How to Choose the Right Surf Leash, with XM | SURF MORE Lead Designer

How to Choose the Right Surf Leash, with XM | SURF MORE Lead Designer - XM | SURF MORE

There’s a science to choosing the perfect leash, and nobody knows more about it than our 35-year XM | SURF MORE design guru Craig Ephraim


Over the last 35 years, XM | SURF MORE designer Craig Ephraim literally has made millions of leashes. By hand.

Crazy, right? Bet you thought XM leashes were pumped out of sweatshop factories in China, right? Well, not ours. XM leashes are made right here in the US, by hand, by a guy named Craig and his very talented XM team.

And Craig knows things.

A big part of this XM online forum is to share some of Craig’s vast wealth of leash knowledge, which flows right out of him even as he’s back in the warehouse cooking up another run of our custom leashes. “Wear a leash,” says Craig, “but surf like you’re not.” (He’s just full of these gems.)

First and foremost, instructions for picking the perfect surf leash -- as described by Craig:

  1. STRENGTH/THICKNESS: First question to ask is your own skill level. Be honest. A beginner should use a thicker leash because they’re going to fall on every wave and also won’t notice the additional drag. The more experienced a surfer is, the thinner they want their leash. The exception to this rule is for big waves, which requires it’s own leash entirely.
  2. LENGTH: Simple formula: your leash should be roughly the length of your board. Enough said.
  3. PERSONALIZATION: Finally, personal preferences come into play. Do you wear the leash on your ankle (10”) or knee (15”, for longboarders)? Do you need a Power Clip for big wave hold-downs, shallow reef or obstructions like rocks or lobster traps? Tangle Free system… well, why wouldn’t you? Color? Custom logos?

    Because XM | SURF MORE leashes are made locally, we can handle just about any customization, including handicap specialties or people with giant ankles.

    XM SURF MORE sewing team

    So a couple more questions  you might want to ask when picking out an XM | SURF MORE leash: Do I want 10% off? Do I want to support my local boardriders? Do I want a custom logo? Do I care if it lasts and how it’s made.

    We know our answer… and that’s why we make leashes the way we do.

    Stay tuned to this blog to learn more about leashes for other sports (SUP, kayak, and bodyboarding), maintaining your leash, and tips and stories from our team riders.

    [XM | SURF MORE creates the highest quality action sports leashes and accessories. Founded in 1973 by South California garage inventor Bob Nealy, XM leashes were the first to incorporate the Velcro strap and have continued to pioneer with inventions like the Power Clip, Tangle Free system and EZ Fit. Also providing leash solutions for Stand-Up Paddle (SUP), kayaks, body-boards and big wave surfing, as well as roof-racks, board-bags and traction.  XM | SURF MORE Leashes are proudly made by hand in the USA.]








    • Paul L Alldredge

      Hi Craig, had to retire my surfboard and leashes when I had three surgeries on my lower back. Also, lost my left leg below the knee in 2018. That said, I will never forget the service and repair to my XM leashes over the years I surfed at San O. You have contributed much to the sport of surfing over the years. Hope this finds you well.
      Regards, Paul Alldredge, Caldwell, Idaho

    • Chris "Ski" Wilinski

      I only use Surf More leashes. Now that the lab is open, designing your own custom leashes makes grabbing a specific leash for the right board and the right condition a breeze. Not only that but you can have a one of a kind. I’m stoked to have Craig and Kim hooking me up with new leashes specifically for my new SUP foilboards. When I make my own boards it really cool that I can design a leash to go with it.


    • Jeff Vasquez

      I have been using Surf More leashes all my life. They are most durable and best designed leashes on the market.

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