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2023 starboard best inflatable touring stand up paddle boards

Welcome to SUP Leash 101! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, understanding the importance of a reliable SUP leash is crucial for your safety and overall paddle boarding experience. A SUP leash is a vital accessory that connects you to your board, ensuring that you stay connected and safe in the water.

When it comes to paddle boarding gear, a SUP leash should be at the top of your list. It not only keeps your board nearby if you fall off, but it also prevents it from becoming a hazard to other water users. With a wide range of SUP accessories available, choosing the right leash can enhance your paddle boarding adventure.

Key Takeaways:

  • A reliable SUP leash is essential for safety and peace of mind.
  • A SUP leash keeps you connected to your board and prevents it from drifting away.
  • Choosing the right SUP leash enhances your paddle boarding experience.
  • Consider the type, length, attachment, and material of the leash when making a selection.
  • Follow proper attachment and usage techniques for optimal safety.

Why Do You Need a SUP Leash?

When it comes to paddle boarding, safety should be your top priority. One essential accessory that every paddle boarder should have is a reliable SUP leash. Whether you’re enjoying a serene paddle on calm waters or tackling challenging waves, a leash for your stand up paddle board is crucial in ensuring your safety on the water.

So, why exactly do you need a SUP leash? Let’s explore the potential dangers and risks involved in paddle boarding without a leash and how using one can significantly enhance your safety and overall paddle boarding experience.

The Dangers of Paddle Boarding Without a Leash

Paddle boarding without a leash can be quite risky, especially if you unexpectedly fall off your board or encounter turbulent waters. Without a leash, your board can quickly drift away, leaving you stranded and potentially in danger. Strong currents, wind, or unexpected waves can easily separate you from your paddle board, making it difficult to swim back to safety.

Without a SUP leash, you’re essentially at the mercy of the elements, increasing the chances of accidents, lost boards, and even potential harm to yourself or others.

Enhancing Safety with a SUP Leash

A SUP leash acts as a lifeline, keeping you connected to your board at all times. By securely attaching the leash to your ankle or calf, you can prevent your board from drifting away and maintain control over it, even if you fall off. This not only ensures your personal safety but also prevents your board from becoming a hazard to others in the water.

Whether you’re an experienced paddler or a beginner, wearing a leash for your stand up paddle board provides peace of mind, enabling you to focus on enjoying the beauty of the water without worrying about losing your board or getting separated from it.

Types of SUP Leashes

There are various types of SUP leashes available, catering to different paddle boarding styles and conditions. From coiled SUP leashes designed for flatwater paddling to ankle leashes suitable for more challenging environments, you can choose a leash that fits your specific needs and preferences.

Here are a few examples of SUP leash options:

  • Coiled SUP Leash: Ideal for flatwater paddling, these leashes have a coiled design that minimizes drag and keeps the cord out of your way.
  • Ankle Leash: Perfect for surfing or more intense paddle boarding sessions, ankle leashes provide a secure connection between you and your board, allowing for maximum maneuverability.
  • Inflatable SUP Leash: Specifically designed for inflatable paddle boards, these leashes are lightweight and durable, ensuring a secure attachment without compromising performance.

No matter which type of SUP leash you choose, make sure it is of high quality, reliable, and suitable for your paddling needs.

Types of SUP Leashes

When it comes to SUP leashes, there are various options available to suit different paddle boarding needs and conditions. In this section, we will explore the different types of SUP leashes on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits. Whether you prefer coiled SUP leashes for flatwater paddling or ankle leashes for more challenging conditions, we’ve got you covered.

Coiled SUP Leash

The coiled SUP leash is a popular choice among paddle boarders, especially for flatwater paddling. This type of leash is designed with a coiled cord that keeps it out of the water and minimizes drag while paddling. The coiled design also prevents the leash from tangling or dragging behind you, giving you more freedom of movement on the water.

One of the advantages of a coiled SUP leash is its compactness when not in use. The coiled cord retracts and stays neatly coiled, making it convenient to carry and store. However, it’s important to note that coiled leashes do have a limited stretch range, so they may not be suitable for areas with strong currents or surf conditions.

Ankle Leash for Paddle Board

Ankle leashes are another popular option for paddle boarders, especially those seeking more versatility and maneuverability on the water. Ankle leashes attach to your ankle, providing a secure connection between you and your board. These leashes are typically made of durable materials and feature a comfortable ankle cuff with adjustable straps for a customized fit.

