We tried out Leashlok Hawaii’s coiled leash in July’s Gear Shed so the brand’s waist offering intrigued us. On first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking the product is a glorified belt – we were asked a few times what benefit a leash like this has over others.
For the majority of UK stand up paddlers flat to slightly bumpy water is usually the sweeping ground of choice. Of course there are those who love swell, white water and the upper echelons of the sport, but with time, money and access a premium most are happy at their local regardless of what’s on offer.
Standard surf ‘ropes’ add a lot of drag when paddling across the flat and can also become snagged – on your fin, on branches in rivers and canals and rocky outcrops. Coiled leashes do a sterling job of reducing this extra ‘tow’ but Leashlok Hawaii’s waist line takes this one step further and raises your line right off the deck.
The feeling is one of total freedom – the secure fitting Velcro tether fits neatly around your waist. Paddling in straight lines is literally less of a drag and therefore efficient without compromising safety. Racers will also love the Leashlok as there’s no tripping during starts and the belt doesn’t bend ensuring a smooth attachment process.
Taking the waist leash into more hardcore environments; downwind was a joy and our river sweeping buddies reckon the Leashlok is spot on white water SUP. Moderate surf environments are doable but your standard line is better here.
Waist leashes have yet to become the norm but fans are growing. Leashlok Hawaii’s offering is robust and secure leaving the paddler a freedom without compromising safety. Use it for recreational SUP missions, downwind sojourns or river missions – a versatile, well made and necessary product. Easily adaptable with your standard coiled leash by swapping the tethering mechanism.