Pick A Winner

So I went to another competition this past weekend, and I took my new 7’0″ funshape. I remembered everything I needed- my wax, fins, leashes, leash loops….D’OH! I forgot to string my leash loop through my plug on my board before I left, and I discovered this about 10 minutes before going to surf when I went to put my leash on. Nice.
Then I got reminded how maddening it is to string and pick up a leash loop through a plug, especially when you’re under a time limit. A friend of mine was kind enough to lend me her screwdriver (mine was in my car), and I proceeded to stab the loop into the plug, hoping I wouldn’t miss and put a sweet hole into my new board. As a bonus, this particular leash loop happened to be extra thick, posing even more of a challenge. After lots of cursing, the loop somehow got through, but my nerves were nice and frayed.
A few days after the contest, I was in my local surf shop, and I saw a Freak brand leash. They have this new plastic flexible tool that comes with it that is brilliant. It’s a mini comb, scraper, and LOOP PICKER! Downside- the leash is $25 bucks, and you probably already have a million leashes hanging around somewhere. Like me.
Here’s what I tried instead:
Get a drinking straw (preferably one you picked up off the beach), a pair of scissors, a leash loop, and your board. I used the same super thick leash loop I had at the contest in the pictures and it worked!
Cut a piece about 5″ long off the straw:

Next, flatten the straw down it’s length, then fold it in half down it’s length again. It should look like this on the end:

Keep the fold together on the end and cut a slant backward on the end to make a point:

Use this point to push the middle of the loop through the plug:

The straw will flatten a bit and allow you to scoop the loop underneath the bar:

Then, take the point and pick up the loop keeping the fold tight at the end with your fingers:

Do a lark’s head knot around the bar to secure:

This tool comes free with my soda at the restaurant, or on the beach after the weekend tourists roll through. Plus, it takes approximately 5 seconds to make with household scissors. And, it doesn’t have the potential to put a gaping hole in my board if I’m in a crazy mood.
Back to training for that next competition- I’ll give ya a little taste….


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