At this year’s ChuckTown Showdown, a fellow OC-1 racer showed me his leash, the Mocke Life Line Craft Leash. I was immediately intrigued.
And being the gear geek I am …I quickly purchased one.
Here’s why it’s a great option if you paddle OC, or surfski for that matter.
First of all, it is shorter. That works in the OC-1 because it attaches to the small opening right in front of the seat in the Puakea Ehukai, or similar in-cockpit attachment points in other outriggers. The leash string is just a just a bit smaller than on a typical leash, although I did have to do some finagling to insert mine into that opening. Attaching the leash there, in the cockpit keeps it out of my way, and out of my paddle’s way, and when combined with the shorter length, it’s out of the water completely, resulting in reduced drag and annoyance. No way this leash will ever wrap around your hull.
The Mocke, which sells for about $35, also attaches to my calf, which is nice, again, keeping things neat and clutter free in the small OC cockpit. There is a red “safety” tab, which when worn correctly, will make releasing the leash easy to do, in the event that some kind of emergency requires me to do so.
But, other than the length, the engineering and design that sets the Mocke apart from sup/surf/body board leashes is the leash to leg collar attachment. On the leg collar or strap, there is a D-ring. The leash attaches to that D-ring via Mocke’s unique PRESS+Connect mechanism. Think of a key ring, but flatter with a a tension mechanism that you press to open and clip into the D-ring. The whole assembly is covered with a neoprene cover to reduce scuffing or dinging. It is not the easiest clip to undo but again,in the event you need to get out of the leash quickly, you’re going to go for the quick release Velcro tab, not this connector.
My one complaint about this set up is that half-way into my paddle, that neoprene sleeve slipped down, exposing the clip and making me a bit worried about contact with the metal on my carbon boat. I’ll have to see if zip-ties won’t hold that in place.
When worn properly, the D-ring is on the back of your leg. It’s sewn into the calf collar in such a way that should it come into contact with your boat, say in a huli situation, it will fold down flat, reducing ding potentional.
So what about the huli? I definitely noticed the shorter length but it was no more an issue than any of the other leash configurations I have used. Using the Margo Pelligrino Huli Recovery method was no problem. Getting back in the boat, again, no problem.
As for metal on carbon conflict, I did notice one Ding Potential Factor. The swivel.
My workaround for getting the leash string through the hole in front the seat – a smaller gauge lanyard – might be a little too long, since it allows for that swivel to land right on the gunnel. So, I will play around with and see if I can rectify that. I may be blowing this way out of proportion, but some of us OC types are a little obsessive about how much our boats get banged around, and are overly protective.
Overall, I’m really happy with this leash set up and will definitely use this instead of the body board leash on the front iako. Mocke is very adamant about this leash being appropriate for open ocean and flatwater only- it is not meant for the surf.