As an extensive traveler and tour competitor, Timmy Reyes lives a very nomadic lifestyle. Although Timmy hails from Huntington Beach, CA he's no stranger to large surf as well. Timmy landed his first cover of Surfer Magazine on a late drop at Todos Santos and frequents the heavy line ups of Puerto Escondido and some unnamed Northern spots. We asked Timmy to give us a run down on how he sizes up his Pro-Lite leashes in varying conditions. From 2ft-20ft, Timmy Reyes has it down to a science.
Words by Timmy Reyes:
"First off, you need to look at what you are riding, and select a leash that is as long as your board is tall. Take note of the volume as well, as some boards can be shorter, but carry a lot more volume than say, a standard shortboard. Grovelers, and retro boards might need a bit thicker leash than a standard comp if they are heavy or more buoyant."
The Pro Lite Super Comp 5.5, 5mm urethane thickness:
1-3ft Timmy rating.
This leash to me would be more of a grom or grovel leash. I would use something like this if I was surfing a small wave comp or a super crowded day when there are a lot of people around or maybe a rocky spot that may damage my board if I lose it. Sometimes if it's small I go no leash, but I am kinda lazy sometimes, so if I'm hungover I may throw this on… haha!
The Pro-Lite Comp Leash 6', 5.5mm urethane thickness:
1-6 Ft surf Timmy rating.
This is probably the most commonly used leash for me. Pretty standard for most shortboards and conditions. For most of the places in the world it's all you're going to need. If I pack for a trip at least two of these are coming with me. I have worn Pro-Lite leashes for a long time now, and I have only broken one of these. I've definitely found myself with a bit more swell than I anticipated on certain days and the comp leash held up pretty well all things considered. The 6 foot Pro-Lite comp surf leash is pretty versatile and a favorite of mine for sure.
The Pro-Lite Freesurf leash 6'-10' sizes, 7mm urethane thickness:
6-10'ft surf Timmy rating.
The Freesurf range is great for those who are in need of stronger cords. On longboards and funboards in the 7'0-10'0 range I would think that this would be a pretty standard thickness for everyday use, given the weight of the board. Keeping it pretty true to the size of your board is a good rule of thumb. Size up if it's a 7'6" to the 8'0" Freesurf. Size down otherwise. But for me, I use the 6-8 ft range leashes for heavier surf. 7-8 ft is pretty good for anything I would ride a step-up board in, or any kind of crazy slab or heavy shorebreak. Lots of times people will take out their skinny comp leashes in heavy surf and find themselves right back on the beach after one good pounding. They are not overly thick, but strong enough to climb up the rope when you’re down in the deeps and can't find your way up. They are also great if you find yourself falling alot, because they will take more of a beating than your standard 6' comp.
The Pro-Lite Survivor Series, 7'-10' sizes, 8mm urethane thickness:
This Survivor Series is what it says it is. If you’re traveling to or live near some heavy surf, this is for you. This leash comes out usually only when it’s a 12 foot heaving slab in the middle of the ocean, up to 25+. I have not yet been disappointed with this leash, and most of the places I go for the big scary stuff have rocky headlands or nasty shore break, or BOTH! But usually in the scarier critical stuff is when I upgrade to this leash. It’s a nice feeling to know you will most likely come up with something to hold on to….even if it is half a board!!
Closing thoughts from Timmy…
"Know your leash! Look at your leash, inspect your leash, love your leash. Occasionally check your cord for nicks and cuts from your fins or rocks. This is often overlooked and can lead to the cord snapping in less than average conditions, or really critical conditions. But these things do happen so it's good to check it out every once in a while. Don't wrap your leash around the tail when storing your board. This leads to kinks, and if you wrap it too tight, the cord can stretch out, crack, and noodle a bit making it less reliable. If you leave a leash wrapped up or hanging on a board for a couple of years, don't expect it to work the way it did when it was new. These things have moving parts, and salt water can decay and weaken an old leash. Better to take care of your leash than spend $40+ on ding repair."
View the entire Pro-Lite surf leash collection here.