Leash Breaks

peninsula_surfer's picture
peninsula_surfer started the topic in Saturday, 10 Feb 2018 at 9:51pm

Don't know if this has been posted before, but I thought I'd tell my story.

I'll start by saying I'm a Police Officer at a coastal town. We have had a terrible year for drownings. I have seen/recovered/searched for 4 bodies this summer alone. I have started to realise issues with anxiety in the water lately surrounding leash snaps and becoming another recovered body in the water.

So this makes leash snaps just that little bit worse, and I've done 2 this summer.

My first one i was surfing in a 3-5ft rip bowl at a notoriously rippy beach break. I took an average run of the mill wipe out on an average sized wave of the day and i felt the tension of my board release very suddenly. I straight away knew my leash had failed. I surfaced easily enough and was able to confirm that yes, my board was washing to shore, yes i was about 150m out, I was still fair and square in the rip bowl and yes set waves were approaching. I relax myself, begin swimming in using the waves to assist me in. It was a washing machine. I was getting nowhere fast and tiring greatly. I was getting the panicky feeling and picturing the drowned victims I had seen this year. I couldnt control this and it forced me to panick and gas out quick. I manage to wave another surfer over and because of him I was able to have a breather whilst holding onto his board. I still couldn't pick where I was in the line up. within a few minutes another bloke paddles my board out to me and I am able to get in.

2nd leash break:
4-5ft day at a beach break, slight rip in the channel, clean offshore - ideal!

Another run of the mill wipe out in the end section, into the rip. No sets on the head, plenty of surfers out, knew where I was in the line up. Still that anxiety, I was able to ground myself, swim and even body surf in! Not as hard a swim the first break but i was stuffed none the less. It wrecked the session! I had the yips for the remainder of the session (after replacing the leggie with a spare in the car).

Now when I surf, busting a leash is always on my mind. Its certainly affected my comfort level. Any tips or advice? or even stories of your own?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 19 Feb 2018 at 8:31am

Surf Bunker - Skunkworks legropes made and tested in Ireland.
Test vid linkin bio on insta page

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udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 19 Feb 2018 at 8:32am

Surf Bunker - Skunkworks legropes made and tested in Ireland.
Test vid link in bio on insta page

two-dogs's picture
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two-dogs commented Monday, 19 Feb 2018 at 3:18pm

Been ages since I've snapped a leash but did have dramas with FCS leashes coming undone at the Velcro..... both leashes were in good nick (one brand new) and both would just slip apart randomly. . A friend has had the same issues and ended up hanging his on a fence at the beach . After a good hour swim over a reef on a recent OS trip to try find a lost board I got in contact with them. After a few emails back and forth they agreed to swap them for a new set of fins.....to their credit a good thing to do.....but I'll definitely not use their leashes again.

geek's picture
geek's picture
geek commented Monday, 19 Feb 2018 at 5:04pm

Same thing happened to me on the most solid day of last winter in Vicco with a brand new FCS leash. Something that has never happened to me before so threw it in the shed and haven't used it since

mezkal's picture
mezkal's picture
mezkal commented Tuesday, 20 Feb 2018 at 1:33am

Hi there Peninsular_Surfer my only advice would be (without wanting to be condescending),hit the pool, doing some regular swim training to ease that anxiety. If you know you can swim a km or 2 flat out you'll feel a lot calmer and be able to make better judgment calls ie tread water, swim out with the rip instead of trying to high tail it to shore. Keep the heart rate down and conserve energy.
The other one would be local or general ocean knowledge from experience or observation of a new spot. The only reason the rips taking you out is the water is all flushing in and its gotta go somewhere. Go out and around and find where it will wash you in. Theres no point trying to swim against a rip so you gotta go out and come in across the bank or reef. Always daunting when its on the upper of your size limit, but that's the call you make before you paddle out. Plus you've gotta have an exit point mapped out, no point getting washed into a cliff. Doing some summer body surfs and ocean swims will also help. You have to be able to stay calm and lucid and only fitness and experience will do that, plus its fun as you become closer with the rythms of the sea.
I guess also checking your leggie and string each surf helps. Hope I didn't sound like a Laird waterman wannabe as anxiety is certainly a feeling Im sure everyone of us has experienced . I think preparation is the key.... and a comfy set of swim goggles. Good luck

