Last week, clips emerged of ride-everything specialists Justin Quintal and Harrison Roach catching a few on their traditional longboards at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch. In the short videos, shared on several Instagram accounts including those of Quintal and Roach, the international duo display the technical ability and unquantifiable steez that made their semifinal matchup at the first of the revamped, classic-log-friendly WSL longboard tour in Noosa, the heat to watch. So it should be no surprise that every swoop, trim and cross step were in their rightful place. But one thing that did strike many an Instagram commenter as odd was the thing dangling from these retro-practitioners calves.
“Yeah, they make you wear a leash,” Quintal said, when I asked him about committing what’s widely considered a classic log faux pas. “They’re especially concerned about the fin hitting the tarp lining along the shore. If it got punctured I guess it would be a lot of money and hassle and they’d have to drain the pool.”
Another clip, shared by Roach, shows the Aussie (and his mal) getting swept into a sketchy looking wave-pool-adjacent trough, indicating that even with a leash, a wave from Surf Ranch has enough power to send you all the way to the beach–or at least where the beach would normally be.
“Both Harry and I tripped over ours [leashes] multiple times,” Quintal said. “I think we both would have surfed better without them. To really see the true longboard potential, it’d be sick if they’d let you surf without one.”
Despite the legropes, they seemed to be surfing just fine. Click play on the clips below to judge for yourself.