Best surfboard leash

Water Sports

It’s a good idea to hang your leash for at least 48 hours before using in order to straighten out any kinks. New leashes tend to coil up the first few times you use them.

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Whether you’re just learning to surf small waves or you’re a seasoned pro on Oahu’s famed North Shore, every surfer needs a good leash. Surfboard leashes attach to your ankle and keep your board from getting too far away from you in the water, because the last thing you want when you’re surfacing after a fall is to worry about how far away your surfboard has floated.

Leashes vary in their length, design, and durability, and surfers of different experience levels will likely need different leashes. Some surfboard leashes are long enough that they even fit large stand-up paddleboards.

If it’s time for you to buy a new surfboard leash, then keep reading. We’ve created the following buying guide, which includes a few reviews of our favorites at the end. Our top pick, the Ho Stevie! Premium Surf Leash, is a durable premium option that’s sure to keep you riding those waves for years to come.



When deciding the length of your leash, you should be sure that it’s at least as long as your board. The majority of surfboard leashes fall between 5 and 12 feet. The leashes on the higher end of that range will also work fine for large stand-up paddleboards. Keep in mind, though, if you’re a beginner, you don’t want a leash that’s too long.


Thicker leashes tend to hold up better against the elements over time. Larger waves also require thicker leashes due to the incredible amount of power exerted by large waves. Thinner leashes generally work well for paddleboarding and small-wave riding.


Ankle straps are usually made from neoprene, which is relatively comfortable against the skin. However, if the Velcro isn’t completely covered, it can rub against your skin and cause a lot of discomfort. Furthermore, if the ankle strap isn’t tight enough, it can also rub against your ankle and cause chafing, which can ruin your day of surfing.



The color of your surfboard leash isn’t purely aesthetic. Some surfers prefer a brightly colored leash to a black one so they can see the leash easily when they’re off their board in the water.

Key pocket

Most surfboard leashes include some form of key pocket. This is a small, sometimes hidden pouch attached to the strap where you can place a key. These pouches seal tightly to ensure that your key doesn’t fall out in the water.

Detachable button

This feature is especially useful for big wave surfers. It’s a button that you can push to detach yourself from the leash instantly. This is an important safety feature for those who might get dragged underwater after a spill from an extremely large wave. This is generally only needed by more advanced surfers.

Stainless steel swivels

Swivels at the end of the leash help to prevent coiling when in the water. Although this is a common feature of many leashes, less expensive models may not include swivels. If you want to prevent coiling, look for a leash that incorporates this feature.


Most surfboard leashes cost between $10-$25. For around $10, leashes are basic models that won’t have any special features. For $15, you can get a leash that may be slightly thicker and may include a single swivel. If you spend $25, expect to find the most durable leashes with double stainless steel swivels for optimum safety.


Are ankle attachments or calf attachments more comfortable to wear?

A. As a general rule, most surfers tend to find ankle attachments more comfortable. That being said, some surfers still prefer to use calf attachments because they say doing so helps to prevent coiling better than ankle attachments do.

Do surfboard leashes ever break during the course of use?

A. Unfortunately, in surfing, accidents can happen. Although most surf leashes are built to withstand a lot of abuse, they can break on occasion. That’s why it’s important to invest in a leash that can handle whatever you plan to put it through.


Top surfboard leash

Ho Stevie Premium Surf Leash

Ho Stevie! Premium Surf Leash

Our take: This is a solid choice with a lot of size options.

What we like: It works great for surfboards, as well as stand-up paddleboards. It is strong enough for big waves. The customer service if great. It offers a convenient, quick-release tab.

What you should consider: The ankle cuff isn’t very comfortable.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon.

Top surfboard leash for the money

BPS’ Storm Surfboard and SUP Leash

BPS’ Storm Surfboard and SUP Leash

Our take: This well-designed leash comes at an affordable price.

What we like: It comes in 5- to 10-foot sizes. There is an easy-to-access key pocket and double swivels.

What you should consider: Some users reported snapped leashes after only a few uses.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon.

Worth checking out

BPS’ Storm Ultralite 10-Foot Coiled SUP Surf Leash

BPS’ Storm Ultralite 10-Foot Coiled SUP Surf Leash

Our take: This is a comfortable and cost-effective leash.

What we like: The cuff is soft and comfortable. The coil design prevents snagging and tangles. It is lightweight compared to other leashes.

What you should consider: The tension takes some getting used to as a result of the coil design.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon.


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Adam Reeder writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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