How to Attach a Leash to a Surfboard.

Ahoy there, fellow wave riders! One of the most essential pieces of equipment for any surfer is the leash. It keeps you and your board from getting separated in the event of a wipeout and makes sure your board doesn’t become a hazard to other surfers. But, do you know how to attach a leash to your surfboard properly? Today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know to make sure that leash is properly secured and you can focus on shredding

How to Attach a Leash to a Surfboard.

Attaching a leash to a surfboard is one of the simplest tasks you’ll encounter as a surfer. However, it’s also one of the most important. First, you’ll need to locate the leash plug on your board, which is usually a small plastic piece located near the tail. Then, insert the string attachment of the leash into the leash plug and tie a tight knot. Don’t forget to test the leash before getting in the water to make sure it’s properly attached, and always keep an eye on it during your session to ensure it remains secure. Remember, a properly attached leash can be the difference between a fun day out in the water and potentially dangerous situation.

How to Attach a Leash to a Surfboard

When it comes to surfing, safety should always be a top priority. One of the most important pieces of equipment you can use to stay safe while surfing is a leash, which securely tethers you to your board. In this guide, we’ll show you how to attach a leash to a surfboard so you can hit the waves with confidence.

The Anatomy of a Leash

Before we dive into the details of how to attach a leash to your surfboard, let’s go over some basics. A leash is made up of a few different parts: the cord or urethane material that connects to the board, the ankle strap that secures the leash to your leg or ankle, and sometimes a rail saver, which adds an extra layer of protection to the board where the leash connects.

Leashes vary in length, depending on the type of wave you’ll be riding. A shortboard leash is typically around six feet long, while a longboard leash can be upwards of nine feet. The thickness of the leash cord can also vary, with thicker cords being more durable and suitable for bigger waves. Always make sure you use the appropriate leash for the type of board and waves you’ll be surfing.

Find the Leash Plug on Your Board

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to attach your leash to your board. The first thing you need to do is locate the leash plug. This is a small plastic piece on the back of your board that the leash cord will attach to.

If you’re not sure where the leash plug is on your board, take a close look at the tail. It’s usually located near the tail, in the center of the board or slightly off to one side. Leash plugs vary in shape, depending on the brand of surfboard. Some are circular, while others are oval or even rectangular.

Attach the String to the Leash Plug

Once you’ve located the leash plug on your board, it’s time to attach the leash string to the plug. The string is the looped end of the leash cord, and it’s usually tied in a knot to secure it to the plug.

Thread the looped end of the string through the leash plug, making sure the string passes through the hole entirely. Once you’ve done that, tie a tight knot in the string, making sure it’s secure. A loose knot will cause the string to come undone while you’re surfing, which could cause you to lose your board.

Test the Leash Before You Surf

Now that you’ve attached the leash to your board, it’s essential to test it before you hit the water. Give the leash a quick tug to make sure it’s securely attached to the plug. It’s also a good idea to check the leash cord for any signs of wear and tear. If the cord is frayed or damaged, it’s time to buy a new leash.

It’s also a good idea to check the rail saver if your leash comes with one. The rail saver is a strip of neoprene or other durable material that protects the rail of your board from the leash cord. Make sure the rail saver is securely attached to the board and check for any signs of wear and tear as well.

Final Tips for Keeping Your Leash Secure

Once you’re in the water, there are a few things you can do to ensure your leash stays securely attached to your board. Keep an eye on the leash cord and the knot to make sure it doesn’t come undone. If you notice the knot starting to loosen, paddle back to shore and tighten it up.

It’s also essential to keep your leash and leash plug clean and free of sand and debris. Sand and dirt can prevent the string from being secured to the leash plug properly or cause wear and tear on the leash over time.

If you’re in the market for a new leash, there are plenty of options available. Check out your local surf shop or the internet to find the right leash for your needs. You can even find used surfboards for sale that come with a leash included, which can be a great bargain.


Attaching a leash to your surfboard is a simple but essential task for any surfer. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to securely attach your leash to your board, allowing you to ride waves with confidence. Remember to test your leash before you hit the water and keep an eye on it while you’re surfing. With a secure leash, you can focus on having fun instead of worrying about losing your board.

