JGTR wrote:The joke is that most people who preach about board leashed still dont wear helmets, more danger from sustaining a head injury than being hit by your board.
Get hit in the head by what? Shark? If you want to be safe, a full PFD would be the most useful. I never could figure out why someone would wear a helmet but no PFD.
I guess you've never blown a jump and come down head first with speed? The impact of the water alone on an unprotected head can easily be enough to knock you out. Maybe you're just hard headed? ;P
Further, I don't see why anyone would wear a PFD but no helmet. PFDs aren't lifejackets; they will *NOT* roll you over if you're unconscious--even if you weren't attached to a kite.
I wear an impact vest and a helmet. Both have protected me from either having the wind knocked out of me, or getting plain knocked-out. What other people do is their own business, even if I think they're taking risks I consider unacceptable. But if one of my launches were threatened with closure because somebody (nearly) died by not using them; I'd be pretty upset, and would become an insufferable blowhard campaigning for their adoption if it would save the launch.
Nonetheless, I'd like to see helmets and impact protection mandated for competition (isn't that the case for wakeboarding and most other boardsports?). I think it would go some way to changing the poor attitude some people have relating to safety gear. It'd also be nice to see helmets in more promotional videos.
In an effort to get back on topic and to address OP's concern about board recovery: The answers are already in this thread; put your contact info on your board and use a Go-Joe. A Go-Joe may 'get in the way', but certainly not any more than a leash does; and a Go-Joe can't wrap around your control bar.
There may be instances where it is worth the risk of a leash: Nasty shorebreak, current, cold water, light wind, etc. But for the vast majority of riders in normal conditions, there's no good reason for a leash. If you're that worried about board recovery, you'll have to suffer through the 'inconvenience' of a Go-Joe.
Any schools using leashes or advocating for their use deserve to be called-out for taking shortcuts in their instruction and compromising the safety of their clients.
foxzone: What kind of helmet were you using? I've heard this complaint before, but it only seems to be a problem on helmets with a larger brim which will catch water and torque your neck. I haven't had a problem yet with my WRSI, which has only a tiny brim.