Unleashed

blindboy
Surfpolitik

Every year, four or five surfers drown in Australia. 

But few of these incidents attract as much attention as the recent death of Bob, a well known and respected local at a reef break in Avalon, a suburb on Sydney's Northern Beaches.  

An important factor in this attention was that he had been featured in a short film that became a staff pick on Vimeo, but for surfers it was the manner in which he drowned that attracted their interest.

Bob drowned when his leg rope became entangled with rocks below the surface. It seems that the turbulence produced by a strong southerly swell sweeping down the reef held him underwater and prevented him from being able to reach the strap of his leg rope.  

For many surfers, including both surfers I contacted for this article, this triggered memorys of similar incidents. Manly Surf School's Matt Grainger, was caught on another Northern Beaches reef, remembers how difficult it was to reach the strap and considers himself lucky to have escaped. Brian Cregan from Ocean and Earth, remembers escaping relatively easily but being alerted to the potential dangers.

In my own case when I was caught on a coral head at HT's with only my face above water, the leg rope broke, but the incident left a lasting impression. For big wave surfers there is the additional risk of a large board holding them down for an extended period without the leg rope becoming entangled.  

According to research provided by Eveline Rijksen from Surf Life Saving Australia these type of drownings are rare with only two other confirmed cases in Australia in the period 2004-2017. It may have been a factor in some other cases but does not appear to have been the primary cause. This does not include incidents outside Australia and given the number of surfers travelling to Indonesia and other locations to surf over coral, it is possible that others have drowned in this way.

If we think on an individual level, the risk seems infinitesimal. Those with an interest in statistics can calculate the precise risk but for most of us three cases over thirteen years amongst a million regular surfers in Australia tells us all we need to know. Yet there is another way of thinking about this and it is in terms of the ongoing risk. The three deaths and numerous anecdotal accounts of narrow escapes make it almost certain that in the absence of change other surfers, in the not so distant future, will die in the same way.

Education has a role to play in this. Surfers need to have a clear strategy to release the strap in an emergency. As has been pointed out several times before in similar contexts, the instinctive response of bending from the waist makes the task much more difficult.

A typical effective strategy might be:

1. Attach the strap so the loop is on the inside of the ankle making sure access to the strap is not obstructed by a wetsuit.
2. If the leg rope is fully extended dive down to reduce the strain.
3. Bend the leg from the knee bringing the heel up close to the buttocks.
4. Reach across the front of the ankle so the strap can be released in a single movement.

At Manly Surf School, and hopefully most others, beginners are shown this type of technique and practise it before entering the water, but many established surfers would have never given it a thought. They should consider practising it, particularly those who ride over coral or on rocky points. 

Leg rope manufacturers have a role to play as well.  Most have already incorporated a loop on the leading edge of the strap to facilitate a quick release but these are of variable quality with some being easy to use while others become stiff with salt over time and tend to fold flat.   Counter intuitively loops made from narrower strips of fabric seem more reliable.

Some manufacturers - Ocean and Earth and Dakine to my knowledge - produce big wave leg ropes with a quick release pin located where the strap joins the cord. While it would seem likely that this system would be quicker and more reliable than undoing the strap, it would be necessary to do some testing to determine if that is really the case. If it could be demonstrated that the pin was significantly quicker and easier, there would be a good argument for making it standard on leg ropes being used over reefs and rocky points.

Surfing is an inherently risky activity. It is also one that lacks a central body to develop knowledge and policies for our benefit. In the circumstances it is really up to every individual surfer to think deeply and take responsibility for their own safety.

The available data on drownings suggests that many were avoidable and that we need to re-evaluate some aspects of surfing culture to reduce them in the future, but more on that later.

//blindboy

Comments

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Thursday, 30 Aug 2018 at 5:50pm

yes have had this happen at Lennox years ago and was lucky enough to reach the strap.Amazing how hard it is when your in really shallow water and the sweep is pushing you away with every wave,something you dont think about until it happens to you.Good article.

simba

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 10:59am

Yep. Same mate. Lennox got me good too some years back. A broken nose and broken ribs because of a snagged leash right in the worst spot.