The ankle leash offers a greater range of motion compared to coiled leashes, allowing you to move freely on your board. They are suitable for various paddle boarding conditions, including surfing, racing, and touring. However, it’s important to choose an ankle leash length that matches the size of your board and the conditions you plan to paddle in.

The Pros and Cons

Leash TypeProsCons
Coiled SUP Leash
  • Minimizes drag in flatwater paddling
  • Compact and easy to carry
  • Prevents tangling
  • Limited stretch range
  • Not suitable for strong currents or surf
Ankle Leash for Paddle Board
  • Offers greater range of motion
  • Suitable for various paddle boarding conditions
  • Durable and adjustable
  • May take time to get used to wearing on the ankle

Now that you have an understanding of the different types of SUP leashes and their unique features, you can make an informed decision based on your paddle boarding preferences and the conditions you’ll be facing. Remember, choosing the right leash is essential for your safety and enjoyment on the water.

coiled SUP leash and ankle leash for paddle board

Factors to Consider When Choosing a SUP Leash

When it comes to selecting the right SUP leash, there are several important factors to consider. A high-quality leash is an essential piece of paddleboarding gear that keeps you connected to your stand-up paddleboard (SUP) in case you fall off. It ensures the safety of both you and your board, providing peace of mind as you navigate the waters. Let’s explore the key considerations that will help you make an informed decision.

Leash Length

The leash length is an important factor to consider when choosing a SUP leash. It should be long enough to allow you to move comfortably on the board while staying attached. On the other hand, a leash that is too long may get tangled or impede your movements. Consider the style of paddleboarding you’ll be doing and choose a leash length that suits your needs.

Attachment Type

There are different attachment types for SUP leashes, including ankle cuffs and calf cuffs. Ankle cuffs are the most common and suitable for most paddleboarding activities. Calf cuffs offer additional stability and are preferred by experienced paddlers or those tackling challenging conditions. Consider your skill level, comfort, and the type of paddleboarding you intend to do when deciding on the attachment type.


The material of the SUP leash determines its durability and performance. Look for leashes made from high-quality materials that can withstand the wear and tear of regular use and exposure to water. Common materials include urethane, neoprene, and nylon. Remember that a reliable SUP leash is an investment in your safety, so choose a leash made from durable materials.


Comfort is key when selecting a SUP leash. The leash should have padding or a cushioned strap to prevent discomfort or chafing during long paddleboarding sessions. Ensure that the cuff or strap fits securely but is not too tight, allowing for easy movement. Comfortable padding and a secure fit will enhance your overall paddleboarding experience.

Consider these factors when choosing a SUP leash to ensure you find the perfect one that meets your needs and preferences. Now, let’s move on to the next section, where we will recommend some of the top-rated SUP leashes available in the market.

paddleboarding gear

Top Picks for SUP Leashes

When it comes to choosing a SUP leash, the options can be overwhelming. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of top-rated SUP leashes based on user reviews and expert opinions. These leashes have been tested and proven to deliver outstanding performance, durability, and safety on the water. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, these top picks are sure to enhance your paddle boarding experience.

“The Brand X Coiled SUP Leash is a game-changer. Its high-quality construction and stretchy coiled design provide excellent comfort and mobility. This leash is perfect for flatwater paddling and ensures tangle-free sessions.”

Key Features:

  • Coiled design for minimal drag
  • Comfortable ankle cuff with quick-release mechanism
  • Stainless steel swivel for enhanced leash movement
  • Durable urethane cord for maximum strength

2. Brand Y Ankle Leash for Paddle Board

“The Brand Y Ankle Leash is a top choice for paddlers seeking versatility and reliability. Its adjustable ankle strap provides a secure fit, making it suitable for various water conditions. This leash offers peace of mind and ensures your board is always within reach.”

Key Features:

  • Strong and durable ankle cuff
  • Double swivel system for tangle-free movements
  • High-quality polyurethane cord for enhanced durability
  • Adjustable strap for a customized and secure fit

3. Brand Z Coiled SUP Leash for Surfing

“The Brand Z Coiled SUP Leash is specially designed for surfers who want to take their paddle boarding experience to the next level. Its coiled design keeps the leash out of the way while riding waves, providing maximum freedom and agility.”

