5 Different Kinds of Surfboard Leashes

Surfers always need a leash, but what kind of surfboard leash do you get?

We will cover the different kinds of surfboard leashes to ensure you have the right one wrapped around your leg!

Let's get into our list of the different kinds of surfboard leashes below.

Different Kinds of Surfboard Leashes

  1. Competition (Comp) Leash
  2. Pro Leash
  3. Longboard (Calf) Leash
  4. Big Wave Leash
  5. Regular or All Around Surfboard Leashes

These are the 5 main different kinds of surfboard leashes in 2024. We have created a list of the Best Surf Leashes available on the market to make your decision easier! 

1. Competition (Comp) Leash

The Competition Leash is designed for high-performance surfing, featuring a lightweight and streamlined design to minimise drag. 

Its lightweight construction allows professional surfers to push the limits of their manoeuvres without being hindered by excess weight or resistance, making it ideal for competitive scenarios where speed and agility are paramount.

The comp leash is the most high level out of the different kinds of surfboard leashes.

2. Pro Leash

The Pro Leash caters to the needs of experienced surfers, offering a balance of strength and flexibility. 

Crafted from durable materials, it provides reliable performance in various conditions, ensuring that advanced riders can confidently tackle challenging waves while maintaining a responsive connection to their board.

The pro leash is the most popular out of the different kinds of surfboard leashes.

3. Longboard (Calf) Leash

Tailored for longboard enthusiasts, the Longboard Leash is characterised by a longer length and a calf attachment point. 

This design facilitates a greater range of motion for riders on larger boards, ensuring that they can gracefully navigate and perform classic manoeuvres without the leash becoming a hindrance.

The long board leash is the most unique out of the different kinds of surfboard leashes.

4. Big Wave Leash

Engineered to withstand the powerful forces of big waves, the Big Wave Leash is constructed with robust materials and reinforced features. 

Its strength and reliability are crucial for surfers tackling substantial swell, providing the necessary security to handle the intense conditions associated with riding sizable waves.

The big wave is the most high tech out of the different kinds of surfboard leashes.

5. Regular Surfboard Leashes

The Regular or All Around Surfboard Leash is a versatile option suitable for a wide range of surfers and conditions. 

With a balanced combination of durability and flexibility, it is well-suited for everyday use in varying wave sizes. This leash type caters to the majority of surfers who seek a reliable connection to their board without specialised features for specific styles of surfing.

The standard leash is the most common out of the different kinds of surfboard leashes.

With so many different kinds of surfboard leashes on the market today be sure to check how to choose a surfboard leash so you have the right fit for you!

Different Types of Surfboard Leashes 

1. Straight Leashes

Straight Leashes are the classic and most common out of the different kinds of surfboard leashes. They feature a straight, untangled design that extends from the ankle to the tail of the board. 

This type of leash provides minimal resistance and is popular among surfers who prefer a traditional and straightforward connection to their board, particularly in smaller wave conditions.

2. Coiled Leashes

Coiled Leashes, also known as telephone cord leashes, feature a spring-like design that minimises drag by keeping the leash compact and close to the surfer's ankle. This design is particularly advantageous in smaller to medium-sized waves, as it reduces the risk of entanglement and allows for a more organised setup. 

Coiled leashes are favoured by surfers who appreciate the convenience of a shorter leash that extends when needed.

3. Hybrid Leashes

Hybrid Leashes combine elements of both straight and coiled leashes to offer a versatile solution. They typically feature a straight section near the ankle for reduced drag and a coiled section towards the board for added stretch and flexibility. 

This hybrid design aims to provide the best of both worlds, catering to surfers who want the low drag of a straight leash combined with the benefits of added stretch in certain conditions, making it suitable for a variety of wave sizes and surfing styles.

How Thick Should My Leash Be?

The thickness of your surfboard leash is a crucial consideration when looking at purchasing different kinds of surfboard leashes. It will depends upon various factors, including wave conditions and board size. Getting this decision correct will mean you avoid leash breaks!

7mm Leashes

  • Conditions: Suitable for smaller waves and less powerful conditions.
  • Advantages: Lighter and less drag, making them ideal for casual or smaller wave surfing.
  • Considerations: May not be as durable in larger, more powerful waves.

8mm Leashes

  • Conditions: Versatile and suitable for a wide range of wave sizes and conditions.
  • Advantages: Strikes a balance between durability and reduced drag, making it a popular choice for everyday surfing.
  • Considerations: Provides a good compromise for various surfing styles but may not be the optimal choice for extremely large waves.

9mm Leashes

  • Conditions: Best for larger, more powerful waves.
  • Advantages: Offers increased strength and durability, making it suitable for big wave surfing where forces can be intense.
  • Considerations: Can create more drag, so it's typically chosen by surfers who prioritise strength over reduced resistance.

Ultimately, the choice of leash thickness is influenced by personal preference and the specific conditions you'll be surfing in. If you're primarily surfing in smaller waves, a thinner leash may be more comfortable and provide less drag. 

For larger, more powerful waves, a thicker leash offers added strength and security. It's essential to consider your skill level, the type of waves you'll encounter, and your comfort with the leash's drag and thickness.

Materials Used in Surfboard Leashes

The main materials used for different kinds of surfboard leashes are Polyurethane, Polypropylene and Neoprene.

Polyurethane (PU)

  • Description: Polyurethane is a common material used in the construction of surfboard leashes. The cord is typically made of PU, which is a type of plastic polymer. PU leashes are known for their strength, flexibility, and ability to stretch under tension, providing a degree of shock absorption.
  • Advantages: Offers a good balance of strength and flexibility. PU leashes are durable and provide reliable performance in various wave conditions.
  • Considerations: Over time, prolonged exposure to sunlight and saltwater can cause PU leashes to degrade. Regular maintenance and rinsing after use can help prolong their lifespan.

Polypropylene (PP)

  • Description: Polypropylene is often used in the production of the cord or webbing of surfboard leashes. It is a thermoplastic polymer known for its lightweight and durable properties. PP leashes are resistant to water absorption, making them suitable for wet conditions.
  • Advantages: Lightweight, durable, and resistant to water absorption. PP leashes are less likely to become heavy when wet, maintaining their performance in various surf conditions.
  • Considerations: While resistant to water absorption, prolonged exposure to sunlight and saltwater can still impact the overall durability of the leash. Regular rinsing and proper care are recommended.


  • Description: Neoprene is commonly used for the ankle cuff of surfboard leashes. It is a synthetic rubber known for its flexibility, insulation properties, and resistance to water. The neoprene cuff provides a comfortable and secure fit around the surfer's ankle.
  • Advantages: Offers a comfortable and snug fit. Neoprene cuffs are resistant to water absorption and provide insulation, which can be beneficial in colder water conditions.
  • Considerations: Neoprene cuffs may show signs of wear over time, especially with constant exposure to sunlight and saltwater. Regular cleaning and proper care can help maintain the cuff's performance and longevity.

Summing It Up: What To Do Now

Nice! Now you know the different kinds of surfboard leashes to purchase you can confidently leash up and get out in the surf!

If your interested in learning more about surfing discover our many guides that will inform you on your surfing journey. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook & Instagram to stay informed on our amazing surf shots and stories shared from surf creators around the world!

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