A Guide To Stand Up Paddle Board Leashes

I hope he has a SUP leash

Hope this dude had a leash!

A SUP leash connects you to your board and is an extremely important part of your board equipment (it’s probably the most important accessory outside of the paddle). If your SUP is not attached, it can get away from you in seconds; this can even happen in a light breeze. The last thing you want to be doing is swimming a half mile just to retrieve your board. Trying to chase a board with paddle in hand is exhausting.

SUP LeashLengthRatingPrice
XM Stand Up Paddle Coil Leash10' & 12'$
Dakine SUP Coiled Ankle Leash10'$
Sticky Bumps Stand Up Paddle Leash Coil9', 10' & 11'$

How Long Should The SUP Leash Be?

According to most paddling experts, the leash should be approximately a foot longer than your board. So if you have a 10’ paddle board you need a paddleboard leash that is 11’ for best results. The type of leash you choose is up to you; some paddlers like flat leashes attached at the ankle while others prefer a coiled leash that is attached just below the knee.

While a straight SUP leash may seem like the obvious choice, a coiled leash doesn’t drag in the water behind you as you paddle. However, the straight leash is better for river or ocean paddlers because it won’t become tangled in turbulent water like a coiled leash.

Regardless of the leash you choose, a Velcro cuff will be used to attach it to you. It is probably a good idea to have your SUP leash attached to your board all the time because it is always ready to go in this instance. If you decide on this safety measure, make sure the paddleboard leash is properly wrapped around your SUP or else it will look like a kite tail as it flies behind your car!

A Note For River Paddlers

We recommend that river paddlers should purchase a breakaway leash because it could save their lives. If you paddle in water with a strong current and fall in, the SUP leash could get tangled and keep you submerged. If you are unable to untangle it, you could drown. As a rule of thumb, we don’t advise new paddlers to try their SUP board out on a strong river current.

SUP Leash Reviews

Now we’ll move on to a few reviews of the best known SUP leashes on the market.

XM Stand Up Paddle Coil Leash

The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank for your SUP leash since this offering from XM will set you back just $32. One of the great things about the XM SUP leash is the fact you can walk with it while carrying your board. When we paddled or rode a wave, there was no tension in the leash to the point we could hardly feel it at all. As it is a coil leash it has a tendency to tangle but we were happy to find the XM leash fixed itself pretty quickly. There is also a quick release mechanism along with the Velcro strap tab.

Overall, the XM is an impressive SUP leash and well worth the money. You might want a longer leash in really big surf. We think this leash is ideal for moderate waves and it is very durable; after a few tough sessions it hadn’t come close to bending out of shape. One word of warning though; if you do fall into the water, you will end up close to your SUP board so be careful and don’t get hit by it!

Dakine SUP Coiled Ankle Leash

You can get this SUP leash from Dakine for around $30. It uses a ‘straight-coil-straight’ coiling method which keeps it out of the water with minimal drag. It is made from 5/16 urethane cord with a padded ankle cuff and a triple wrap SUP rail saver. The cuff secures the leash to your ankle with Velcro and we found it to be very secure as we paddled.

This particular model stretches to 11 feet which makes it perfect for SUPs up to 10 foot long. Like all great SUP leashes, it can barely be felt once you put it in. We were also delighted to find it doesn’t tangle as easily as other coiled leashes and retracts incredibly easily.

Overall, this is a great value for money product and the quick release ankle cuff provides extra peace of mind. It is a lightweight coil that doesn’t drag in the water, doesn’t tangle easily and allows you to break free if you encounter extreme difficulty; what’s not to like?

Sticky Bumps Stand Up Paddle Leash Coil

The cord of this SUP leash is 8mm thick and it has strong Velcro with a pressure relief ankle cuff complete with elastic binding. Other features include molded rivets and double neoprene cuffs. There is also a 10mm flat string and when you pull it, the leash becomes completely flat and will reduce the pressure against your board’s tail and rail.

We found that this leash had a clever design and fits a wide variety of ankle sizes. With many SUP leashes, paddlers with large ankles suffer as the spiky part of the Velcro ends up around their ankle. Due to the flexibility of this Sticky Bumps model, it can fit larger ankles with ease. The coiling stretches a long way and a 10 foot Sticky Bumps coil easily fits an 11’6” board. Overall, this is a top quality coil with strong construction and it doesn’t drag in the water and slow you down.

Even if you choose a high quality SUP leash, always take precautions and check the weather before paddling. If you notice a breeze when you begin paddling, change direction and paddle against the breeze so you will find it easier on the return journey.