Hey Guys, one thing not discussed enough in the surf community is the Surfboard Traction Pad. Usually, this critical piece of surf equipment is a “one and done” and that’s absolutely the wrong philosophy. Changing your Traction Pad can make you feel more at home on your surfboard, giving you better grip and ultimately helping you become a better surfer. I wrote an article a while back on www.TheSurfboardWarehouse.com that discussed some of my thoughts on Traction Pads in Detail.Hopefully you find it useful, catch you soon.
“How in the World do I Decide on a Traction Pad?”
An Article By: Chris Hough, CEO: The Surfboard Warehouse
Originally Posted: 2/10/2017
Choosing a Surfboard Traction Pad is no small feat, especially here at The Surfboard Warehouse where we literally have hundreds of pads to chose from and pride ourselves on having the largest selection of Surfboard Traction Pads in the world. (Need proof? Scroll down.) That said, how in the world do you decide on a traction pad? I guess the first question would be, “Do I even need a Surfboard Traction Pad on my board?” The answer is, YES. Surfboard Traction Pads have single-handedly pushed the sport of surfing to previously unheard of level of progression. Sure, maybe you’ll never land a Rodeo Flip, but do you want to smash the lip harder? Do you want distribute your weight better and get deeper in the barrel? A Surfboard Traction Pad is the answer, so how do you decide on one?
At the base level Surfboard Traction Pads generally have a few things to take into consideration. How many pieces do you want your pad to be? Some surfers like more pieces so they can spread the pad out over the tale to maximize space covered and add a few grooves for extra grip. Other surfers would argue that a multi-piece traction pad will pull up easier. (If you get a quality Surfboard Traction Pad and put it on correctly, you shouldn’t have an issue with it pealing off your board, still this is one school of thought worth mentioning.) Also worth mentioning, some surfers actually wax their Surfboard Traction Pad, something to consider and something you can try easily enough.
Next, do you like an arch bar and if so how tall do you want it? I find one EXTREMELY helpful, but realize that with a Surfboard Traction Pad the arch bar height is a personal preference, mostly dependent on the arch of your foot. Think of your Surfboard Traction Pad like a shoe, you want a snug fit. If you have a high arch go with a taller arch bar, if you’re more flat footed go with a small arch or no arch at all. This may sound like something that inconsequential, but take my word for it, if you lock the arch of your foot on that arch bar when smashing the lip you’ll be surprised at the amount of extra spray thrown and once you have the mechanics down, you’ll land it.
Something else to consider is the tail kick on your new Surfboard Traction Pad. Not only does the tail kick help to lock in that back foot and keep if from slipping off the back of the board, having a tail kick will help with your duck dives. No Joke. When you duck dive, you want to maximize your depth under that 8 ft. face or risk the punishment. The best way to do that is leverage and wouldn’t you know that having your toes dug into that tail kick at the back of the board will maximize your leverage and when duck diving properly, get you that much deeper under the incoming set. Also, in the air game a tail kick is a must on any Surfboard Traction Pad. Launching an air is much like an Ollie on a skateboard and you need that tail kick to help maximize your air potential.
Believe it or not there are a few more, less important things to consider. What type of “groove pattern” do you like the best? The only way to know is try a few different Surfboard Traction Pads. Some pads now have a “Scoop Kick” which I personally love. Also, size is key, do some measurements of the tail on your board. Depending on the rails I know some guys that go half an inch off the rail on either side with their Surfboard Traction Pad, but generally an inch to an inch and a half off the rail is preferred, that’s why we try to list the measurements of every pad we sell. If you have a fish, longboard or SUP make sure you’re getting a Surfboard Traction Pad specific to that type of surfboard.
One last note. A Surfboard Traction Pad can easily be taken off with a hair dryer. Run one over the pad on your board to loosen the adhesive and you can then easily peel it off. Thus making is very easy to try a few different Surfboard Traction Pads on a single board. This is a very cost effective way to take your surfing to the next level. Being more comfortable on your board combined with any fraction of added grip, will help you land maneuvers you may have been attempting for years. Also, it’s a good idea to try different Surfboard Traction Pads on different boards as you may find that it’s not a “one size fits all” situation.
At The Surfboard Warehouse we carry Surfboard Traction Pads From: Creatures, Destination, Famous, FCS, Kinetik Racing, Komunity Project, OAM, Slater Designs, Stay Covered, Dakine, Gorilla, Prolite, Ocean & Earth, Sticky Bumps