Leash loops are the forgotten little part of the surf equipment ensemble that can screw your day royally.
They are the most likely to break, get lost, almost be worn through, and then they are never available when you need them. And that is when you’re getting ready to go paddle out. Right. Now.
I’ve actually hand-braided cord on a disk in the past to make mine, but, here’s a cheaper, faster way of making a crazy amount of them in no time. Keep a few for yourself in the car, put some in with wax and a wax comb as surfer’s stocking stuffers, or give them out in the lineup after you burn fellow surfers on waves. Always a nice gesture, Kelly Slater would say “it’s a good thing”.
Anyway, I picked up some 550 Paracord at the craft store. Michaels, Hobby Lobby, even Wal-Mart has this stuff since doing the paracord survival bracelets are so popular. I picked up 25 feet of green for $2.99 with a 40% coupon (almost EVERY craft store has one of these, USE it!), so, with tax, it was a little under two bucks.
For each leash loop, I measured out around 18 inches, give or take.
I wanted to ensure I would have enough to fold the 18″ length in half, then make a DOUBLE overhand knot on each one, leaving about a 1″ tail of the two bitter ends. Bitter end is a nautical term. Seriously, look it up, nautical stuff’s pretty cool!
A double overhand knot for this loop is much more secure- it can’t wiggle and back out like a simple overhand knot could.
It’s better to have the leash loop too long than too short, for those who might complain about it smacking the rail- it can be tied lower AND….
It needs to be singed (burnt) on the ends with a lighter or the ends will fray. Some leash loops will singe the ends together and squish the melted nylon into the knot to secure it. This is fine if you know the length you want. Otherwise, singe the ends separately (OUTSIDE or in a well-ventilated area, preferably with a mask!) to finish the loop.
I made 16 loops, so much Aloha to share for only two bucks. That translates to 16 waves I get to snake….hmmm…