Toppa's picture
Toppa's picture
Toppa commented Thursday, 30 Aug 2018 at 6:37pm

A really good article blindboy. I have been surfing for over 40 years and fortunately have never had a serious tangle of my leggie on rock or reef. I hope my luck continues in my favour in this regard. And as you mentioned I have never really given thought to practising a release technique in case of an emergency although I have considered that getting tangled on rocks is a very real danger. I will practise your recommended technique now, it's great that this issue has been brought to the forefront. Perhaps Bob's death will work as a positive if only person is saved from a drowning incident because of this increased awareness. Well done mate.

Toppa

Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon commented Thursday, 30 Aug 2018 at 6:40pm

Nice article. Thanks.

" It is also one that lacks a central body to develop knowledge and policies for our benefit"

It's a shame / disgraceful that Surfing Australia is not more focussed on these types of activities.

rj-davey's picture
rj-davey's picture
rj-davey commented Monday, 3 Sep 2018 at 11:44am

Hmm don't agree myself. Possibly my favourite thing about surfing is the lack of governance or guidance. At a time when we have rules, policies and guidelines (often with related penalties) for seriously everything in Australia - typically at the expense of common sense and personal responsibility - for me it is sooo refreshing that surfing still requires that one assess risk and think for oneself.

In the police/nanny state we increasingly live in I seriously love the freedom I still have (for who knows how much longer) to make up my mind for myself on whether I jump off, paddle out, pull in, etc with full ownership of the consequences good or bad.

If leggies need to be re-developed then let the market drive it as it has most other improvements in surf tech.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 3 Sep 2018 at 3:08pm

I don't think anyone is in favour of regulation rj but in order to take meaningful responsibility you need accurate information and that is where organisations like Surfing Australia could play a role. At the moment the most useful data we have on safety while surfing comes from Surf Life Saving Australia and by their own admission they find it hard to both gather data about the issue as well as communicating successfully with surfers. The email I sent to SLSA about this issue was answered the same day and they have been extremely helpful. My email to Surfing Australia, sent over a week ago, has not been answered. Fair enough, but let's not kid ourselves that we have a national body with any serious on going interest in improving our safety.

philosurphizingkerching's picture
philosurphizingkerching's picture
philosurphizing... commented Thursday, 30 Aug 2018 at 7:48pm

What about the merits of a below the knee legrope that mal riders use verses one worn around the ankle.
Below the knee ones are closer to reach.
I have had my leggie tangled on the surge rock take off area at Crescent Head a few times, but now that I use a below the knee one I can easily reach down while sitting on my board and pull it away from any rocks that my rope might get close to.

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules commented Thursday, 30 Aug 2018 at 7:59pm

excellent work blindboy; many thanks. Education is power.
I did a tombstone take-off once, leg went into a pothole, then leg rope hooked under a ledge, I did a few twirls came up to surface, I could get my face up for air in the lulls but couldn't get down into pothole to un-hook leggy, as not wide enough for my body. eventually I did, I still don't know how I got it off? pushed away, gasping in the white water. Turned around to my SB was now tombstoning vertical in the water, as leg-rope hadn't unhooked from ledge and two blokes were desperately diving to find me. Once I got my breath back, I was able yell out to them that I was OK - but felt terrible about putting them at risk. Very strong leg-rope?

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Thursday, 30 Aug 2018 at 8:11pm

Lucky escape

surfing-cronulla's picture
surfing-cronulla's picture
surfing-cronulla commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 4:28pm

Similar at Shark Island. Getting breath between swells/foams, was luckily away from impact zone though. Waved "come here" not "how ya going" but only waved back and kept surfing. Obviously seeing my head they thought ... well dunno ... maybe I wasn't too clear but point you can easily go unnoticed. Luckily leggie just came free and back then recall struggle to dive under and reach my foot which was being pulled down and away from grasp as the foams pulled board taking my leg further away and deeper so to speak. Like a cat chasing it's tail going nowhere fast.
Now aware from these articles to bend leg up to buttocks! After 55 years surfing NEVER thought to do this until now! Excellent advice.

spuddyjack's picture
spuddyjack's picture
spuddyjack commented Thursday, 30 Aug 2018 at 8:57pm

Thanks BB - thoughtful article and strategies that we should all familiarise ourselves with.