Choosing the Right Leash for Your Board

Choosing the right leash for your board is essential. Every surfboard comes with a leash plug built into the tail, which is where you’ll attach your leash. Look for a leash that matches the length of your board. For instance, a longboard leash should be longer than a shortboard leash since longboards move slower and require more space between the rider and the board.

Additionally, consider the waves you’ll be surfing. If you’re a beginner surfer, you’ll want a thicker and shorter leash since you’ll be taking slower and smaller waves. However, if you plan to ride bigger waves, you’ll need a longer and thicker leash.

How to Care for Your Leash

A leash is a crucial element of your equipment, so it’s essential to take good care of it. Always rinse your leash with freshwater after each surf session to remove any salt and sand that may have accumulated on it. Lay it flat in a shaded area or hang it up to dry after each session. Avoid leaving it in the sun for long periods, as the heat can damage the cord and cause it to stretch over time.

Avoid storing your leash for long periods while it’s still wet. This can cause the cord to break down faster than it should. Instead, give it a quick rinse and let it air-dry before storing it in a cool, dry place. Make sure you keep it in a place where it won’t be exposed to too much heat or moisture.

When to Replace Your Leash

A leash can last for a long time if it’s well-cared for, but eventually, you’ll need to replace it. Check your leash regularly for any signs of wear and tear, including frayed cords or loose knots. If you notice any damage, it’s time to replace the leash.

Also, if you haven’t used your leash for an extended period, it’s a good idea to inspect it thoroughly before using it again. Cords can weaken over time or become brittle if they’ve been exposed to salt, heat, or sunlight for long periods.


Now that you know how to attach a leash to your surfboard and take care of it, you’re ready to hit the water with confidence. Remember always to use a leash, choose the right leash for your board, and inspect it regularly. By doing so, you’ll keep yourself and others around you safe while you’re surfing. See you in the water!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about how to attach a leash to a surfboard:

1. Do I need a leash to surf?

Yes, a leash is a mandatory piece of equipment for surfing. It helps keep you safe in the water and prevents your board from becoming a hazard to other surfers.

2. How long should my leash be?

Your leash should be determined by the length of your board. A general rule of thumb is that your leash should be the same length as your board, but a bit shorter than the board itself. For example, a longboard leash should be around 9 feet long, while a shortboard leash should be around 6 feet in length.

3. How tight should the leash be?

The leash should be tied tightly to the leash plug. If the leash is loose, it could come undone while you’re surfing and potentially cause harm to yourself or others.

4. How do I remove my leash from my surfboard?

To remove a leash from a surfboard, untie the knot and carefully remove the string from the leash plug.

5. How often should I replace my leash?

You should replace your leash when you notice any signs of wear and tear or every six months to a year if the leash is well-cared for and used frequently.

6. Can I attach a leash to any surfboard?

Most surfboards come with a leash plug installed. If your board doesn’t have one, you can have one installed by a professional surfboard shaper.

7. What is the best way to store a leash?

Store your leash in a cool, dry place, such as a closet or drawer, away from heat and direct sunlight.

8. Can I use a leash for paddleboarding?

Yes, you can use a leash for paddleboarding. However, paddleboard leashes often have a coiled design, which is different from surfboard leashes. Make sure you choose the appropriate leash for your specific activity.

9. Can I attach two leashes to one board?

No, it’s not recommended to attach two leashes to one board. Doing so can cause the leashes to become tangled, which could put you in a dangerous situation.

10. What is a rail saver?

A rail saver is a strip of neoprene or other durable material that goes between the cord and the board near the tail of the board. It prevents the cord from rubbing against the board and causing wear and tear.

11. What happens if my leash breaks while I’m surfing?

If your leash breaks while you’re surfing, swim to shore while holding on to your board. Make sure you’re aware of your surroundings and don’t let your board become a hazard to other surfers in the water.

12. Can I buy used surfboards for sale with a leash included?

Yes, you can often find used surfboards