Bit weird writing ‘Surf Leash’, but I’ll be honest here – it’s for that good flavoured SEO juice. For some reason most people around the world (US and AU) search for ‘Surf Leash’ and not legrope, might include lids.. I dunno. But here we are, a Surf Leash Buyers Guide. And I’ve already got my keyword numbers up for the post.

A while ago Tim did a post ‘The Best Surf Leashes on the Market’, which essentially was FCS vs Creatures as they’d just come out with the Freedom and SUPERLITE options and we’d taken both for a run in the water to see who was amazing…

Taking it further and researching all the brands was interesting – the ones I remembered and the ones I forgot – to see where they were sitting and what they were producing. Off the top of my head FCS and Creatures were winners, but Da Kine’s Kaimana surf leash is pretty interesting, as was the Pro Comp One-XT from Ocean & Earth (still a company!) with their claim as ‘the lightest and strongest performance leash ever made’.

The big challenge with this, and other guides is that we’re trying to pick from an online viewpoint only as most of us do research online before buying, or going in-store to purchase. And to be frank, what you find online from all brands is pretty bare fucking bones. I’ll blame AB testing for this one…

On to the Surf Leash Buyers Guide and SEO Heaven! How did we select the leashes shown? We’re trying to pick from an online viewpoint only as most of us do research online before buying, or going in-store to purchase. We also looked at a brands most expensive option around the Super Comp options (generally 6ft by 5.5m) unless they were heavily marketing something (Freedom, SUPERLITE, One, etc) and then also took into consideration features, etc. Some brands are really innovating in the area while others are just picking off the wall from Alibaba. Like the other Buyers Guides we do this one is organised from most expensive to least expensive, an easy way to make sure no one gets favourited, etc.

Da Kine

Kaimana

$70

Buy Now

$70 for a leash? Kinda wild right? But the Kaimana from Da Kine has Patent-pending tech in it! A Zero Distraction ankle cuff with ergonomic base plate reduces bulk and conforms to the ankle along with Infinite Flex 360º molded leash ends increase flex to maximize strength while keeping the leash free from tangles.

Do I know how that works or feels? Not yet, haven’t used one but am going to get one this week to try out and Da Kine have a reputation as one of the best surf ax brands out there. I used to use Da Kine grip and had it up there with Astro Deck, leashes never snapped on me but I never used their board bags – we’re here for leashes tho, so….

If you got cash to splash on a new leash then the Kaimana would be worth a look.

FCS

Freedom

$65

Buy Now

The FCS website says the Freedom Leash is “thinner, lighter & stronger than any other cord on the market.”

It does look pretty epic with the braid, and while testing it I had a bunch of people say it looked cool and how did it go. If you’re searching for a conversation starter in the water, maybe that’s a plus, but not really in my personal criteria.

The cuff is a touch comfier than other leashes I’ve used and it doesn’t slip or slide around. The moulded grab handle is pretty future-looking too, but not necessarily better than other existing options.

For me, the biggest positive of the Freedom Leash is it doesn’t spaghetti out like other options. The braid means it keeps its shape and is slightly quicker to get back to you after eating shit. This could mean the board springs back too fast, but again, I haven’t had that problem yet.

Creatures

SUPERLITE

$50

Buy Now

The Creatures website says that the SUPERLITE Leash is “the lightest, most comfortable leash in the world specifically developed with custom materials for a ‘no leash feel’.”

No major cord difference in aesthetics or feel like the Freedom Leash braided cord material, but super streamlined on the actual leg cuff. The cuff itself is also a mild improvement in the comfort stakes compared with the ‘control’ comp leash I used. It’s ultra thin, so easy to slide your wetty over it without too much leashdick bulge. Is that a thing?

Drag wise in the water, it’s on par with other options. Price wise, it’s really solid. You’re paying a little more for the adjustments, but not as much as the Freedom Leash. Overall, it’s a mild comfort improvement on other options, looks stealth and holds up in solid waves.


Ocean & Earth

One-XT

$45

Buy Now

Ocean & Earth. ONE. etc etc. The original surf leash brand to me, was my first leash when I started surfing and had a crazy roster of guys there for a while. Kinda feels like it’s not really there any more until you look at the product and advancements they’ve made.

