It seems an age ago now, but one of the very first products I reviewed on Got A Ukulele was an ingenious ukulele half strap called the 'Uke Leash' - designed, made and sold by Lori Apthorp. As you can see from the review - I highly recommended it.
The beauty of the Uke Leash was that it provided some support when standing even if your uke didn't have a strap button (few new ukes come with them, and understandably many don't want to drill their instruments to fit one).
But, suppose you have a strap button on the butt of your uke - if you look around, there actually are not that many dedicated uke straps on the market, and frankly, a guitar strap is just TOO BIG.
Not wishing to rest on her laurels, Lori has launched what she calls a "Guitar Style Strap" with the Uke Leash branding and I've been having a look at it.
This strap is a full strap, (not a half-strap, as the original Uke Leash is billed) meaning it physically attaches to your ukulele at both ends. At the butt end the thin strap attaches to a fatter piece of leather with a hole and slot cut much like any other strap. The leather is nice and soft and fixes to the uke button easily. It is also nicely branded with the Uke Leash logo. One thing everyone should take care of with straps are buckles and rivets that can scratch or ding your instruments finish. Despite this strap having a rivet, if you look at the picture below, you will see that it is protected from rubbing on your instrument by the larger leather piece meaning nothing but nice soft leather touches your instrument. Nice.
The strap itself is thin, (another bonus for a diminutive instrument like the uke) so it is unobtrusive. It also comes in a choice of either leather or polypro webbing (both pictured in this review). There are also lots of options - sizes, two colours for the leather strap and a choice of plain, oiled or dyed tab connector, and four colours for the webbing strap. You can even choose the size of the button hole for oversided buttons. It is nice to see that even with the (cheaper) webbing strap, you get the same leather tab for the strap button.
Up to the neck end of the uke and this new Uke Leash product employs the same ingenious clip attachment for the neck. Like on the original Uke Leash, you attach a loop around the headstock and the strap clips and releases from it. The beauty of that is that you can buy the headstock loops separately, meaning once you have bought one strap, you can simply buy extra headstock loops for other instruments and move the strap between them. Really clever. (note - Lori does sell an adapter for attaching to a heel of the neck style button, but honestly, I love the clip idea)
So what about the quality - well, there is no let down on this front. The original Uke Leash was very well made, and this is no different. The leather strap I have been mainly testing is soft and supple and despite being thin, is of good quality and won't break. It's also comfortable to wear! The buckles and attachments are also of good quality so nothing should let you down. It's just a strap at the end of the day, but a well made one from a good Company.
All in all I am as impressed as I was with the original, and as my Kanile'a uke as pictured has a button fitted, this strap makes perfect sense for it. I would highly recommend it if you need a full strap - plus the other bonus is that you are supporting a local business who produce these themselves in the USA, not an international faceless corporation!
Oh, and as a final aside - Lori also created something else that is available on her store - a neat little idea. A miniature circle of fifths that you can attach to your strap or case. Really fun idea and useful too - available in either leather or etched plastic!
You can read more about this product and the original Uke Leash at http://www.ukeleash.com. And keep an eye on Got A Ukulele as I will be running a competition very soon in which you can win one of these!