(Yes, that is a Beyoncé reference.)
A leash is the most important component of a snowskate; it will save you from chasing your skate down the mountain (at best), losing your skate, or seriously injuring someone (at worst).
Here is John Zapata attempting a sick cliff drop and losing his skate…in the back country (thank goodness.)
Brian Wilson said it perfectly in his comment on Ambassador of the Snowskate. To say it differently, anything that won’t hold an excited, poorly trained pit-bull will not work as a snowskate leash. It is risky for our sport to use something that won’t hold up. If you go out there with a few shoelaces tied together, call them a leash, wreck, and send a snowskate flying down the mountain, that tells mountain management that, even with leashes, snowskates are dangerous. (Which is entirely wrong!!)
Make it easy on yourself and go with a snowskate specific leash. You can find a bunch on snosk8.com:
The Anonymous snowskate leash is a great option because they come in a bunch of colors. They have a cool break-away feature so you don’t have too much leash drag when you don’t need it, but you have enough release for when you eat it (that rhymed). Clip it to your belt, add a carabineer to the other end with the swivel, and clip it to your back truck (click here for a quick Anatomy of a Snowskate lesson).
The Ungi Bungi is a super-cool, surf-style leash. You can Velcro it around your ankle or around your belt, and then Velcro the other end to your snowskate. They have stainless steel swivels so the leash doesn’t tangle. And, they come with a one year warranty.
The Boyd Hill leash is an ankle specific leash as well. It clips right around your ankle. Put a carabineer on the other end, clip it to your back truck, and you are good to go.
Be sure NOT to clip any leash to your belt loop, because even though these leashes are solid, belt loops fail. And, it all looks the same to mountain management!
Some snowskaters actually choose to use dog leashes. And, if they do the job, who cares? But, here are a couple warnings:
- Whatever you use, use something with some give or stretch. If you try a static rope or dog leash (with no stretch), your skate will fly back at you and smash you in the face after you wreck.
- To add legitimacy to our sport, I encourage everyone to use snowskate specific leashes whenever possible.