Learning To Use A SUP Leash—The Hard Way

Salty Jefferson reminds us, “Always wear a SUP leash!”

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As a United Stated Coast Guard nonprofit grant recipient, the Water Sports Sports Foundation produces paddling safety outreach materials and distributes them through boating and paddling media providers.

Paddlesports currently has an inordinately high rate of accidents and deaths that for the past five years has been increasing, while power boating stats have been decreasing during the same period.

The goal is to create heightened public awareness of safer paddling making paddlesports safer and to ultimately reduce the total number of paddlesports-related deaths annually.

Salty Jefferson talks about using a SUP leash
Image: Water Sports Foundation/YouTube

Speaker 1: I love America, you know. I love my hot dogs. I love my freedoms. I love paddling my SUP without a leash wherever I want to go.

Speaker 2: Really? Paddling without a leash?

Salty Jefferson: I learned that lesson the hard way.

Speaker 2: Paddling legend, Salty Jefferson?

Salty Jefferson: So there I was downwind standup paddling with my buddy Haird Lamilton. Haird wasn’t wearing a leash. Suddenly a whale surfaced underneath him. Being the waterman that he was Haird rode right up on the whale’s back like he was riding the rail on a snowboard. He didn’t stick the landing, though, and his board flew away in the wind. Never saw him again! Part of freedom is being alive to enjoy it. Always wear your leash.

Wear The Appropriate Leash When Stand Up Paddleboarding
  • A leash should be worn to keep your SUP with you when you fall off. An ankle leash is appropriate for surfing, but not on rivers, in swift currents or any conditions where being tied to the board could prove dangerous. For those activities, use a quick-release leash that attaches to your life jacket.


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