Editor’s note: This story was created in partnership with our friends at Surf ResQ. Learn more here.
Allow me to paint a picture for you. You’re on the surf trip of a lifetime. A boat operator drops you and your buddies off at a little reef that’s doing its thing with nary another soul in the water. “This is what dreams are made of,” you think. “I’ll pick you up in three hours?” asks the boat operator. You and your friends reply, “Make it four?” And with a nod, the only vessel tying you back to civilization departs as the whir of an outboard motor slowly fades.
First wave you fall, go over the falls and feel a tug at your ankle that suddenly releases. You surface to see your board floating in the channel no longer tethered to you. You recover your board but your leash cord is snapped in two. What do you do?
Until now, this little narrative would be the beginning of a tragic scenario with two potential outcomes. The first: surf anyway and risk losing your board every time you don’t make a wave – which could prove harmful to board and body trying to rescue your craft over shallow reef at a particularly remote tropical atoll. Option two: sit out an entire session watching friends get the waves of their lives until you can get back to your board bag and snag your replacement leash.
Several years ago, that hypothetical scenario proved very real for Australian surfer and inventor Mike Sidebottom. While on a trip in Bali, Sidebottom’s leash snapped just ten minutes into a session at a far off reef with several hours before his boat was due to return. He tried in vain to tie the thing together for a temporary fix to the point of unparalleled frustration – it’s a special sort of hell to be so close to your dream set-up but unable to participate fully.
So, when Sidebottom got back home to Australia, he was determined to come up with a way he’d never have to suffer through that torture again, or anyone else for that matter.
The result? A small device that’s effectively the spare tire equivalent for the surf experience: Surf ResQ. It’s small, lightweight, and simple to activate creating an incredibly strong bond to temporarily fix a broken leash instantly. Simply put each end of the broken leash into the Surf ResQ and give the ends a tug to activate (watch this).
The Surf ResQ device is even small enough to fit in a boardshort pocket, or a handy storage pocket solution that works with any leash’s rail saver strap.
While Sidebottom’s initial bit of inspiration stemmed from being stranded on a surf trip, surfers of all stripes have found his device equally indispensable on a trip or at home – especially when surfing heavy breaks that require a hike.
You’d never drive without a spare tire. Why risk board and body or cut a session short over a snapped leash?
Surf ResQ devices are available online starting at AU$15.95 (US$10.89) for one device, AU$27.95 (US$19.08) for two, and AU$21.95 (US$14.98) for one leash saver and a storage pouch. Learn more here.