Mishad's picture
Mishad's picture
Mishad commented Tuesday, 20 Feb 2018 at 5:25pm

My Story:
At my local beach when it starts to reach 4 to 6ft plus it takes on a different edge and I used to start wondering "shit, if my leash broke I'd be fucked..." with no one around with alot of water moving out to sea and into top top bottom sand dredging rip bowls. The nervousness and fear started to slip in and I became afraid of losing my board in surfs. Using the leash as a life line. I didn't like this feeling so did something about it.

Enter the local training pool:
AT the local pool (in South Africa) I am fortunate as it's owned and run run by an ex ironman athlete (and his ex Olympian swimmer wife) who values using the pool as a tool to train the body to maximise its fitness.

Some local mates I spoke to started to go regularly in the morning for this 'Waterman' course for 30-40 min about 3-5 days a week. Anyway I noticed my mates' stamina increased in the surf, could out paddle me and were ripped all within a few short weeks. So I decided to give it a crack.

Basically its like a small group of us, 1-2 per lane and the owner instructing us with the exercises and watching the clock on the wall. It consists of alternate breath holding timing laps (3-5-7-9 secs), underwater laps, sprints, treading water with legs only while throwing a ball to each other, push ups, TRX exercises with slings hanging over the pool plus an assortment of other routines which vary day to day. Its is quite taxing and you leave there feeling the endorphins flooding the system and very relaxed once you're showered and done.

After a few weeks I was surfing the same beachy and it was pushing 4-6ft plus again (this was my benchmark), no one else around and I actually felt like taking my leash off and having a swim around the line up, through the rips, under waves. I had a confidence that was not there before because I knew after the underwater laps plus other work I did (and only 3 times per week for 3 weeks mind you) that I could last a lot longer underwater than I previously thought. Reaching that pulsing gulping phase suddenly was just a normal reaction and not panic stations. My paddling fitness went through the roof and noticed nothing else in 30 yrs of surfing (incl surfing) could prepare me that fast like that.

So my advice: Find a local pool with an instructor than offers similar training to the one I described and hit it for 3 times per week minimum and 30-40 min per session.

I have also surfed plenty 10ft plus surf in Kaui, Indo, WA and Mexico (Puerto and Pascuales without leash), but used the local 4-6ft beachy as my benchmark by which to see the change in my psychology as a result of the training. Next time I go to Indo for an extended period and for this winter in SA I'll head back to the pool. Plus they make the best coffee in town after a session.

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 20 Feb 2018 at 8:26pm

That sounds like great training Mishad, made me keen to look for a similar thing where i live. Nice post.

mr mick's picture
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mr mick commented Thursday, 22 Feb 2018 at 4:32pm

I think a lot of time It comes down to motivation for us older blokes to do that extra work to be able to hold your own in the line up. That motivation for me is age [ we're not getting any younger] & enjoyment in the water. First & foremost is having a surf! When it's crap i hit the pool, 1-3 times a week, paddle a surf lifesaving racing ski in the river/creek, Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday morning ALWAYS up that bit earlier before work & do the pop ups, push ups/squat jumps, sit ups etc. The result at 57 i can go out at Snapper/Kirra when a decent swell hits & ENJOY it, of course not the crowds, but the fitness can overcome that. And also the younger crew at my home break can see you can keep up & not a kook, & actually give that mark of respect us "Oldies", i think deserve! And then time for a beer!!