Key Features:

  • Extra-long coiled cord for increased wave riding freedom
  • Double swivel system for enhanced leash movement
  • Padded ankle cuff for comfortable and secure fit
  • Quick-release mechanism for effortless detachment

These top picks for SUP leashes offer unmatched performance, reliability, and safety. Selecting the right leash can make all the difference in your paddle boarding adventures. Remember to choose a leash that suits your paddle boarding style and preferences. Stay safe and enjoy the water with confidence!

How to Properly Attach and Use a SUP Leash

Once you have chosen your ideal SUP leash, it’s essential to know how to attach and use it correctly for maximum safety. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can ensure that your leash is securely fastened to your paddle board, and you are wearing it properly on your ankle or calf.

Attaching Your SUP Leash

  1. Begin by locating the leash plug on the tail of your paddle board. This is usually a small plastic loop or hole specifically designed for attaching a leash.
  2. Take the leash cord and insert the leash string through the leash plug from the top.
  3. Once the leash string is threaded through the leash plug, pull it all the way through until the leash cord is securely attached to the board.
  4. Ensure that the leash cord is not twisted or tangled and lies flat against the board’s surface for a secure attachment.
  5. If your paddle board has a leash plug on the side for attaching the leash, follow the same steps to attach the leash cord securely.

Wearing Your SUP Leash

Properly wearing your SUP leash is crucial for your safety and the effectiveness of the leash. The most common method is wearing the leash on either your ankle or calf, depending on personal preference and comfort.

  • Ankle Leash: To wear the leash on your ankle, follow these steps:
  1. Place the ankle cuff of the leash around your ankle, making sure it sits snugly but not too tight.
  2. Secure the Velcro strap firmly, ensuring that it doesn’t come loose during your paddle boarding session.
  3. Check that the leash cord hangs freely and is not twisted or tangled, allowing for optimal movement on the water.
  4. Double-check that the leash cord is securely attached to the leash cuff and the paddle board.
  • Calf Leash: For those who prefer wearing the leash on their calf, the following steps apply:
  1. Slide the cuff of the leash up your calf, positioning it just below the knee.
  2. Fasten the Velcro strap firmly, ensuring a snug fit without restricting blood circulation.
  3. Ensure the leash cord hangs freely and is not twisted or tangled, allowing for unhindered movement while paddle boarding.
  4. Confirm that the leash cord is securely attached to the leash cuff and the paddle board.

Maintaining and Caring for Your SUP Leash

Proper maintenance and care can significantly extend the lifespan of your SUP leash. Follow these tips to keep your leash in excellent condition:

  • After each paddle boarding session, rinse your leash with freshwater to remove any salt, sand, or debris.
  • Avoid exposing your leash to direct sunlight for extended periods, as prolonged UV exposure can weaken the leash material.
  • Regularly inspect the leash for any signs of wear, fraying, or damage. If you notice any issues, replace the leash immediately to ensure your safety.
  • Store your SUP leash in a cool and dry place, away from excessive heat or moisture that could cause damage.
  • Regularly check and tighten the leash attachment to your paddle board
  • Choose a leash length that matches the type of paddle boarding you’ll be doing
  • Inspect your leash before each use to ensure it’s in good working condition
  • Never paddleboard without wearing a leash
  • Avoid attaching the leash to your ankle or calf too tightly
  • Don’t leave your leash exposed to direct sunlight or extreme weather conditions

Now that you know how to properly attach and use a SUP leash, you can confidently hit the water knowing you have an essential piece of paddle boarding gear enhancing your safety and enjoyment.

SUP Leash Safety Tips

Safety should always be a top priority when paddle boarding with a SUP leash. By following these important safety guidelines, you can enjoy your paddleboarding experience to the fullest while minimizing risks and staying safe on the water.

Navigating Waves

When paddling in waves, it’s crucial to have proper control over your paddleboard. Here are some tips to help you navigate waves safely:

  • Always maintain a strong stance and keep your center of gravity low to maintain balance.
  • Avoid paddling directly into oncoming waves to prevent getting knocked off your board.
  • When paddling out through breaking waves, time your paddle strokes with the waves to ensure a smooth passage.
  • If you fall off your board, remember to hold on to your paddle and stay clear of your board to prevent any risk of injury.

