Paddle board leashes provide an element of needed safety and security. When looking for a paddle board leash, think about what you value more: security or safety. Also consider where you'll be paddling. A leash that wraps around the ankle avoids the potential for tangling around feet. It's an easier reach for on and off access. Many paddle board racers prefer it because it keeps the leash from dragging in the water. Ankle leashes tend to feel more comfortable and less conspicuous. They're good for flat paddling.
When deciding between a straight or curly leash, think again about what water you'll be paddling through. Straight leashes keep the board farther away from you if you fall off—preferable for rough water. A coiled leash doesn't drag in the water and is less likely to tangle. If focusing on speed, a coiled leash might be more beneficial.