Andy from Air Head/XM leashes dropped round two new products for us to have a look at. First of we have a XM Tangle Free 10ft surfing leash with a difference (more on that later) and a XM Power Clip 10ft coil leash.
So a leash is a leash is a leash right? Well that is what I thought until I tried out these two beauties.
XM Coil Leash with Power Clip
First up the rules:
1. Never, ever, ever use a coil leash for surfing. I have and it is probably the most dangerous thing you can do to yourself. You take a couple of wipe outs, the leash gets tangled like a telephone cord and you surface with a 10″ leash instead of a 10ft one, with the board more or less in you face.
2. Number one was the only rule.
If that makes you feel like not bothering with a coil leash them think again, they are beyond perfect for flat water, distance and race work. The reason for this is that the coil keeps the leash out of the water, so it does not drag, ergo you go faster. The XM coil leash also has a power clip. The clip is on the cuff of the leash and if you get into trouble you can pull on the yellow (like an ejector seat) and hey presto the cuff releases from the leash and you are free. A neat trick.
XM Tangle Free Leash
So this leash is built for surfing, and the blurb on the box promises that this leash will never tangle up, because it has a yellow weight, shaped like a hoop that is on the leash and can move up and down. I was a bit cynical about this, but I took the leash out on a windy choppy day, when I spent a fair amount of time in the water getting the washing machine treatment and it appeared to work a treat.
Don’t worry about the weight, its not an anchor, you do not notice it as you paddle, it makes no difference either paddling or surfing performance, and it is always tangle free. I was very impressed.
The build quality of both leashes can be categorised as “bullet proof”. I have been using XM leashes for about 2 years and they have never let me down, and I have, for the sake of testing obviously, put them through some impressive wipeouts, including a spectacular tombstoning incident. We recommend them.