on to removing the leash when you’re confident that you can control your board completely without one later down the line.  
  • Whenever you practice surfing without a leash, make sure to do it in an uncrowded place to avoid injury to other surfers or swimmers. 

FAQs: On Choosing Your Leash

1. What Should Be The Length Of My Surfboard Leash?

hat Should Be The Length Of My Surfboard Leash?

The basic principle for choosing your leash length is that it should be the same length as your board.
In general, leashes are available in lengths from 5ft to 12ft depending on the need. To choose your leash, measure the length of your board and buy a leash of the same length for the best experience. However, a slightly longer leash than your surfboard is also perfectly fine for your local lineup or, for your surf camp in Sayulita, Punta Mita, and beyond.

2. What Should Be The Thickness Of My Leash?

What Should Be The Thickness Of My Leash?

A thicker leach is more durable and stronger than the thinner one. However, keep in mind that a thicker leash will drag more compared to the thinner one. When the waves are smaller, a thinner leash of 5mm-6mm would work perfectly. However, when surfing larger and heavier sets, a thicker leash of 7mm-9mm is recommended.

In stronger waves, thinner leashes may tear out and cause you unpleasant experiences. Therefore, our knowledgeable surf coaches in our surfboard rental in Punta Mita and Sayulita always recommend using thicker leashes for medium-large wave surfers as well as beginners.

3. Knee/Calf Leash vs. Ankle Leash: What Should I Pick?

3. Knee/Calf Leash vs. Ankle Leash: What Should I Pick?

Let’s learn about the difference between these two so that you can choose the one that’s best for you!



A great number of surfers use an ankle leash because it truly is the most convenient and comfortable form. Attaching it to your ankle makes you feel at home for two reasons: The first one is that the ankle is the most flexible and comfortable part of the body to attach a leash. The second is that attaching it to the ankle makes it easier for you to kick back your surfboard in case of tumbling. However, please note that an ankle leash tangles more compared to a knee leash.


WildMex’s Surf Camp For Surfing For Intermediates In Punta Mita Guides Surfers On Which Surf Board Leash To Use As Part Of The Theory.

In contrast to an ankle leash, a calf or knee leash is less comfortable but promises fewer tangles. It is the best for those surfers who use a longboard or a SUP (Stand up Paddle). On the downside, it is not as easy to pull your surfboard back against waves because it is attached to a higher point i.e., your knee. However, attaching it to this higher point does make it easier for you to walk on top of your surfboard to rip tricks and manoeuvres without tripping on the leash.

4. What To Do In Case Your Surfboard Leash Snaps?

4. What To Do In Case Your Surfboard Leash Snaps?

The first and foremost important thing to do when your leash snaps, is to remain calm and maintain relaxed breathing. If you panic, you may get yourself into trouble. Therefore, stay calm and tell yourself that you can safely and bravely deal with this situation. If there are other surfers around, don’t be shy to ask for help. 

If there is no one around, swim in a relaxing manner by conserving energy to get back to wherever your board may be or the shore (always choose your safest option). 

Leash Safety

Now that you are familiar with the basic facts about leashes and can easily pick one for yourself, let’s talk about safety. Although leashes can make your surfing journey fantastic, they can sure make you stressed out too - if they break. Therefore, you must have some knowledge about leash safety

Keep in mind that some leashes go a long way but some get weaker and wear out very soon. Therefore, make sure to perform a leash check every time you prepare your equipment for the beach or before your surf camp in Punta Mita and Sayulita with WildMex!

If you notice that your leash is weaker than before and may break at any point, don’t wait for it to break. Instead, you must get a new leash immediately or take assistance from our surfboard rental in Sayulita, where a member of our team will be happy to guide you. This won’t only protect you from injury but will also protect other surfers from being injured by your flying surfboard

Stay Safe and Have Fun!

Stay Safe and Have Fun!

Ready to go on the most adventurous surfing trip of your life? It’s time to book your intermediate surf camp in Punta Mita and Sayulita now and pack up your gnarly surfing bags! To get more information about our surf camps' pricing and packaging click here. Alternatively, we’ve got surf maps, transport, accommodation, boards, trips, and more, plus over 300+ varieties of surfing equipment to choose from! From the highest quality equipment to having your very own professional surf coach for beginner or intermediate training; find everything here in one spot, with WildMex

So what are you waiting for? Hurry up and contact our Wildmex team for all of your surfing needs! 

By WildMex Newsletter Surfing TIPS