Went sans leash tonight for the second time and after reading this the other night I promised myself I'd go without the cuff next time out. The first time I did it was because of hearing how it makes you more attentive to staying on the board and still being in my "formative" stages, any disciplined imprint I can make on my muscle memory will be valuable and long-lasting.
Originally Posted by zach619
Granted, the "waves" still completely sucked tonight but at least I was getting takeoffs when a wave would break with the onshores and in nine or ten rides in the hour, I didn't slip or fall off the board once. I felt my foot placement was even more diligent during the pop-up. I liked the overall feel a ton as well as the constant accountability for the board.
It was pretty crowded out there with all other LBs (I was on the retro fish) but I was definitely the safest with my board as it never left my feet, chest or hands the whole time. Speaking of responsibility, two of the riders out there nearly took my head off when I saw them drop in and stayed way out past the flats to let them get their ride. Even though the rides were weak, these guys still could've got down the line but they went towards the beach instead. These were slow rides where they had a long ass time to see where I was and where they were headed. One of the two guys came within a foot of my board and head as I stood there. I let him know that was not the way to go at all.
At any rate, no leash feels pure and liberating.
I grew up learning without a leash, due to tough guy protocol. It definitely helps you become a better waterman and have more control of your board. Lots less drag on small days. When it is sharky however, it gives you a whole new perspective. And during a sharknado event, with a leash the board can tend to slap you around a few times before the sharks get you, kind of like pre tenderizing the meat.
On crowded days, I think it is the responsible thing to do, unless you can blast insane airs and never lose your board. I wear one, unless I am longboarding on a clean day in less crowded conditions. I've snapped a couple duck diving huge sets, which really sucks.
Sometimes you need one. Almost died swimming back in at the Point in Dominical after an ill fated duck dive way outside on a dropping tide trying to make it over a clean up set on a very big day. Body surfing over shallow boulders to get back in was hairball. Should have used a brand new leash that day. Also, I've been tombstoned on big days and pulled myself up with my leash. Once though I unknowingly pulled my self down, then had to push off the bottom with just about no breath left. Same thing that makes you laugh, makes you cry!