Man it would be great, think of how many waves that you would get, no one would drop in and most blokes would only get about 5 waves before they were exhausted from swimming after the board, also no one would paddle out through the take off zone, you would paddle outside of the break so as not to loose your board. Over all we would all be fitter and better surfers, the leash has made us all weak to some extent and we depend on it far too much. All beaches would be a lot less crowded and there would be a big industry for board repairs. Have you ever tried surfing without one, you sure as hell are conscious about were you are and what your doing with your board as its a long swim. I think they should ban the leg rope. think about it.
I drove to Cardiff Reef one day with my 10 footer in tow, thinking it was chest high. I never wear a leash longboarding, and never longboard when it's overhead. Well, it was overhead that day...way overhead. I want to be fair, so I'll be conservative and call the waves eight foot on the face. Easily. It wasn't twelve....no way, but there were a few sets I thought might be ten on the face. Current running like crazy. Deep water all the way out. Sideshore drift like a river. Well, like I said...I don't longboard with a leash, but since the board had a leashplug, I thought I should use it. Opened the trunk of the car.....no leash. Checked the inside of the car. No leash, so I drove home. WAIT! That's not what happened, no siree. I paddled out. I let several waves go by before some guy (who was wearing a leash) told me, "Ya gotta want it to catch it." Well, I have an ego, so I took off on a big set, paddled like crazy to get in early. It was about an eight foot wave, and was perfect. On the inside there was a flat spot, so I cut back. Well, it wan't really a flat spot, and by the time I came around I realized a sizeable section was ahead of me (about five feet in height, but powerful). So instead of straightening off, I gunned it for the shoulder......Didn't make it, wiped out, swam for a while, and retrieved my board off the rocks (no dings....yeah!). So I paddled out again. The next wave, easily eight foot again, jacked up on me, and I was dropping in too deep, too vertical. So, instead of falling off, I dropped to the deck to wipeout in a prone position. Well, the board and I took quite a beating before the wave decided we needed a divorce. This time I swam for a longer time. By the time I walked back up the beach (a few hundred yards), grabbed my board (again, on the rocks and no dings), I was tired AND stoked. So I went to the car, put the board on the racks and WHAT????!!! The entire glass job on the bottom was shattered like a broken windshield from the twisting and turning of being held onto while I was twisting and turning under an eight foot wave. Damn, I love that board. I still ride it a lot, but it is thrashed. What's my point? Be a good swimmer. My suggestion: Get some comfortable swim fins and body surf for a half hour each time you surf. It's a really good workout and will build your upper body swimming muscles. Plus, it feels soooooo gooooood. After you feel like you are totally in control drop a fin. You will notice a small difference and still have fun. Then, again, when you feel on top of your game, drop the other fin (don't actually drop it. Put it in the car, silly). Then, before you know it, you'll be body surfing naked (well, almost naked). And if you are still too freaked out about swimming in the ocean without fins or a surfboard, then stuff an inflatable life ring in your trunks or wetsuit so that you won't give up and drown. Or, do what the pros do. Use a tow rope, several waverunners, a helicopter, cameras, etc. Then you'll be safe. Oh, wait, I forgot about Mark Foo. He had all that stuff (except the tow rope). Only God can guarantee your safety in any circumstance. And even he won't do it. Sooner or later you'll be on your own. Be ready or be deady.
among everything else, it definitely improves your wave selection ability...
Before I tried surfing, my friend's dad made sure we could swim by having us swim around the end of the Hermosa Pier. The scary thing for me was looking up, seeing the fisherman and thinking I could get a hook in me. Some of us are old enough to have started surfing before leashes were invented and learned basics like kicking out, straightening off, going prone, holding on to board, etc... and ding repair!
Man this brings back a lot of memories. Here in NJ back in the 60's at certian beaches (most beaches are run by associations in NJ) you had to prove that you could swim befor they let you surf. At the time I thought it was rediculous. Then the leash came and things changed. Young kids with no idea about water safety or ettiquete. The 60' were a good time!
Phil Castignola-Select Surfshop P.B. R.I.P. Bungy cord leashes early 70's, take out an eye in one tail shot to the head!
..........A man by the name of Herb Brucker.......if that ain't a kick!Herb
That's right. There were leashes around before that, but those were the first "factory" style leashes I had ever seen. Just the mention of Select Surf Shop makes me yearn for the day. With "Tugs Tavern" and Taco night. Or was it Tostados??
Steve Russ, of Santa Cruz California, should be credited for inventing the Modern Leash.
Once introduced to the Steamer Lane Crew in 1970/71, it has been used consecutively every day since.
Jim Overlin was the first to copy Steve Russ and sell his leashes..
How hard was it to buy a box of suction cups from sears and a roll of surgical tubing from the medical supply house, screw the suction cup to the surgical tubing and tie a loop in the other end!
Steve was a kneeboarder and unlike a stand up surfer, could not put the leash on his foot, so he put it on his hand. Laying down on the kneeboard left the nose for the suction cup.
It took a while to move the leash to the tail and onto the foot.
People made attempts at making leashes since the tom Blake days, but it was only temporary.
Once Steve Russ' leash was used that day at Steamer Lane, leashes became a permanant part of surfing and have been used every day since.
With the leash, not only did you save your board, it allowed unsurfable high tide breaks to be ridden.