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A leash in paddle boarding is an important safety feature. Since the paddle board can serve as a life raft in case of a fall into the water, it should of course not float away and be within reach at all times.

A leash connects paddler and paddle boards so that the paddle board is always within reach and does not float away.

A leash is also important for good swimmers. Swimming from the middle of a lake several hundred yards to shore can be extremely strenuous.

In strong currents and strong winds, the board can drift away very quickly. With swimming, you can hardly catch it.

There are several types of leashes you can use to connect to your paddle boards. The most common method is the leash on the ankle.

This way, the paddle board is always held in the paddler’s area at a greater distance and lies on the board surface or drags along in the water while paddling.

Less common, but with far more safety features is the leash around the waist. Here, the leash is worn on a belt or life jacket from the back of the hip and also runs to the end of the paddle board.

With this type of leash you have more freedom of movement, because you can not step on it at any time or dirt and small objects can get caught in the leash by dragging in the water.

Another important feature of the leash around the waist is that you can free yourself from it with a single movement.

This is necessary, for example, if you are on the open water or lake, can swim to the shore and the rescue on the paddle board depending on the dangerous situation is too unsafe.

For this purpose, the emergency opening ensures that you can leave your paddle board behind and are not forced to pull it behind you while swimming, should the strength and situation not allow it.

The 2 Best Waist Leashes and Belts With Quick Release

Surfboard Leash, Surfboard Waist Rope Surf Straight Surf Board Leashes Straight Surf Board Leashes...
  • 【Material】Straight surf board leashes surficing...
  • 【10 Feet】Coiled paddle board leashes, High quality...
  • 【Surfboard Leash】Surf safety rope is used for...
  • 【Adjustable】The waist rope is tightly adjustable,...

NRS Quick-Release SUP Leash
  • A stainless steel D-ring at the end of the leash lets...
  • When wearing a Zen or other rescue PFD, detach the...
  • Secure the leash to an inflatable SUP with the...
  • Two in-line swivels keep the leash from tangling


What is a Coiled Leash?

In contrast to the Surf Leash, a Coiled Leash is spiral-shaped. The advantage is that due to the spiral coiling, the leash does not drag along in the water while paddling and elastically pulls apart if a fall should occur. Learn more about waist leashes with emergency release.

Is a coiled leash better than a surf leash?

Unlike a Coiled Leash, a Surf Leash is straight, not coiled in a spiral. When a Coiled Leash is better than a Surf Leash depends on what you plan to do on the paddle board. A straight Surf Leash offers more leeway as it rides along the full length overall. Especially when surfing one appreciates this leeway. The disadvantage of a surf leash is that it always drags in the water when paddling. So here is the danger that plants or small branches can get caught. The already reduced speed due to the dragging in the water is inhibited even more and the paddle board is exposed to the risk of damage. Learn more about waist leashes with emergency release.

Should I use a leash in flowing water?

A leash is also recommended on running water. Otherwise, should a fall occur, the paddle board may drift away too quickly and no longer serve as a life raft. However, especially in flowing water, dirt, algae or small branches can get caught in the leash, so it is better to use a coiled leash instead of a straight surf leash.

In order to be able to free yourself from the board quickly in an emergency, a leash with an emergency opening is also very important on flowing waters. In flowing water, in white water or on rapids on rivers and streams, normal leashes are extremely dangerous.

Even with coiled leashes there is a danger to life. If the leashes get caught in obstacles, this can lead to fatal accidents in the flowing water masses. Learn more about waist leashes with emergency release.

What’s the difference between hip leashes and other leashes?

A leash can basically be worn in three ways, including the hip leash featured in this article. The most common type is at the ankle. This way, the leash is attached with a cuff around the ankle and rests on the paddle board.

Worn on the ankle, a leash can be annoying as it is easy to step on. Worn on the calf, there is less risk of stepping on the leash while paddling. Thus, the leash is attached with a correspondingly larger cuff below the knee and therefore does not drag in the water and also lies little or not at all on the board. Learn more about waist leashes with emergency release.


A SUP leash is an important safety feature in paddle boarding. It ensures that the paddle board stays with us in the event of a fall into the water, allowing it to serve as a life raft.

If you wear your leash on your hip, you have the added advantage here that it can be easily detached from your body with just one movement if the emergency situation requires you to swim ashore quickly.

This allows you to leave the paddle board behind and get to shore as quickly as possible, saving energy.

If you already own a leash and want to wear it on your hip in the future, you can buy a paddle board waist belt to which the leash can be easily attached. But there are also complete sets with belt and leash, should you not have a leash yet.

It is a great concern of mine that even beginners are made aware of the safety of paddle boarding.

When starting out in the sport on still lakes and canals, you may not be as aware of the danger yet, but as you progress and move towards river SUP and whitewater SUP, the dangerous situations will come. For these situations you want to be well equipped and well trained.

Hi, my name is Max. In 2016, on my first SUP trip, I was still a bit shaky on the SUP board. But quickly the ambition grabbed me and my passion for SUP was ignited. That’s why I founded stand-up-paddling.org the same year. Our mission is to help beginners discover this sport and bring more transparency into the market with our in-depth product reviews.