Mr mick

Sharkfin's picture
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Sharkfin commented Friday, 23 Feb 2018 at 2:46pm

Hey there , I find that I used to break leashes a lot more often because I wasn't careful enough to avoid unnecessary wipeouts, i.e. like trying for sneaky inside waves on bigdays then ending up facing 6-8 foot sets in the impact zone, Or not surveying the sets or outside indicators well enough, or staying on waves for two long then bird manning it off the back before the closeout but just letting the board go with the wave n' just letting the leash stretch out... and of course in the early days-ditching a board because I was too scared off the mass of foam approaching... All pretty stupid and careless habits... So these days, my moto is stick to my board like glue, duck dive absolutely everything, 6-8 ft cleanups included, never let go of the board underwater so you can keeping popping straight back up after the washing machine...I'm certain this saved me when getting washed over the button at 12+ ft bells couple years back- the scariest wipeout of my life.... but yeah like the others said, assess the scene and work on the paddle fitness. i LIKE WHAT SOMEONE SAID ABOUT MEDITATIon too. Staying calm is paramount

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Friday, 23 Feb 2018 at 3:42pm

Have heard about a certain brand of leashes coming undone, shit velcro apparently. Easy enough to test at the shop I suppose. Will take your word for it on the brand.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Friday, 23 Feb 2018 at 4:12pm

This thread cursed me !

Snapped my first leggie in many moons today. The swim in was fun and pleasant. Watching pumping surf reel off as I stood on the beach with no back up leg rope was not.

It was an O and E premium that’s lasted me for a few years so I can’t complain. Surfed with a bloke whose O and E premium leggie came apart at the joint where the cord meets the Velcro as he swam under a 1 foot wave in the lagoon yesterday though , so you never know.

evosurfer's picture
evosurfer's picture
evosurfer commented Friday, 23 Feb 2018 at 6:01pm

O&E have lost a lot of appeal in the last few years with the velcro coming
undone on 3 new leggies in my family and busting out of the joint.
Thankgod I have found dakine sure glad I had it on late yesterday
when a monster 10 footer landed on my head.

IF im not surfing im racing

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Friday, 23 Feb 2018 at 6:33pm

What do you reckon Evo , is taking a 10 footer on the head easier on the East coast than in Hawaii or is a flogging just a flogging ?

I thought you’d be primed for that gear after your North Shore jaunt .

evosurfer's picture
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evosurfer commented Friday, 23 Feb 2018 at 9:28pm

To be honest where I surfed yesterday inch for inch is heavier than Hawaii
mainly because when its big on the east coast you can only surf heaving
ledgers no easy paddle ins just free fall into oblivion. I find Hawaii is much
easier to surf large. My 15 old son got smoked as well and later said he much
rather get smashed at 12-15ft sunset than 10ft where we were. To me WA looks
even nastier as it ledgers even more. This is excluding pipeline of course it is
a heaving gladiator pit that I want nothing of.

IF im not surfing im racing

John Eyre's picture
John Eyre's picture
John Eyre commented Friday, 23 Feb 2018 at 9:47pm

The standards are very poor.......so seek out only the best.............
because even they are weak...
Dont ever store them with salt on the strings and webbing............ or they will perish and break !

joesydney's picture
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joesydney commented Friday, 23 Feb 2018 at 11:10pm

100% Evo, back when I was body boarding Shark Island was way heavier size for size compared with Pipe. Getting caught on the ledge at Shark Island is truely terrifying.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 27 Feb 2018 at 12:31pm

Sanded , whats customer feedback with Futures legropes ?

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 27 Feb 2018 at 2:33pm

Been using a Rip Curl leggie as a temporary replacement since my O and E snapped. I’ve had it for a couple of years at least - can’t remember where I even got it from , definitely didn’t buy it - but it was still brand new despite being out of the packet for as long as I can remember having it.

The strange thing is that it’s still got the switchback kinks in it from when it was in the packet. It’s driving me nuts. This is despite the fact that I’ve stretched it hard on a couple of 6-8 ft plus days and also strung it out in the sun stretched between a couple of posts. It just refuses to straighten.

