Snowboard? Check. Goggles? Check. MP3 player? Check. You might be ready to hit the slopes, but until you take a moment to attach your snowboard leash, you're at risk of a lift attendant sending you to the resort's shop before you hop on the chairlift. Although you might question the necessity of your snowboarding leash, many resorts consider the item mandatory, so get used to using it.
Snowboard leashes are short lengths of canvas or rubber that run from one of the bindings of your snowboard to your boot, although some styles allow you to attach them to your leg. Leashes vary by manufacturer, but often have a loop or clip at one end that you attach to your binding. The end that wraps around your boot or leg is typically lined with Velcro to allow you to attach and remove it quickly.
Although no firm rules about where to attach your snowboard leash exist, snowboarders run the accessory between their front binding and boot. With the leash in this location, boarders can remove their back boot from its binding to push themselves over flat ground.
Snowboard leashes are designed with safety in mind, and although they won't protect you in the same way as your helmet or wrist guards, they can protect other boarders or skiers on the hill. The leash prevents the board from sliding away from you and possibly hitting and injuring someone else.
Many boarders consider snowboarding leashes as an unneeded accessory, as your boots rarely detach from your bindings during crashes. But many resorts don't share the same belief. Snowboard leashes are often mandatory, and resort employees manning the chairlifts will watch to ensure each boarder has a leash correctly attached before you hit the slopes.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.