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How to Attach a Leash to a Stand Up Paddle Board | 5 Steps

The first time I tried to attach a SUP leash, I did it horribly wrong. It took some trial and error, but I finally mastered the process. So, I thought I would pass on that information to you.

How to Attach a Leash to a Stand-up Paddle Board:

  1. Thread the leash string through the leash plug
  2. Loop the knot in the leash string back through itself, so that it is attached to the bar in the leash plug
  3. Pull the rail-guard through the loop created by the leash string
  4. Place the knot of the leash string inside the fold of velcro
  5. Fold the velcro layers over the knot and back onto itself.

Properly attaching your leash can be a little confusing the first time, but it will ensure that it stays connected to your board. That means you will remain attached to your SUP. The proper technique will also help to protect your board from damage caused by the leash string.

Attaching a Leash to an Inflatable

Attaching a leash to an inflatable stand-up paddleboard is very similar to what was described above. However, instead of threading the leash string into the leash plug, on an inflatable, you would thread it through the leash ring.

Everything after that would be the same. I do know some folks who skip using the leash string and just pull the rail guard through the leash ring. This can work, but depending on the size of the leash guard, it may be bent and not close as tightly onto itself. So, my suggestion is just to keep using that leash string.

Related How to Get on a Stand-up Paddle Board | Step-By-Step Guide.

Parts of a Leash

To give you a frame of reference, I wanted to show you all the parts of a SUP leash. Starting from the left, you have the leash string. This is the part that connects the leash to the board.

The Rail guard connects to the leash string, but it has a bonus use. It protects the rails of your board from being damaged by the leash string.
Connecting the rail guard to the leash cord is the swivel. This allows you to move around on the board without the leash getting all knotted up.
Then you have your leash cord, which in this case, is coiled. A coiled leash is becoming pretty standard because 10 feet of a straight leash can get in the way.

Finally, there is the cuff of the leash. It can be placed around your ankle or calf. Which location to attach your leash is up to you. Some people like to move around more on the board, and they prefer the calf placement. Another benefit to the calf placement is that it is easier to release if needed. Others, including myself, just like the feel of the leash on the ankle. I guess it’s from my old short-board days.

Do You Need a Leash?

So, why are you going to all of this trouble (well, a whole minute of trouble)? Well, the simple answer is safety, not just for you but also for the people around you.

You should really think about wearing your leash every time you go out on your SUP. The simple reason is that it keeps the board near you in case you fall off. This is especially necessary when there is heavy current or a stiff breeze.

Wearing a leash in the surf is a must. It gets old fast if you have to swim into shore, chasing your board every time you have to bail. It’s even more critical that your board stays close if there are other swimmers in the area. The last thing you want to do is let your board go sailing into a crowd of people enjoying the waves.

Here is the leash that I currently recommend. I really love how comfortable it is, but the best part is the hidden pocket, to store keys or whatever.

Care for Your Leash

Just like your SUP and your paddle, you should rinse your leash after every use, especially if you were paddling in saltwater. Also, try to store it inside and out of the sun. The sun can cause cracking and deterioration of your leash. It is also best if you allow your cuff to dry before packing it away. A soggy cuff is prone to mold growth.

Final Thoughts

Your leash is a valuable safety device that should not be ignored. Just read the post, look at the pictures, or watch the video. Get that leash on and hit the water safely.

Thanks for paddling by!