Short Leash Vs Long Leash - Versus Ep 05 Mac
This week we’ll address a common question I get on the phones here. Short leashes vs long leashes. It’s not uncommon for someone who just upgraded their gear for the first time in a while to be a little confused when they open the box and find a much shorter leash than their used to.
The reason being is that sometime around 2015, the industry realized most riders will never actually need a longer leash.
A little history
To give you a brief history lesson, kiteboarding isn't that old as far as most adventure sports go.
Aside from the pioneers experimenting in the 70’s and 80’s with kites to power their sailboats or I think there's a clip of laird hamilton towing into a wave with a kite. Our sport really took off in the 90’s. A fun note, our shop actually got into kiteboarding in 1999. I remember coming in as a kid and seeing a power kite video and thinking it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. Of course it took me another 11 years to actually get into the sport. Point being, like any young sport we were still developing our culture and the gear. Granted the gear has leveled out in contrast to the early day. Bringing me back to the leash.
So what is a long leash for?
Namely riders who unhook. Our sport is a fun combination of many others including wakeboarding or surfing. So riders looking to emulate the wake side need a handle pass leash in order to pass the bar behind their back. It’s really that simple.
The thing is, not every kiteboarder likes to unhook. In fact, most don’t. Enter the short leash. Now, the nice thing here is you don’t have a long leash dangling behind you or dragging in the water. Riders who prefer hooked in big air, hooked in waves or just cruising will be better served using one of of these.
So does it really make a difference? Well if you like to unhook yes, a big difference. If not, well, not really you’re just saving materials and you don’t have to worry about a long leash. I guess you’ll save a little bit of weight when packing your travel bag too.
So the takeaway here is that unless you unhook, don't worry about what leash came with your gear. It's going to get the job done. There's no need to upgrade. However, if you want to try your hand at some unhooked tricks give one of the new handle pass leashes a go.
Hopefully this video clears up that question for those of you wondering. If you’re new to the series, stay tuned. Normally we focus on comparing kites brand vs brand and within the line up as well. and soon we’ll get going on twintip and surf comparisons as well.