It all started back in 1973 with Bob Nealy who was a life long waterman.
He surfed, swam, was an All-American waterpolo player at University of California at Irvine, and a lifeguard. Bob's military service was para-rescue---and there is a tie-in. Back in '73 Bob was surfing and was unhappy with the leather cinch strap on his leash. He went home and was looking at the Velcro on his old military rescue vest when a light bulb went off in his head. He thought "I can make this leash so much better with Velcro". So he went out and bought an old industrial sewing machine and the rest of the materials to make a leash (which pretty much consisted of webbing and Bungee cord). He made a few samples, took them over to Hobie's Surf shop to see what they thought and they immediately ordered 50.
This invention was revolutionary and enabled more people to enjoy surfing – even weak swimmers. If they fell, they no longer would lose their board and have to swim in after it. Any surfer, regardless of ability, could comfortably retrieve the board, paddle back out and catch more waves – “SURF MORE.”
In the mid 70's, there was some latex tubing leashes showing up as alternatives to Bungee Cords. However, they proved just as dangerous as the Bungee cord in the sense that they caused the board to come flying back at you. Bob perfected a way to put several extra feet of para-cord inside the latex tubing to create a limited stretch leash that would absorb shock and not snap back. He even figured out a way to have the first 10 inches of the board end to not have any stretch thereby not thinning out and cutting into the rail. Sort of the first Railsaver now standard on all leashes.
Surf More was the first company to offer a leash that stood out and away from the ankle. Like most who used leashes back in the early days, Bob also was aware that they were easy to step on and in some cases get tangled up in. At some point in the later 70's Bob figured that if the cord was held out away from the ankle rather than dangling right off of the strap, the likeliness of a tangle up would be greatly reduced. So he set off to do something about it. He had a custom molded part made (the first of many dozens of different molds) that would allow a inner-core vinyl tubed leash to protrude 3 or 4 inches away. This evolved into the first XM leash which had a molded urethane strap and stem that worked on the new urethane cords which were becoming the industry norm by the early 80's. This feature is now standard on almost every leash made today. And once again, SURF MORE lead the way.
There was a time when leather straps and bungee cords were used as surf leashes, and to even wear a leash was considered uncool. The hard-core surfers called them “kook-cords”! If you fell, you “paid your dues” by swimming to get your board!
Leashes have become essential to most recreational and competitive surfers, and XM | SURF MORE's original garage operations has grown into a world-wide leader in the surf industry! Meanwhile, XM | SURF MORE has contributed many significant changes to leash technology, such as:
- Swivels to keep the kinks out of the cord
- Pull Tabs to make it easier to release the strap
- The XM stand-out stem on the strap to help prevent stepping on the cord
- The basic bodyboard leash anchor to attach leashes to…
- The EZ Fit™ bodyboard leash strap to provide easier entry
- A dependable, lightweight Power Clip™ quick release for quick exits!
- And the list goes on and on...
These are but a few of many contributions the original XM | SURF MORE leashes have provided surfers for the past 45+ years. We continue that commitment to provide the best product at a very reasonable price!
A BLAST FROM THE PAST (SOME OF OUR OLD ADS)