Stay salty

mattlock's picture
mattlock's picture
mattlock commented Thursday, 30 Aug 2018 at 9:17pm

I have used the prescribed technique once when hooked up underwater at a heavy jacking peak. I hadn't practiced, it just seemed like the right thing to do. I then retrieved my bored and continued surfing after checking the integrity of the legrope . I once watched my friend get hooked up at the same place, he detatched his legrope and swam in, leaving his board tombstoning in the impact zone. He then got a knife from his car, put it between his teeth and swam out and cut his board free. A gutsy thing to do at a 6ft reef break.

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie commented Thursday, 30 Aug 2018 at 10:11pm

I once got my legrope stuck around a big head of cunji at high tide in small/medium surf. I was lying flat on my back on a rock shelf getting hit by 3 foot whitewater and because my legrope was stuck at the half way mark, my board was hitting me in the head. It took 4 waves and some clear thinking (post initial panic) to get the leggie undone. Lucky the waves wern't bigger that day.

Billie

wbat's picture
wbat's picture
wbat commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 12:04am

I saw a guy jump of the rocks at whale wedge on a big swell. His leg rope hooked on to something on the ledge and as the wave receded it left him hanging vertically down the rock face lying on his board.
Next wave swung him back up. Repair bill must have been wicked.
One of the funniest surfing things I have seen.

morg's picture
morg's picture
morg commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 7:20am

It’s amazing how hard it is to try and get your leggy off when it gets caught. It’s pulling you one way, your trying to go the other and being smashed around all at the same time. Plus when it first happens you don’t actually want to rip it off. It’s happened to me a few times over the years but I have no doubt that legropes have saved me a lot more times than I would like to admit.

rightfootfwd's picture
rightfootfwd's picture
rightfootfwd commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 8:06am

sage advice from the article:

Put your leggie on OVER your steamer leg.

As one who's guilty of putting my leggie on and folding my steamer leg over it, it could be a fatal mistake in a pinch.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 8:15am

Thanks for the kind comments. Please feel free to make suggestions as to how best to deal with this situation. Even using this technique it can be extremely difficult to reach the strap if there is a lot of water moving around. It occurred to me after finishing the article that putting a cable tie on the loop or the release pin would make it easier to reach.. It might need a bit of experimentation to keep,it out of the way and yes, it would probably look a bit weird!

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 9:06am

Good article, BB. And a reminder to not fold your wettie leg over your legrope.

I, too, had a very close call. Caught on volcanic rocks in big waves on Madeira, I tried every technique I knew to undo my legrope, but the current was raging down the point. No chance. Leggie finally snapped. Most horrible experience I've had in the surf.

I've been looking at those O&E quick release legropes, and will probably get a few.

synchrodogcal's picture
synchrodogcal's picture
synchrodogcal commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 9:28am

this happened to me at johanna years ago. was probably only in a few feet of water and reasonably close to shore. can’t even remember exactly how i got hooked (think i was just paddling over a little knob of reef and got snagged), but next thing i’m on my back, board next to me, head pretty much submerged (felt like i was upside down in a white water rapid). tried bending at the waist but the surge was just way too powerful. struggled to the point where i actually thought i was gone and pretty much conceded that the show was all over, then there was a big twang & i was released, oh fucking sweet relief! first thought was that my leggy had snapped, but it had actually just pulled up over the top of the rock somehow (perhaps the lack of struggle somehow created a bit of slack).

was not a very pleasant half hour*

*probably 30 seconds, but fuck…

DazD's picture
DazD's picture
DazD commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 9:30am

Great piece-good work.

yumacity's picture
yumacity's picture
yumacity commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 9:40am

Thanks for this article, it happened to me! On a small day, wintertime Maui when I was a youngster. My long leash got wrapped around a coral head, after a botched take off, set coming, I was pretty freaked. I had to swim down, free my leash, it was my last little breath left!!! It left such an impact on me as to the potential for disaster, that for the past 25 plus years, I always wear the same style leash and always put it on in the same way so that I can easily remove it; kind of like you imprint yourself so that in an emergency you don’t have to think, you just react!

