The best surfboard traction pad
Premium surfboard traction pads that will have you riding waves from top to bottom like never before. Our traction pads are made of high-quality, eco-friendly EVA foam.
- Super-grippy, anti-slip design
- Strong adhesive from 3M for maximum stickiness
- Mid-arch support allowing for secure foot plant
- Larger size - 12 x 12 inches
What is a surfboard traction pad?
Surfboard traction pads or tail pads as they are also known are pieces of textured foam that you place at the back of your surfboard. It's designed to your back foot, the anchor foot, the most traction possible when making turns. More recently surfers are also starting to use traction pads for their front foot as well.
Because the back foot, particularly a thruster, moves around a lot more than the front foot it makes sense to user a traction pad instead of wax. This is because you won’t need to reapply new layers like you do with wax, and tail pad also remains in the same position. Tail pads come in different shapes and size. They also make use of different ridges, extrusions and holes to provide grip.
Every surfboard traction pad will be raised up at the back. This lets the surfer know where the end of the board is. This is important when it comes to finding the right position on a surfboard to ensure the optimal performance.
How surfboard traction pads work
Tail pads allow you to find your foot placement quickly after popping up and also help you secure a better stance once riding the ave. When it comes to doing maneuvers and turns on the wave a surfboard traction pad will make this much easier. Even if you just want to stand up and cruise, tail pads are still preferable.
Surfboard traction pads are mostly used on shortboards. This is because these boards are more conducive to turning aggressively on the wave. Longboards tend to glide down the line, and fish and other twin fins are most comfortable making long, flowing and drawn out turns where having a very back foot is not essential.
Shortboards traditionally surf a wave from top to bottom utilizing critical turns along the way. Traction pads help facilitate these critical turns which can include cut backs snaps, shove its, and blow tails. The same turns one might try on a surfskate.
What to look for when buying a surfboard traction pad
Surfboard traction pads come in a wide variety of different styles. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference as to which style to go with. However, there are some key considerations to make, before buying a tail paid for your surfboard.
The first thing to decide on when buying one of these pads is which kind of construction you will choose. Traction pads can be fully integrated or broken down down into segments - from one piece all the way through to multi-piece.
One-piece pads are easier to apply and fit on your surfboard. However, the multi-piece options will allow for more customization when it comes to placing the pad on your board. They will make provision for gaps between each segment - some surfers prefer this as it add another degree of traction. One aspect that will help you decide on which traction is best is the shape of your surfboards tail.
You will also need to look at the kind of grip pattern which the pad provides. Different tail pads offer different kinds of bumps, grooves, raises, and gaps. Understand just how much grip you want, and choose a style that works with your surfing. Some traction pads make used of cut outs/holes while other make of an extruded grip pattern.
Like with any surfing accessory, the kind of material used makes a big difference. Always consider what kind of rubber or foam is used for the pad. Certain materials react differently in the water, and you will want something that is going remain grippy when wet and also be able to withstand the rays of the sun.
Also, one should pay heed to the type of adhesive being used. This is very important as it will ultimately determine how long the traction pad will stay fixed to your board. 3M tend to be the gold standard when it comes to adhesives.
Surfboards come in a wide array of different shapes and size. Moreover the shape of surfboard tails vary vastly -pin tails, swallow tails, square tails etc. Be sure to choose a traction pad that is congruent with the shape of your surfboard's tail.
Does every surfboard need a traction pad?
No. Some surfboards like longboards, mini mals, and fish don't require traction, although you can fit them on these surfboards. Almost all short boards unless they are big waves guns will perform better with a traction pad.
How do I fit a tail pad on my surfboard?
All tractions pads come with a simple peel-back adhesive. All you have to do is remove the plastic covering on the adhesive and carefully apply the tail paid to your surfboard.
How long does a traction pad last?
It ultimately depends on how well you look after it. Do you wash your surfboard off with fresh water after each surf? Do you use a surfboard sock to keep your board out of direct sunlight when it's not being used? They can last anywhere from a 12 months to several years. When a traction is ready for replacement is usually about the same time you're due for a new surfboard.
How do I remove a surfboard traction pad?
This can be quite an arduous process and you will run the risk of potentially lifting the outer resin shell off the PU core of your surfboard. In most cases when a traction pad is up for replacement, so is your surfboard.
However, there will be instances when a traction might get cut up on a reef and will need to be replaced fairly soon after being fitted. In the event of that happening you should peel off the traction using a Stanley knife and scraper or wax comb The procedure can take a while so be patient.
Once you have removed the entire tail pad then proceed to wipe off the glue from the board using paper towel and some mineral turpentine. You'll most likely need to use the scraper/wax comb again at this point to get the final bits of glue off the surfboard. Once the board is free of all residue, you can then begin to apply the new traction pad to your surfboard.