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Legropes and leashes come in numerous lengths, colours and combinations.
What waves do you surf?
How powerful are they?
Do you ride a short board, long board or body board?
These are the questions you need to ask yourself to determine what cord is suitable for you.
Read the spiel on the packaging before you buy it and see what cord suits you.
Surfers have become reliant on the cord, which is not a good thing in some cases.
I was out at Lefties one day and a leggie snapped on this guy, to my amazement he was not a very proficient swimmer and needed a piggy back in to the beach by his mate.
Legropes/leashes are not a life saving device and should not be seen as such, if you can't tread water for 5 mins, swim at least 100 metres, then start learning.
Too many times I have seen parents drop their kids off at the beach, only to see them get into difficulty when their cord breaks.
Other times you see a surfer without a leggie, a very dangerous practise in crowded situations. No matter how good you surf there is always the chance you can lose your board.
2 years ago while surfing at my local, one of these "I am too cool to wear a legrope surfer" was out surfing, (well actually dropping in on grommets). I tuned him about having to wear a leggie, but he was way too cool!
A couple of waves later I saw this guys board give someone a split lip while the victim was paddling out, you could actually see the poor victims teeth through the gash, it required a lot of stiches.
Legropes are for a reason eg: to help stop your board from turning into a dangerous projectile.
Wear one, unless your in a situation where your surfing Waimea, Mavericks or Jaws, its up to you.
Caring for your legrope/leash is also important. Check it every now and then for little cuts or nicks and don't rap it around your board near your fins, 1). because sometimes the back sharp edge of the fin causes cuts on the cord and 2). your leggie/leash will end up looping around your feet, because it has moulded to the shape of your board.
OTHER USES FOR LEGGIES.
Great for using as leads to walk your dog.
Using as a makeshift cloths line when camping.
String it between 2 poles to make a huge sling shot you can use, to shoot folded up paper with, not that we recomend it, as it's dangerous.
Use as tiedowns for boards on roof racks.