Quote Originally Posted by Gromit View Post
Leashes are a hazard? Really? Why?
Next time that you ride on a chairlift, watch how close other folk's skis/snowboards often get to your non-release binding's toe release catches. Think of the consequences if they accidentally got flipped wide open and the skiboard wasn't attached to your leg via a leash.
I'm always worried with leashes that I'll hook them on a branch while cutting through tight trees, and get my legs ripped out from under me, even if they are tucked into my pants. I go through some pretty tight glades on a regular basis. I won't generally ride with a season's pass on a lanyard around my neck for the same reason. It's selfish in terms of hazard awareness, though.

With the amount of pressure it takes to release my toe catches (it hurts to do them up without gloves on), I'm not concerned about a release in that scenario, although I agree it could have some pretty serious consequences. Mind you, if that's the case than all skis should be leashed in case their heel releases get bumped on the chair. Brakes won't stop a falling ski mid-air.

I've never had an unintentional release in many years of hard riding, which I suppose is a factor. Last year I did see one on a board I had loaned to a friend (luckily on not much of a slope, and I was nearby to grab it), so I'm more likely to leash up someone who's trying them out from now on. I think he was using very large touring-style boots and it admittedly wasn't the best fit to start with.

If I'm back to Kicking Horse next season, I'm probably going to rig up a breakaway leash system that would stop a rogue board in case of a binding break, but tear free in a tree-catch scenario. I've got some industrial double-sided velcro that would probably work as the breakaway element. Retractable leashes might make me feel a little better as well, so that they can't hang loose of the boot.