It is important that you get a good quality leash. Take it from us, a good quality and well thought out leash designed specifically for what your chosen sport will save you hours of swimming after losing a board in a wipeout. A leash can also potentially save your life! Today we will be discussing the Bicep Coiled leash but most of the points are relevant for most other leashes too.
As it goes with most products, the more you pay the better you get, and it's the same with bodysurfing equipment. However, knowing what to look for in a great leash will help you to getting the best possible quality and may be even save you a few bucks in the process. Our advice is to try not to think too frugal but to get the best possible leash for your budget.
Believe it or not, there Is an enormous amount of engineering and design that goes into even the simplest leash. In this article, we look at the various components that make up a great leash. This will put you on good footing when it comes time for choosing the best leash for what you need, in this case handboarding.
We start at the connection point of the leash to your handboard, the leash plug. All Slyde Handboards come with this little plug already inserted in the board. The leash plug pictured is without doubt the easiest and most secure way to fasten your leash to your handboard. These leash plugs are the same used in stand-up surfboards so you know they are not ripping out. The plug is reinforced with resin and fiber glassed into the board .The leash plug has a small stainless steel bar that the rope for the leash ties around to secure the leash to the board.
This is the short nylon rope that is thread through the hole in the swivel. In all my years of handboarding and surfing at no point no matter how old a leash is has this rope snapped. Your leash cord is more likely to break before this does. The joy of Nylon! Learn how to correctly tie your leash to your handboard in this Video
The swivel connectors on either side of the coiled cord is much like you might find on a fishing lure for those of you who have baited up. The swivel on a leash is doing the same thing as your fishing set up, it stops the cord tangling up. These swivels are the first thing to look at when buying a great bicep leash in particular. Make sure the swivels located at the end attached to the cuff and the end that attaches to the board. Double swivel leashes allow for maximum movement and no tangles. The swivels must be either stainless steel (my favorite) or brass so that they do not rust. Corners are most commonly cut with the types of metals used in leashes, so be sure to check this or ask.
All Slyde Bicep Leashes are coiled cord leashes. The coil keeps the cord out of the way when you are handboarding and keeps out of the water and does not cause drag. The cord comes in various degrees of thickness and length. The Slyde cord is 7mm in diameter and 43 inch when fully extended with a tight 14 ring coil. The thicker, the more robust your leash will be. The tighter a leash is coiled the better. When storing your leash make sure to not hang it up. Wrap the cord around the cuff to retain the coil. The cord is generally the first part of the leash to deteriorate so wash it off after use and store out of direct sunlight of in your board bag and you will get years of use out of it. Also, before you use your leash make sure the cord, swivels, etc. are working correctly and the cord does not have any nick or cuts. Give it a good tug when it's attached to the board to make sure it's fastened up tightly.
If there was chink in the armor of any leash, it will be where the cord attaches to the wrist or bicep cuff. Always make sure the connection has double stitching and is secure to take the worst wipeouts. Give it a yank to see if it holds up. Visually you should be able to tell easily between a good connection and a bad one.
The cuff is the piece that wraps around your arm or wrist. Both styles of leash, the wrist or the bicep have very similar cuffs. The cuff should be above all comfortable, well padded with neoprene. The Velcro wrap around should be a very strong hold with a quick release tad at the end of it (hooped piece of nylon).Some leashes come in different sizes to accommodate the different size arms, however most are one size fits all. Make sure either wrist or bicep that you have a comfortable fit, and bear in mind that with a wetsuit there is extra space for the suit. Some leashes come with secret key storage, a nice add on but not necessary to the quality of your leash.
This video will show you how to attach your leash to your handboard and how to fit the bicep leash to your bicep. A must see for beginners