Interested to hear if anyone has solved the leash dilemma.
General Issues in order of irritation:
catches under your toes/feet on takeoff (this is the most common)
hooks around the tail stab while getting back on board (non-coils)
too thick (too much drag paddling, pumping, but only when very long)
too thin (stretches)
Surf comp leash
Snags on the tail constantly, meaning you get tied up just as you go for a wave. Comp leashes are better, but too thin for the strain when surfing bigger waves. Thicker leash no good due to length. Also gets tangled under feet constantly.
Bodyboard bicep leash on the calf
Doesn’t really work, too short, doesn’t have the necessary rail-saver board-side, leading the swivel clanging around. Doesn’t have a stiff leg-side connection so more clanging.
Short SUP calf leash (AK 6’)
This was close to acceptable, but stretched out way too much, and still got caught under the feet far too often. I rigged up an extension to the hard plastic horn bit on the leg-side of the leash as I suspected this would reduce the issue and it seemed to make it slightly better.
I took the short SUP leash and setup a wingding style waist mount. This was pretty good, but still a few toe snags, the snags a bit rarer but more critical due to the upward pull. I think this may be a reasonable compromise, but more stuff to forget / go wrong
I think my ideal leash would be:
4-5’ x 8mm.
Coil, maybe double coil
Reinforced elongated horn reduces back foot tangling.
Is the Kaohi the best option? Anyone know anyone working on leashes? What is the benefit of the double coil. I see they have a 4’ x 5.5 mm but I’m wary of that just stretching like crazy in the surf, and shipping that to the UK for it to last one season seems like a waste.
I think the Kaohi solves most of your issues and it’s the best I have found. The double coil discourages the coils from getting tangled together.
That said, I snapped a 7mm Kaohi this weekend, which was disconcerting and inconvenient. I wouldn’t go any thinner than that and the 8mm is probably better.
Another consideration if you ever paddle out in shallow water on the bottom of the board (foil up) - it needs to be long enough to reach from the leash plug to your ankle. Otherwise you need to leash to your arm.
I have the freedom foil board fusion and it has the leash plug on the bottom which definitely helps keep the leash off the deck. I have been using the Kaohi 5.5mm double coil 5 foot ankle leash for the past 6 months and it seems to be holding its shape.
I love the Kaohi double coil calf leash. Not sure if they come with the handles built into the rail saver but I would ask to have them removed if so. I rarely get tangled up since switching to these leashes. I’ve tried the normal coil leashes and found the ones with tight coils spring back too much and sometimes pulls the board right back at me. And there’s always tension on your leg which is annoying. Regular surfboard leashes were always getting stuck on a toe or under foot. I like the calf leash because when you’re paddling it doesn’t pull on your leg as much and when standing, it helps (I think) keep the leash from dragging in the water. I have various diameter and length versions of the double coil calf and they all work fine for me but I am not a tall person. I recently broke a newer leash (small diameter) but it was a small day and not much pull before it broke…I actually think it caught the tail and was cut. Aside from that one incident, I have yet to break one.
Tried a floating leash a long time ago. Didn’t really help me, especially if catching whitewash. I think the foam pushes the leash up around the back of your legs and feet and increases the likelihood of getting tangled up.
Tried it today and concur that the floating leash was wrapped around my back leg a lot. Before, and after, that experiment I’ve been using a standard coil leash but found if I keep it sticking outwards from my ankle, but then back around the front of my ankle and back it tends to stay out of the way for me. Usually.
I find the waist leash annoying. It somehow always winds up wrapping between my legs and once it’s there you can’t sort it out while on foil. I think it’s due to getting onto the board from the tail, so with proper management I could avoid it, but I find it’s more trouble than it’s worth.
My biggest hesitation with a waist leash is being able to put enough distance between myself and the foil. I want it as far from my center of mass as possible, waist leash seems like it just keeps it too close. I see the benefit when winging and switching stance, but for prone I want to eject as far as possible and ankle least keeps it away from my head.
Also tried it the waist, it was ok with fewer foot tangles but the times it did tangle they were worse. I wouldn’t say much of an improvement but something to try if you have one.
Roy from Kaohi said he’d jump in here at some stage, but it seems like they have best solution and stocked in the UK so I’m going to go for the 6x8mm and will report back. I would love to try a 4’ version but that is maybe excessive.
Some of the crew don’t mind a regular surf leash and aren’t fussed, and I have generally gotten used to kicking it out if it tangles, but over the months I’ve had a few blowups due to blown waves thanks to the leash.
As many have mentioned, I agree the Kaohi double coil leash is the best solution for me too for wing (in sinker board) and for surf foil.
I’ve been using and abusing it for around 9 months and it stills hold his shape, it doesn’t gets entangled easily and if so, it’s very easy to just re adjust it and keeps it normal shape (regular coils always ended entangled in themself in my cases). I use the 5’ double coil 5.5mm. I wouldn’t go for any shorter than that, don’t want the board to be that close to me when in big stuff.
Belt leash Kaohi I know they also have them, at the moment I use a PPC Belt Leash 7mm - 7’, SUP ready thickness.
I mostly use that one for my bigger boards (80-90) for downwinding and for light wind conditions, nothing radical, I’m really scared of the remote possibility of the leash getting in the middle of your nuts!!