My theory .....it’s a piece of shit. Nothing more , nothing less.

simba's picture
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simba commented Tuesday, 27 Feb 2018 at 6:42pm

yeah iv'e had em like that ,pain in the arse..ditch it for what its worth.

simba

jordo11's picture
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jordo11 commented Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019 at 3:59pm

I was using a new FCS regular leg rope 7 foot long that I brought for a new surfboard (Pyzel 6'8" Ghost). The Leg rope came undone at the ankle strap on a Wipeout at Uluwatu recently, it was high tide and the surfboard got trashed against the cliff and is completely stuffed. I got cut up on the rocks after trying to get to the board and ended up with some big arse cuts.
I’ve raised the issue with FCS, and all they can do is replace the leg rope. I’ve surfed for 35 years and have never had a new legrope fail at the Valcro. I have reported this issue to FCS and all they want to do is replace it (why would I replace a crap product with the same crap?). Do you think they should be replacing with a new Surfboard? Has anyone else had the same issues as two-dogs and geek previously mentioned, leg rope coming undone at the Velcro randomly?

lostdoggy's picture
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lostdoggy commented Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019 at 6:54pm

I've had that with a brand new creatures leggy in mexico about 12 years ago. Was apparently a bad batch. Could never get it to stick. Was at a beachie so board was fine.

Had the string untie on my swellnet leggy on it's first surf, similarly at a high tide reef with the board getting trashed on the rocks.
Leggy itself wasn't a problem
Obviously should have had a closer look at the knot in the tie, which I now do every time I change leggies.

Twichy's picture
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Twichy commented Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019 at 7:58pm

Had a leggy snap in half.
Granted it hadnt been surfed for 10 years and was stored wrapped around the board.
Had a cord knot undo the other month.
Lady on the beach was taking photos of me swim in after my board. WTF?

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan commented Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019 at 8:55pm

Had the string come undone on my leggy today too. Poor old board had a rough ride down 100m long section of point-break rocks. Survived the ordeal, but the leggie is a good half meter longer than it was before.

Barrel Daithwaite's picture
Barrel Daithwaite's picture
Barrel Daithwaite commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 8:54am

I had a brand new FCS fail at the velcro twice. Luckily not in any waves of consequence. The first time I thought hmmm maybe I didn't put it on straight or something bit weird. But then it happened again so stopped using it. Never again.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 12:56pm

About three years back I had a strange incident where I got caught out by an 8ft set while paddling out at the local. It was too big to duckdive so I bailed but felt no pull on my legrope. Damn. Surfaced and my board was nowhere to be seen so I started doing the big swim in. Found my board - a fairly new one - on the rocks though it was largely unscathed.

The legrope was intact. The legrope string too. I couldn't remember taking it off my board recently so I couldn't figure out what happened. No time to ponder, surf was pumping, so I fed the string through, attached my legrope, ran back to the jump rock and did it all again.

And, once again, I got caught by a big set coming around the back of the point and had to bail. No problem, my leggy was secured, I'd just done it. Yet there was no pull. My board was gone again. Damn!

As I swam back down the point crew are wondering why the fuck I've just done two swims in ten minutes. Saw my board on the rocks, but this time it was copping a right bollocking. Smashed nose, fin out, rails crushed. Horrible business. But through it all I was trying to figure out what the hell was happening. 

After I fetched my board I looked at the leggy, which was intact, no trick magician's knot in the string, just normal. And the leggy plug looked normal too. Yet when I tilted my board on its side I heard a tiny little noise. Looking closer at the plug, the metal bar was pushing through one side of the plastic plug. When the board was level it'd sit normal spanning from one side of the plug to the other, but when tilted the bar would retract into the blank letting the leggy string slip off.

Had to pay the ding fixer to patch every wound, reset the fins, AND drill the plug out to fit a new one.

lostdoggy's picture
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lostdoggy commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 1:07pm

Haha,

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 1:09pm

And that's how I felt. Worse was it was my first asymmetric, and it was absolutely unreal.

Silver lining was the excuse to buy a new one.