Chance are you have no idea what a “leash” is, because your home mountain doesn’t require one. A snowboard leash is a little strappy thing that fastens to your binding, and then variously to your boot/laces or clips around your ankle. It allegedly prevents the snowboard from going rogue. Allegedly.
Here in Michigan snowboard leashes are required by state law. Making matters worse, skiers are not required to leash their skis although I think ski-bladers are required to leash their frootboots.
For skis, those little binding doohickeys that kind of scrape the snow if they’ve been dismounted are enough of a “retention” device, apparently, according the the law. But if you really get jacked, you know those things don’t work half the time and even when they do work, you know that they don’t prevent your ski from rocketing a quarter mile down the mountain before it gets stuck in a mogul.
Think about how ridiculous this is! How many times have you ever seen a runaway snowboard? And compared to how many times every session you see some runaway skis?
I blame step-in bindings for this law. That and asshole old man lawmakers who probably made this law just to make it more inconvenient to go snowboarding back in the early days of the sport. A few times as a kid I was actually ordered out of the lift line, and had to go inside to the pro shop and buy an overpriced leash or they wouldn’t let me back on the chair.
Well, jokes on you punks because I have a leash but I also know those patrollers and lifties aren’t really paying attention. One end of my leash is fastened to my binding. And the other end? That’s also fastened to my binding.
If my board comes off my feet somehow, there’s no telling where it will go.