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 10:34am

Good thinking yuma, that is a great approach. Be prepared!

northeasterly's picture
northeasterly's picture
northeasterly commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 10:44am

A good read. Just last weekend I went to put my leg rope under my wetsuit. After hearing about Bob's death I thought twice. 30 odd years of covering it with my steamer are over. I'll now be putting my leg rope on the outside of my wetsuit.

deckstrus's picture
deckstrus's picture
deckstrus commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 1:19pm

Yeah i am doing same thing now. Always used to put it under

davidinindo's picture
davidinindo's picture
davidinindo commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 1:53pm

Same

Davidinindo

davidinindo's picture
davidinindo's picture
davidinindo commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 1:53pm

Same

Davidinindo

ron's picture
ron's picture
ron commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 11:09am

The quick release pins do seem slightly easier to remove but the main issue in my experience is being able to get your hand down to your ankle at all. Whether you are reaching for a pin or the velcro loop isn't a huge difference in distance.

Below the knee legropes do make allot of sense now i think about it. Obviously easier to reach and also the other benefits longboarders get with them.

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 11:50am

I got snagged at roto on a big Australia day. You feel obliged to go for a wave when your mate says go go go. I missed it and turned to find it was the first wave a kahuna set. I got smashed and the next thing I know I am caught on inside with my leggie caught on the reef. I wasnt going to drown because I was on kind of dry reef. I was expecting to get obliterated by the next smaller wave that exploded in front of me and didn't even try to hold on to the reef. It must have been divine intervention because three walls of white water passed harmlessly over me. Thank you for the article bending my knee is fully imprinted.

Misery.

Brian from Brissy's picture
Brian from Brissy's picture
Brian from Brissy commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 4:00pm

I once used a dog leash and a rope as a leggy whilst scurfing behind my old mans tinny on the Brisbane river.. when i hit the mud flats i imagined it would be bloody dangerous if I actually went surfing on the goldy... after i saw darren handly doing steps at 4 foot kirra I decided that the goldy was way to dangerous for Brian...

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 4:51pm

Legrope nightmares.............worst for me was mid 90's getting stuck underwater in bull kelp as thick as your thigh at the Crayfish Factory south of Capetown. Was so tangled up I couldn't get anywhere near the ankle strap and fortunately the next wave ripped me out and I paddled straight in seriously rattled.

As someone who has to wear a steamer 12 months of the year I always put the leggy on the OUTSIDE of the wetty. Fucked if I know why you'd put it inside???

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 7:04am

I’ve always put the leggie under my wettie, to make sure water still flows through the wetsuit (rather than getting stuck and ballooning my lower leg).

mattlock's picture
mattlock's picture
mattlock commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 8:40am

Me too Ben.

davidinindo's picture
davidinindo's picture
davidinindo commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 2:04pm

For years I have been an "under the wetty leggy" but only recently changed due to buying a new steamer for $600 bucks and deciding that I am over the wet suit leg in the ankle area being warn by the velcro!!!!! That and the Bob article!!!! Yes have had the ballooning problem couple times and a quick release of the leggy between waves is not hard to do!!!! Maybe wetsuit manufacturers could think of small holes above the ankles!!!!

Davidinindo

surfing-cronulla's picture
surfing-cronulla's picture
surfing-cronulla commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 5:35pm

Swapped my boards over to the new FCS Freedom leash and is much easier to grab the molded loop. Much better than the salt flattened strap style. Bungee-like cord has tons of give too. Not saying a cure-all but much better I find.

Cranky's picture
Cranky's picture
Cranky commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 6:59pm

I must be the only one with a fat ankle as there is NOT enough of the velcro strap to lock in when I attach the legrope over the top of my wetsuit so I am forced to place it under my wetty.