This leash, the One-XT is just one cord/one component. Which eliminates the need for end joins, which are the weakest points in conventional leashes, meaning no weak points. Have had mates use these and swear by them, although I haven’t used one I would say for the sub-$50 market in leashes it’d be hard to go past this.

MODOM

Comp

$45

Buy Now

MODOM, a brand started about 10 years ago now I think, was once owned by Jack Perry of Jan Juc fame is now owned by DHD Surf. The first brand to start to push alternative packaging options for grip and leashes (no plastic!) and have quite the team – Ando, Taj, Noah, etc. ..

The leashes from MODOM are good, I’ve used plenty and don’t really have any issues with them aside from the release option (generally is so flat i can never reach/use it). Cuff is comfortable, no crazy sling back when you fall off, etc. But, and I sound like a broken record with this, it’s hard to go past the Ocean & Earth for $45 if you want to spend under $50.

Octopus

Ultra Sexy

$40

Buy Now

“Enhance your (surfing) performance with the all new ULTRASEX™ leash from OCTOPUS. Lightweight, durable and extraordinarily sexy around the ankle. Why buy a regular leash when you can have the ULTRASEX?”

If you want to buy into the pizzaz of brand with your surf leash then Octopus (and RAGE) are probably the brands you want to get, and I applaud that – it’s great to see some upstart options in an otherwise old area of surf product. Product wise you’re not getting anything outstanding here, it’s along the same lines of RAGE, OAM, FK Surf, etc. Basic product options providing good value.


FK Surf

Ultimate Pro

$40

Buy Now

FK Surf, something something Mrs Palmers I think. Either way, this is generally seen as the budget surf accessories brand but I know over time the quality, etc has improved. I know most of my mates who are tradies, etc gravitate towards FK Surf for some reason. Product is ok, does the trick, can’t complain, etc. And as they state::

“FK Surf leashes are made using the finest urethanes for the ultimate strength and better memory. They feature marine grade swivels and velcro’s, lightweight neoprene and webbings that are all purpose built to give a strong, lightweight and super functional leash that will stand the test of time.”

RAGE

.

$40

Buy Now

Like the leashes from Octopus, you’re not buying this because it’s the best on the market with outstanding quality/innovation/warranty. You’re buying this because it’s cool, and the kids who are wildly poplar right now are using them – Creed, Noa, etc – and if you haven’t you should watch their latest clip.

It’ll do the trick with what you need from a surf leash, it’s got the double swivel, cushy neoprene strap, etc. Nothing wildy crazy except a solid (purple!) leash that’ll have you covered in most conditions. Extra five bucks and you end up with a fairly amazing leash from Ocean & Earth.

OAM

Super Comp

$38

Buy Now

OAM. On a Mission (to survive?). I totally thought these guys had stopped trading, or at least weren’t trading in Australia any more. But they are! And they still do a signature leash with Taylor Knox!

Nothing to crazy to report here, it’s a leash and it’ll do the trick for what you need in a leash. Double swivel, padded cuff, leggie string etc. You’re buying this if you’re a OAM fan, or a Taylor Knox fan (me!). But yeah, overall, for $40 it’s an ok buy but you’re better off with $45 with the Ocean & Earth model if you’re chasing money/features balance.


From my research this feels like a pretty good round up of what’s available in the market, there are others – like Quik, Rip Curl or CI – but I didn’t include them as they’re just money grabbing categories and I don’t believe (happy to chat about it) that these categories are getting driven by innovation or improving the experience more then just increasing revenue. So we left them out…

Verdict on what to buy?
*Under $50 > Ocean & Earth
*Cool Factor > RAGE or Octopus
*Top of the Tree > Da Kine Kaimana
*Over $50 > Creatures

There’s plenty on offer above and I know a lot of people who swear by whichever brand they use – that seems to be the constant, you try a brand and it works and you stick with it. For me, that is a Creatures leash so my run there may be a little biased and I should probably get Tim to weigh in on this. But we’re talking about surf leashes, it ain’t rocket science.

I’ve also included product videos from Da Kine, FCS, Creatures and Ocean & Earth below (along with the latest surfing clip from Octopus – cause it’s Dylan and he’s ripping). Enjoy