That leash attachment point

4 months 1 week ago #34829 by avisagie
My Fenn Blue Fin has a leash attachment point in the middle of the cockpit. It's convenient and comfortable. But I fell out broaching on a breaking wave in 4-5ft surf and broke the leash after being towed under water for quite a ways before the leash broke.

Seems the ski just doesn't pop over a fair sized wave from the little drag I provide behind it. The wave keeps the ski front of it. it It seems the problem is that wave holds on to the ski 

This wasn't first time either. (Clearly I need to get better at riding those waves, but that's going to take some more work, fewer broken leashes and less swimming after a ski on the loose.) The first time the waves were bigger on a reef 200m off-shore. Luckily the wind wasn't blowing and I could catch the ski. That time the leash attachment pulled out and the leash broke.

It seems like in surf like that it would be better to have a leash attachment at the end of the boat. Something like the SUPers and surfers use. That way the boat would straighten out quickly and not keep dragging me on through the surf? It could easily be built out of some decent rope, a quick release, a solid attachment to the PFD or calf and tied around the front or back handle. Has anyone tried it? Is it a bad idea?

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4 months 1 week ago #34830 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic That leash attachment point
Sorry dude, but, the simple answer is you should never use a leash in the surf zone. The leash attachment was not designed for that! That being said, many paddlers have created elaborate nose/tail attached leashes for use in surf. IMO still not recommended. That is what your foot straps are for. Riding breaking waves is a blast, but, can get expensive.
Good luck.

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4 months 1 week ago - 4 months 1 week ago #34845 by leolinha
What you describe matches my own experience 100%. In the beginning I also used to attach my leash to the middle anchor point and I also learned in the worst way possible that this is a bad idea.
And yes, the best solution is to attach your leash to one boat end just as you described. Nowadays I use a long, coiled leash attached to the anchor point at the stern.
Being towed under water like you said is dangerous. Imagine that you did a tremendous effort to catch a wave just before breaching and falling over, and then, when you are almost out of breath, you are held under water for several seconds... A breathing spasm can make you pass out, then it's game over.
Not using a leash in the surf zone... I know that this is the standard recommendation by all the pros. But I still don't like the idea of losing my ski in the surf zone. It's not that I am playing on the waves, but I must go through the surf zone to go home and bad things can happen. It is possible to hold your ski by the foot straps, but it can hurt your ankle joints if the ski twists in the wave. Foot straps can break too, it happened to me once.
Good luck!

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport

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4 months 1 week ago #34846 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic That leash attachment point
This has happened to me once. Not the funnest as you say. I keep meaning to make a carbon disc to put at the back of the ski for this purpose but havent gotten around to it yet. 

These threads go over it quite a bit. Consensus from people who use it seems to be they like it. 
https://www.surfski.info/forum/13-safety/19110-diy-leashes.html
https://www.surfski.info/forum/2-announcements/19385-leash-anchor-amidships-am-i-the-only-one-who-has-a-problem-with-this.html
https://www.surfski.info/forum/17-equipment/19401-why-not-a-waist-leash.html?limitstart=0

Do it!

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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4 months 5 days ago #34859 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic That leash attachment point
A simple way to add an attachment point to the bow or stern of your ski is to drill a 3/8" hole then fill with thickened epoxy. After epoxy hardens re-drill center with 1/4"
hole. works great and is a very strong attachment point. For leash attachment point I would recommend doing so at the bow. Attaching to stern and using in surf is good way to damage your rudder/steering components. 


Attachments:

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4 months 5 days ago #34860 by mrcharly
That is a neat job - however I shudder seeing a loop there.
Loops like that are tempting to grab - a boat in a current or wave will easily spin - there is a reason for using T handles on sea kayaks.

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4 months 5 days ago #34863 by waverider
On  a related point.
If you have to swim towing your boat, how do you pull the boat, especially if you have no bow attachment point.