Cranky

Taprobane's picture
Taprobane's picture
Taprobane commented Friday, 31 Aug 2018 at 7:04pm

As per the Ringmaster I would like to point out to be aware of large clumps of seaweed floating in the lineup. Many moons ago I was surfing an Eastern Suburbs beach on a hot Saturday afternoon. Plenty of people around. Surf was a punchy 4 - 6 feet with lots of large clumps of seaweed. A solid set jumped up in front of me so ( knowing no-one was behind me!) I took the lazy option to ditch my board, dive under and let the legrope do the work.
A clump of weed the size of a caravan washed over with the wave. Next thing I know I was still about a foot from the surface with my legrope stretched to the max while my board was buried in the weed patch. After realising that I could not surface I did manage to undo the strap and pop up.
Easily my scariest surfing experience ( I've led a sheltered life) and has made me wary of that type of weed to this day.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 9:12am

It just occurred to me that removing the strap could be even more complicated if you are a right handed goofy since you would either have to use your non dominant hand or reach across your body.

dastasha's picture
dastasha's picture
dastasha commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 3:33pm

Right handed goofy here. I've been hung up on a snag in strong current and couldn't get to the surface. It's actually easier to move your left ankle to the right hand for the release.

I would suggest its a good idea to practice and have a firm awareness of the loop/tag location.
I like the O&E leggies they have a good track record with me.
I think maybe the fast release a bit of a gimmick IMO.
Wish I kept a photo of my snagged one. Huge longtitudinal slice in the urethane. Wouldn't break when I needed it to that's for sure.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 4:57pm

Thanks dastasha, do you put the loop on the outside of the ankle? That would seem to be a more natural movement.

dastasha's picture
dastasha's picture
dastasha commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 5:58pm

Loop to the inside. The brand label on the velcro strap is upside down.

Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez commented Monday, 3 Sep 2018 at 3:05pm

good article. I am also a right handed goofy, I set my leggy for a right hand lease and have found bending the left knee (leggy leg) and reaching behind the right leg to be a good method, situation permitting of course

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 11:12am

Surely we can develop Wi-Fi leggies. And don't you hate it when when you get it wrapped around your front foot and you get caught in a Kook stance.

Misery.

Ellen's clam's picture
Ellen's clam's picture
Ellen's clam commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 11:36am

I’ve been wrapped around a jetty pylon in Peru. That was unpleasant.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 2:19pm

From a basherz perspective this is no more than a surfchix handbag rummage.
I shall rise above that and wish to thoughtfully contribute to leggie awareness.

This might sound strange but basherz occasionally rescue surfers entwined in leggies.
Grom snagged on Snapper Rocks was caught between a rock and a sharp place.
Steph & myself instructed the grom to unleash then raced to free him unharmed.
We all know if the surf was pounding this would have ended differently.

When set waves are upon surfer...Unleashing option is the least easiest to translate.
I believe Boiling Pot Noosa is popular for Leggie snags?

Several more common rescues I've responded to is when a novice slips from their board.
Mostly when in a rip they panic & bail their craft... thinking they'll leg it.
A nasty surprise awaits when a deep hole swallows them whole.
The weight of the surfer upends the surfcraft which is pulled down with them.

Surfer becomes a dead weight then so too any attached craft only now as twin set anchors.
The above now dual anchor(upended craft) prevents body beneath from rising up.
Suspended animation (Equal opposing forces...heavier surfer the greater the struggle).
Climbing anchor chain pulls self weighted buoy down? Why not just simply rise to surface!

Each occasion as soon as I released their Ankle/Wrist Straps all float to surface fine.
I recommend it's best to get them back on board quick for a breather & relaxed rescue.
Be aware! If you see a surfer bail in a rip or up-end their craft they need your help & Fast!

[ad] Sick of trailing your leggie around Basher'z neck? [Try NEW arm tourniquet instead]

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 3:18pm

I don't understand why you would put it under your wettie at all. What am I missing here?

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 7:58pm

Not just a surfer thing!
With another rescue under the The Spit Jetty.
A Labrador dog had wrapped his owner twice around a pylon...I know! All thought the same!
The owner was petrified & couldn't simply let go...rather go down with his dog

Sorry to my favourite people persons! I unleashed the dog first...a no brainer!
Only then could the bloke heroically retrieve his dog lead!
Surfers here know that Barnacle Bob cancelled out any happy ending - 3 months on & ouch!

[1752 Extreme Sports equipment Tip]
Benjamin Franklin nearly killed himself flying kites in electrical storms
Others who repeated his experiment sadly did electrocute themselves! But why only them?
Ben held onto a silk ribbon which naturally kept dry in the rain thus isolating any current.

