Debate: Should Legropes Go Over Or Under Your Steamer?

by Stab August 23, 2018 4 min read

There’s a great divide amongst the citizens of the world right now.

No I’m not talking about the Israel-Palestine conflict, internal Liberal party division, nor whether it’s suitable to spray bullets at someone surfing your home break.   

I’m talking about the age-long issue of whether to strap your leash over or under the leg on your steamer!

Over: to keep the ankle-cuff sealed and piss-tight? Or under: letting the water drain-free and leash locked in?

Personally, I’m a fan of over, but recently, our number one chop-hopper, Michael Ciaramella, verbally berated me for my ways, strongly arguing for the under approach. 

From there the argument spread to the remainder of our office occasioning a fiery debate: Shinya the bootie-lover is firmly over, whereas Slick Rick swears to slipping it under (although admits to only recently converting), Morgan gave ‘no comment’, and Ashton’s never worn a legrope in his life anyway. 

But who are we, daft-minded surf-media folk, to dictate what’s right and wrong? We don’t surf, we merely write about it.

So we hit up a range of actual surfers for their preferences and reasons why, to settle this hot office topic. 

Team Over

Be honest with yourself, it’s easier: no rolling-up of your wetty and no velcro getting caught on the wetsuit’s interior.

It’s also an obvious choice for anyone wishing to maintain a water tight seal around the cuffs of their suit, easy to release in case of an emergency, and the only bloody option available when you’re wearing booties.  

But here’s what the pros on ‘team over’ had to say. 

“Over. If you’re in a situation where you need to rip it off quick, and if you put it under it stretches the leg of your wetty. Plus, when you piss in your wetty it suspends the piss in your leg and warms you up.” – Replied a safety-focused and pleasure seeking Harry Bryant.

“Over the steamer so the water doesn’t go up.” – A leak-averse Griffin Colapinto hit

The likes of Steph Gilmore, Mikey Wright, Kolohe Andino and every single backpacker are also strong advocates of the over approach. 

Maybe it’s just a San Clemente thing? Photo: Red Bull

Despite this, other pros maintain that strapping over is merely for the unenlightened; forgoing their ability for a quick release, adopting the more “aerodynamic” of the two options instead. 

Team Under

“Under all day!!! More aerodynamic mate. Gotta go fast.” – Barracked an aeronautic Wade Carmichael.

“Under unless I have booties on. Because it doesn’t move around.” – Argued a security seeking Josh Kerr.

When you’re suited in boots there’s no choice but ‘over’. Photo: Damea Dorsey

“Under because my leg of my wetsuit tends to blow up with water if I have it over. I can’t see how [water] flushes up the leg. Gravity ya know mate.” – A scientific Mitch Crews elaborated. 

“Under the leg with thin steamers, drains water easier! Over with thicker wetsuits when you have booties” – Said a methodological Chippa Wilson with a solution to every scenario.

“Under, to stop the wave from bashing it off when the lip hits it.” – A firm Dion Agius replied.

“League under. Otherwise your leg fills up with water and piss…derr.” – A drainage enthusiast Matt Wilkinson responded.

“Over if you have booties, under if not.” – A strong and simple Albee Layer said. 

“Yep under boys. Gotta let the piss drain out.” – A plumber-esque Parker Coffin replied. 

Dane flaunting his hidden leash. Photo: Greg Ewing

Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Dane Reynolds, Joel Parkinson, Filipe Toledo, and Gabriel Medina are all other notable fans of the benefits that tucking under provides. 

There were however some individuals who change their approach depending on the conditions…

The Diversifiers 

“Under to look cool, but if there’s reefs of piers involved, over for safety” – A logically minded Sage Erickson responded.

And then finally there’s a select few with completely left field techniques to suit their own specific needs…

The Alternatives

One man on from 2004 professed the benefits of sticking a hot pin through your suit – above where the leash sits – to allow water to drain out.

Or if you’re feeling crafty and pedantic like Taj Burrow, completely butchering your suit’s hind leg to ensure your leash sits just below your ankle cuff. 

“Never under!!!! Nor over. Just below, quick release if necessary. I also trim the suit of my right leg so the leggy is straight on my ankle.” – A crafty Taj explained his peculiar methods. 

Never over or under! Taj has his own take on surfing’s biggest problem.

But surfing’s a democratic sport, not a plutocracy, so now we’re taking the vote to the masses to solve the drama once and for all. 

Do you slip the leash under for a cool and seamless aesthetic? Strap on over the top for a quick release in case of emergency? Or whip out your primary school arts and crafts kit to create your own personalised legrope set-up. 

Lettuce know below. 


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