Leg Leash: Injury Potential?

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14 years 3 weeks ago #2284 by PeteCress
Coming from a WaveWitch and a wave ski, I started with a paddle leash:
tinyurl.com/488smq

but greater minds than mine convinced me that a leg leash was the way to go:
tinyurl.com/6k7744

Recently somebody with vast experience in the water opined to me that using a leg leash was a dumb idea except in certain situations - like open water/30kt winds.

He cited injury potential, which I can definately relate to - having fouled myself up more than once mountain biking and windsurfing.

Now I'm back to obsessing about paddle vs leg leashes.

IMHO one or the other is essential if one is not using footstraps bc
there is no way to recover from a blow-away and, as somebody here said, a surf ski hull in the water is something like a wet bar of soap in terms of holding on to it.

Seems like the paddle/leg tradeoff is injury potential vs reliability.

Last time I ate it (Saturday) I found myself spinning like a bass lure as the ski was driven about a quarter mile into an inlet.... The spiral-coil leash wound up about three times longer.... but I'm still walking, and the leash seems tb slowly recovering it's shape.

Any injury stories out there?

Wisdom from the experienced?



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14 years 3 weeks ago #2285 by mckrouk
I've had 1 minor injury from a paddle leash. I tried to hold onto the paddle after being dumped in big surf at the finish of the last Knysna to Sedgefield. I got hit by three waves and managed to hold on, getting dragged through the water, but the leash coiled around my wrist and when the 4th wave hit, it gave me a "burn" around the wrist, and the consequently shorter leash broke at that point. At least the dragging had got me closer to the beach and I was able to get out easily. Others, including my partner, had to be picked up by the NSRI rubber duck.

I think with a paddle leash, you can generally let go if in trouble, or hold on if you feel it is safe. With a leg leash, the advice is to release it when going in or out of surf zones to avoid injury. Some guys use both!

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14 years 3 weeks ago #2286 by robin.mousley
I've had an injury also from a paddle leash. The paddle was old and the trailing edges of the blades were chipped... End result was that they were like saw blades (you can see where this is going...)

I got dumped in surf, held on to the paddle, hand slipped down the shaft, eventually I let go & as I did so the paddle blade cut into the base of my thumb leaving me chumming liberally behind the break at Fish Hoek in sharky season.

In big wind/wave conditions I use both paddle & leg leash. Coming close to shore I remove the leg leash. IMHO it's the best way to go. In lighter winds offshore I'll use leg leash only.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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13 years 6 months ago #2904 by Boof Head
I'm currently nursing a sore/bruised right forearm paddle leash injury. I started surf skiing last year and currently own a Red7 surf70. I live in Brisbane city so the majority of my paddling is on a river but I like to get some kms up when I can up the Sunshine Coast and Moreton bay. Last week I had the oppurtunity to paddle at currimbin on the Goldie and saw it as a good oppurtunity to practice going out through the waves (no worries) and back (not so easy) in preperation for my first race with Currumbin Paddlers. I attached a paddle leash for the first time as I wasn't sure how I would go. Surf was a solid 3 feet.
i caught my first wave in and it was an exhilerating if not scary experience. i managed to keep on the wave for quiet awhile but I eventually got spun around sideways and rode the last part of the wave in with a low brace.
That was cool! I'll do it again, however this time I came out. I held onto my paddle as I always do and could feel the coiled leash stretching. as I resurfaced i was lucky enought to have my arm up in front of my face. the bow of the boat came smashing into my forearm. if not my arm i'm positive that my head would have been split open like a watermelon.

This incident got me thinking about alternatives to a paddle leash. obviously a leg leash is an option although I tried one once and didn't like it and as mentioned not a good idea in surf.
Then i thought to myself, I wonder if anybody has ever fitted a seat belt to an ocean ski??
when I was younger I spent a lot of time surfing waveskis and have enjoyed some pretty big waves here in Oz and Bali. you wouldn't think of tackling big waves without a seat belt on a wave ski as often you had to roll to go under a big one. I reckon it would be pretty easy to Roll a surf ski. Can anybody see any major problems with this idea?

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13 years 6 months ago #2905 by AndrewN
I know people who do it and it seems fine as long as you know what you are doing. The only problem would be if you got into serious s#@$ coming in or going out because a ski will stay on the wave even if you upside down and getting seriously unhappy whereas a waveski or kayak will pop over more easily and leave you to roll up. BUT a ski would be easy to roll I would think.

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13 years 6 months ago - 13 years 6 months ago #2906 by Hiro

(...) to practice going out through the waves (no worries) and back (not so easy) in preperation for my first race with Currumbin Paddlers. I attached a paddle leash for the first time as I wasn't sure how I would go. Surf was a solid 3 feet.


Boof Head, a surfski is NOT a surf board : you are NOT supposed to use the leash in the breaking zone. You are puting yourself in danger by doing so... you should have let your paddle go. it's easy to say it now but i realise that when you're underwater you don't have much time to think...
The leash is useful in the ocean. if you fall from your ski, it will prevent the ski to run away from you with the wind.

if not my arm i'm positive that my head would have been split open like a watermelon.


more seriously you could have been k.o. and drowned... were you wearing a pfd ?

I wonder if anybody has ever fitted a seat belt to an ocean ski?


never heard of anything like that but that sounds feasable. let us know if you go that way...

be careful next time you play in the surf zone. ;)
Last edit: 13 years 6 months ago by Hiro.

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13 years 6 months ago - 13 years 6 months ago #2907 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re:waist belt
Findeisen surfskis - made in Florida, USA. used to have a model that came with a nylon webbing seat belt and quick release system, and it was a standard 21 ft narrow open ocean racing ski called the Shearwater. Also there was a west coast US paddler who fitted a waist belt to his millenium. There's a video somewhere of him rolling the ski, maybe it's on Youtube.

The only place I'd consider using a waistbelt is when far from shore and in the really big stuff that washes you up out of the bucket and you're held in only by your toes curled around the footstrap.
Last edit: 13 years 6 months ago by nell.

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13 years 6 months ago #2908 by Boof Head
all good points hiro.

Wherever there is ripple in the water here there will be lots of traffic in the water. I held onto the paddle as I didn't want any of the many out that day getting hurt by my ski. After my first mishap where I nearly got sconed, I did release the paddle because I would pick a line in clear of traffic. At that particular part of the Coast, the races start in a river and paddlers have to get out through the waves and get back through negotiating their way in through surfers. not ideal but thats what we have.

I've now hired a coach to get me skilled up.

Cheers

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13 years 6 months ago #2909 by Hiro
I remember seeing a ski with two anchor points, one near the nose and the other near the pedals, and a rope from one to the other. The guy used to clip his leash to this rope with a carabiner...

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  • Seaugi
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13 years 6 months ago #2917 by Seaugi
Replied by Seaugi on topic Re:Leg Leash: Injury Potential?
Check out this link to the blog from Brandon and Heather Nelson.

The link has several safety articles. He has retro fit a V10 to have deck lines that you could attach a leash carabiner to. Also a Vector surfski with similiar ideas. Then some more rescue oriented stuff.

ultramarathonpaddling.blogspot.com/searc...0safety%20techniques

Cheers
Sean

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