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  • Leashes

    I wrote this up on leashes for something else that I am doing, but I would like some feedback from people.


    Anyone that has even seen a loose snowboard or ski going down a hill like a torpedo, will know how dangerous it can be. If a person rides any kind of binding without auto-engaging brakes, then leashes must always be worn. Not all resorts mandate this, but as a responsible skiboarder, it is the correct and appropriate thing to do. Not all release bindings have brakes and even sometimes people switch their Spruce riser bindings from a narrower to a wider skiboard where the brakes are only suitable for narrower skiboards and now the brakes rest on top of the skiboard. In these cases leashes are mandatory too.

    IMPORTANT: Leashes are even important in the case of non-release bindings as an accidental depression of the toeclip can send a skiboard down a hill.

    Leashes normally come in a couple of popular formats:
    • As webbing with a plastic buckle, the same which are found on backpacks. The leash is tied to the binding and the webbing would a couple of times around the leg before the buckle is clipped.
    • As a nylon cord with a metal clip. The one end is larks-footed to the binding, and the other end clips on the boot. This can be on a buckle or the power strap.
    • A spring-loaded or coiled cord with a metal clip and a piece of nylon cord for fastening. The nylon is usually larks-footed or tied as a knot in the binding, and the other side then clips onto the boot. This is probably the best kind of leash, especially for releasable bindings where one wants some initial distance between person and skiboard.

    NOTE: There are some people who prefer to have the leashes tied to their ski boots and then simple clip into an appropriate piece on the binding. Their reasoning is that they want to quickly change between different skiboards without having to undo the leashes from the bindings. In this case people have to ensure that the leashes cannot get snagged or cause a trip when walking around in boots at lunch times or at the end of the day.

    When stepping into skiboards without brakes it can sometimes be a bit fiddly, because a well-waxed skiboard does not want to be stationary. A leash can be quite useful to solve this problem. In the case of hard boot non-release binding, it is recommended to tie the leash to the heel bail. Stepping into the binding pull on the leash so that it lifts up the heel bail over the heel lip of the boot. Now it is possible can bend down and simply engage the clip on the toe bail.

    The situation is nearly the same for release bindings without brakes. Except for some older bindings, most heel pieces have a slot somewhere where a cord can be threaded through and tied with a fisherman's knot or single overhand bend. Once again pull up on the leash to stabilise the skiboard and step down so that the heel piece engages.

    When stepping out of bindings with leashes it is important to hold onto the leashes until the skiboards can be placed in a position where they are immobilised. Most people will leave the leashes clipped into the boot until they have stepped out of the bindings.
    WARNING: When using leashes it is important to have no loose loops hanging around. You do not want them super stiff, but there should not be any pieces sticking out that could get snagged on obstacles such as branches, tree roots or even the other skiboard.

    Taking care of leashes

    Inspect the leashes on a regular basis. Especially when the leash is larks-footed it reduces the strength of the cord by 50% and this is a typical place for wear. Another typical place is where the cord goes through a piece of nylon webbing. This is typically obscured from the view of user but usage can cause friction which will wear the cord first. When using leashes with releasable bindings the scuffing on the heel piece can also be a contributing factor. There are well recorded stories of leashes having broken in a fall sending a skiboard down an undesirable trajectory.
    Current: '20 Spruce Slingshot 119s, '20 Spruce Crossbow 115s, '18 Spruce Osprey 132s (touring), '21 Rvl8 SII 104s, '21 Summit Invertigos 118s
    Also: '11 Allz Elaila 94s, '12 Rvl8 Rockered Condor 110s, '15 Spruce Osprey 132s , '18 Spruce Crossbow 115s
    Previous: Gaspo Hot Wax 84s, Mantrax 98s, Summit Nomad 99s, Spruce Yellow 120s, Eman Uprise 104s