The other day I was paddling my Laird 12′ board on Puget Sound and spotted a large kelp bed. Kelp beds appear in summer and are a great source of marine life. I paddled towards the kelp bed gaining speed to make it over the sections that can often slow a paddler (kayak or board) down. Bad idea. My 8 inch fin began to drag through the kelp, then my leash dragging behind the board acted like a fishing net and completely stopped the board throwing me forward and nearly knocking me off. Kneeling, i pulled up my leash as if i was pulling up a fishing line and removed it from the kelp bed. I then put the leash on the board, and gingerly paddled out to open water. So much for the nature viewing experience. The solution: a coiled leash attached below my knee that says on the board at all times.

Beau Whitehead of Bellingham, Washington suggested the Bully’s Coiled Knee Board Leash to reduce drag in racing. I’ve also considered getting one for my waveski to prevent losing control of it in case of a missed roll. The Bully’s leash comes in several sizes. It’s recommended to get one the length of your board or waveski.

Salmon Bay Paddle SUP Tips

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