Who invented surfboard leash?
The man behind the surfboard leash is a surfer from Santa Cruz named Pat O'Neill. Pat O'Neill is in fact the son of Jack O'Neill - the inventor of the wetsuit. Pat has come up with the idea in 1971 when he used a surgical cord to attach his surfboard to his leg. He put the cord onto a surfboard using a suction cup. Pat used his invention in the surfing competitoon in Malibu and was disqualified from the event for wearing his leash. The leash was called a kook cord by others in the event and the name stuck until today. There is sill some controversy when using a lesh but mostly it is a standard piece of equipment. The general feel of those days was that if you lost your surfboard you had to swimm and earn it back.
Surgical cord used for the first leaseh was much to stretchy. It caused the surfboard to snap back towards the surfer. This is also the way Jack O'Neill lost his left eye. Pat recalls: "It was extremely hard to see the surgical tubing, and when I fell off my board, the board went into the wave and stretched the tubing out 22 to 23 feet. And then it came racing back like a speeding bullet. People had never seen anything like this. They thought it was a remote control or something."