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4 months 4 days ago #34864 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic That leash attachment point
Thanks mrcharly. I feel it is a clean simple technique if you don't have bow handles.
I use the holes to tie off my ski to the back of my boat on trips to to the Channel Islands
(Incredible down wind runs). I use foot straps for handles.
As far as towing your boat swimming, can't envision that situation. Very hard to swim with paddle, trust me I know. Any time you fall out you just get back in and paddle. like Hades' home  if you have to. If you lose your boat in the surf you swim to shore, I usually end up repeatedly throwing my paddle ahead of me and swimming to it.
Hope your ski is not broken and paddle back out. If you are playing in the surf though this should very rarely happen at all. Might need more practice in less demanding conditions.
Have fun and be careful, but, not to careful. What's the fun in that!

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4 months 3 days ago #34865 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic That leash attachment point

I usually end up repeatedly throwing my paddle ahead of me and swimming to it.

Try clinching your paddle up between your legs, jam it right up there and swim keeping legs together. If you've some way to swim set paddle angle at 90 degrees. 

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4 months 3 days ago #34866 by AndyS
Replied by AndyS on topic That leash attachment point
“Try clinching your paddle up between your legs, jam it right up there and swim keeping legs together. If you've some way to swim set paddle angle at 90 degrees. “

Disassemble your paddle, store the 2 half paddles between your back and PFD, like arrows in a quiver. You may have to cinch the PFD tight.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Watto

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4 months 1 day ago #34885 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic That leash attachment point
Thanks guys, Yeah I have tried the between the legs, in the pants, in the shirt, in the PFD (that I rarely use) method etc.
Just found that I can get there a lot quicker just throwing the paddle ahead of me. Some times I'm in a real hurry to get to the ski/beach before it gets damaged. But, like I say it is a very rare occurrence for me. I am most often able to hold on to my ski with the foot straps. Fortunately, after more than 35 years paddling I am at a point now that I rarely fall out. About the only time I swim is if I made a big dumb mistake taking off on a bigger steeper wave that I had no business on.

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4 months 1 day ago #34894 by mrcharly
Sounds very risky to me. I wouldn't let go of my paddle. 
Learn sidestroke. It is the best stroke to use in open water anyway, as it enables you to swim with your face away from the chop, in either direction. Only one hand required for the stroke.

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4 months 1 day ago #34895 by mcbit
Replied by mcbit on topic That leash attachment point
I think that Fath2o has a point for dealing with the paddle in the surf. At the end of the day it’s going to end up on the beach. Hanging on to the paddle in the foamies also has a potential for injury.

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4 months 20 hours ago - 4 months 20 hours ago #34898 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic That leash attachment point
mrcharly wrote: 

Sounds very risky to me. I wouldn't let go of my paddle. 
Learn sidestroke. It is the best stroke to use in open water anyway, as it enables you to swim with your face away from the chop, in either direction. Only one hand required for the stroke.

So we all tend to perceive things a bit differently depending on our experience and situations. I am a very accomplished ocean swimmer having been a lifeguard in the Pacific Ocean for ten years, Competitive swimmer in high school and in beach lifeguard competitions, and been surfing for 50+ years. I also competed in semi professional USLA spec ski, two man rowing dory and prone paddle board races. Just saying been doing this stuff a long time.
We all have to adapt and find what works best for each of us in a given situation based on our ability and experience.
The implication in what you said is that you would be swimming side stroke holding on to your paddle to retrieve your surfski in open water. My first thought is why did you lose contact with your ski. Did your leash break or was it not connected. I believe that if you are caught in a situation that you are swimming after your ski in open water, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to catch up to it swimming side stroke and holding on to your paddle. Might want to make sure your leash is in excellent condition and well secured and/or do not paddle by your self.

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4 months 16 hours ago #34903 by avisagie
Thanks. I see what you mean. There are two reasons to keep the boat attached though: not letting a rogue boat take anyone out on its way out and there's a lovely reef with relatively predictable break about 300m off-shore. At the reef you can swim for quite some distance if you fall out, especially if there's a breeze too.

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