Today's extreme Kite Flyers safely isolate their chords on the outside of their gloves.
Same 1752 experiment applies to insulating your shark shield leggie outside your wettie.
Hardly fair to blame Ben for this absolutely shocking story! My apologies!

mattlock's picture
mattlock's picture
mattlock commented Saturday, 1 Sep 2018 at 9:43pm

A bit off subject but still a leggie story [another one]. Once my leggie looped around my neck as I was getting pitched inside a 6ft backhand barrel. As I was going over with the lip I managed to get the fingers of both hands inside the loop before the tension came on an stopped my windpipe from being crushed. Then of coarse I was dragged by head with both hands tied to my throat. Yeahah. I've also twice been washed into an under water cave at the same spot.

dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000 commented Sunday, 2 Sep 2018 at 12:32pm

Been bending at the waist and bringing knees up for a while now especially when surfing bigger swells. After a wipeout I grab leggie and pull myself up with the floating board, not that its a massive hold down or anything but its what I do. Got my leggie wrapped around rocks a couple of times at burleigh and had to undo it. Got swept up and board was tombstoning and had to go back upcurrent and swim with sweep to meet board. Missed on the second pass but got ti third time lucky. Couldn't get down to unhook leggie and as a last resort undid strap from the board end and left leggie wedged in the rock. It wasn't there next day when swell went down so assuming grommies picked it of the rocks. Also had leggie wrap around both legs after a wipeout and couldn't kick to the surface. Fucken scary situation for sure. But as you say the benefits of having a leggie far outweigh the small risk. More chance getting hit by a car travelling to the beach.

Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw commented Sunday, 2 Sep 2018 at 3:13pm

Does Urethane float? Sink? Or neither? It would be a bit safer if it floated,yeah?

maka2000's picture
maka2000's picture
maka2000 commented Tuesday, 4 Sep 2018 at 11:00am

Surfing is dangerous on its own, a few more drownings and aussie government will ban this activity or put some tax on it . Remember this post, you'll recall it soon.

jfs's picture
jfs's picture
jfs commented Tuesday, 4 Sep 2018 at 1:47pm

I have had my leg rope caught off Fairy Bower in a large southerly swell.
There was no chance in hell that I could reach anywhere near my ankle.
The force of the swell was impossible - I do 150 sit ups every second day and I could barely move.
I survived because the board released from the rocks.
From my experience I reckon the best solution is to strap the leg rope close to your knee.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 4 Sep 2018 at 6:10pm

I assume you were bending at the waist to reach the strap? That's what most people do instinctively, it's what I did when I had my leggy snagged many years ago at G'Land, however the solution, as BB outlines, is to keep your torso straight, bend your knee and bring your ankle up to your buttocks, then it's within easy reach of your hand. Nothing to do with abs or sit ups - it's a totally different movement.

I've since been had my leggy snagged twice, admittedly in lesser situations, but each time there was a current that would've made bending at the waist difficult while the above movement was a breeze.

jfs's picture
jfs's picture
jfs commented Tuesday, 4 Sep 2018 at 6:22pm

Thanks Stu Yes I did try and bend at the waste. Appreciate your feedback and will put that advice in my memory bank and tell my son. By the way I surfed with you at PPass with my son a couple of seasons ago. All the best and thanks again Jim

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 4 Sep 2018 at 7:13pm

No worries, Jim. Great to hear from you.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 4 Sep 2018 at 6:01pm

1979 Lennox Head was heavy enough to tip Point Break maestro Timpo over the falls.
My barrel slammed tight exploding on me...No chance!
I felt a lot of pull on my ankle and was also dragged down for a good while.

Back on board my ankle felt strange...Legrope strap had turned inside out!
The chord attached from the inside out...Velcro on inside still fastened & tricky to undo.
Weird that it only happened to me that once!
I'm sure big wave surfers have everything turn inside out.

bbbird's picture
bbbird's picture
bbbird commented Tuesday, 4 Sep 2018 at 11:24pm

Kiteboarders carry a small sharp knife in their harness incase of tangles...

bbbird

Yamba's picture
Yamba's picture
Yamba commented Wednesday, 5 Sep 2018 at 7:19am

Yep,
Kirra last year.