Tetherless -- 12/20/99

The tethers

I forgot to mention another side anecdote to the story.

While I was getting ready to jump in the water at Pipeline, I realized that one of my fin tethers was missing. Immediately, my mind flashed to the last time I rinsed off my gear at home, recalling that it fell off and I didn't put it back on.

These particular tethers have a bit of sentimental value. Almost 20 years ago, I nearly drowned after my fins got blown off and my old tethers served as anchor chains, not allowing me to swim to the surface. I vowed never to use them again.

However, about eight years ago I found these beauties. They were expensive at $12, but once I tried them, they were totally worth it. Its simple shoestring/barrel design actually helped keep my fins in place. Been using them ever since, and they have already outlasted several pairs of swim fins.

Of course, a missing tether wasn't going to stop me from getting out there in the perfect lineup. I was out there!

Less than an hour into the sesh, I tried skirting around a pitching section. Of course, the lip caught me just so and (wouldn't you know it!) blasted my tetherless fin off while sending me through the spin cycle. Fortunately, my floaty Viper swim fin surfaced right next to me and I was able to gather it and put it back on without incident.

This happened a couple more times, with me trying to hold onto my fins with my toetips while the waves tried to steal it away. Fortunately, it didn't really distract me from the session too much.

When I finally got home, I was stoked to find the fin tether exactly where I dropped it. Next time I should put a tether on my tether.

Aloha from Paradise,