Whether you are just learning to kiteboard or have some years of experience under your belt; please never use a board leash. Since 2011, IKO has permanently banned board leashes to be used while teaching. IKO has also informed all IKO Instructors to inform their students and those they see using board leashes of the misconception of its “benefits” and raise awareness to its actual dangers!
The long time debate was that a leash would enable an easier and quicker progression for an inexperienced rider as they would never lose their board. This is not realistic as a student would never really learn all aspects of kiteboarding. One important skill is how to body drag for board recovery; if you had a leash you would never truly develop this skill.
The real reason to not use a board leash though is because it is simply dangerous. You have various ways to get hurt, or be put in harm's way. The leash can wrap around your body, bar, lines, you can also have a chance of the board coming towards you and hitting you in the body, or worst case head, which could be lethal.
Now you will say that you have seen professional waveriders using a leash in photos, kite videos or on the beach though this decision does only affect their own safety. We remind you that we have banned board leashes completely for many logical reasons and do not support any use of leashes in any discipline.
Though for some, as the years go by and you decide you want to travel to various wave riding spots like One Eye in Mauritius- where losing your board completely could mean never finding it again or if found- heavily damaged you might consider using a leash. In this situation ask yourself: between losing your board or the possibility of a very serious injury; which one do you choose?