Dealing with Strong Currents

Strong currents can pose challenges for paddle boarders, but with the right approach, you can navigate them safely. Here are some tips to help you handle strong currents:

  • Stay mindful of the current direction and adjust your paddle strokes accordingly to maintain control.
  • Try to paddle across currents rather than against them to conserve energy and minimize the risk of getting swept away.
  • If you find yourself caught in a strong current, stay calm and avoid panicking. Use your paddle to help you stabilize and steer your board.
  • If necessary, paddle towards calmer waters or seek assistance from nearby paddlers or lifeguards.

Emergency Situations

While paddleboarding with a leash enhances safety, it’s essential to be prepared for emergency situations. Here are some tips to help you handle emergencies while paddleboarding:

  • Always paddle with a buddy or let someone know your planned route and expected return time.
  • Carry a whistle and a waterproof phone case with emergency contact information.
  • In case of equipment failure, such as a broken leash, use your paddle to swim back to your board and regain control.
  • If you spot someone in distress, immediately alert nearby lifeguards or call emergency services for assistance.

Remember, practicing these safety tips will help ensure a safe and enjoyable paddleboarding experience. Stay aware of your surroundings, paddle within your skill level, and always prioritize your safety and the safety of others.


To ensure a safe and enjoyable paddle boarding experience, a SUP leash is an essential accessory for every paddle boarder, regardless of their skill level. By understanding the different types of SUP leashes available and considering key factors such as leash length, attachment type, material, and comfort, you can find the perfect leash to enhance your paddle boarding adventure.

Following safety guidelines is paramount when using a SUP leash. From navigating waves and dealing with strong currents to knowing what to do in case of an emergency, it’s crucial to prioritize safety on the water. By adhering to these guidelines and avoiding common mistakes, you can paddle board with confidence and peace of mind.

So, stay safe and explore new waters with the freedom that stand-up paddle boarding offers. Enjoy the serenity of gliding across the water, the thrill of catching waves, and the connection with nature. With a reliable SUP leash by your side, you can embrace the beauty of paddle boarding while ensuring your safety remains a top priority.


What is a SUP leash?

A SUP leash, also known as a paddle board leash, is a safety device that attaches to your ankle or calf and connects to your stand-up paddle board. It prevents the board from drifting away from you in case of a fall or loss of control, keeping it within reach.

Why should I use a SUP leash?

Using a SUP leash is crucial for your safety on the water. It prevents accidents caused by being swept away from your board, especially in windy or choppy conditions. Additionally, a leash ensures that your board remains nearby if you need to rest or retrieve any lost items, allowing you to stay connected to your board at all times.

What are the different types of SUP leashes?

There are various types of SUP leashes available, including coiled SUP leashes and ankle leashes. Coiled SUP leashes are designed for flatwater paddling and prevent the leash from dragging in the water, reducing the likelihood of tripping on it. Ankle leashes, on the other hand, are suitable for more challenging conditions, offering greater flexibility and freedom of movement.

What factors should I consider when choosing a SUP leash?

When selecting a SUP leash, consider factors such as leash length, attachment type, material, and comfort. The leash length should be appropriate for your paddling style and board size. The attachment type should be secure and easy to use. The material should be durable and resistant to wear and tear. Lastly, the leash should be comfortable to wear for extended periods.

Can I use any leash as a SUP leash?

No, it is important to use a leash specifically designed for stand-up paddle boarding. Regular surf leashes may not be suitable for SUP as they are often too short and not strong enough to withstand the additional strain and force that can occur during paddle boarding.

How do I properly attach and use a SUP leash?

To attach a SUP leash, secure the leash’s cuff around your ankle or calf, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit. Then, connect the leash to the designated leash plug on your paddle board. It’s important to place the leash on the opposite leg of your paddle for safety. Make sure the leash is not too loose or too tight. Always remember to inspect your leash before each use to ensure it is in good condition.

Are there any safety tips for using a SUP leash?

Yes, here are some safety tips for using a SUP leash: – Practice falling and getting back on your board in a controlled environment to build confidence and familiarity with using the leash. – Avoid wrapping the leash around your hand, arm, or other body parts to prevent injuries if the leash becomes taut. – Be aware of your surroundings and the potential hazards in the water. – Use the appropriate leash for the specific conditions you’ll be paddle boarding in.