How to choose your surfing traction pad

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The traction pad is a piece of eva foam that sticks to the tail of your surfboard, and in this article we will explain how to choose it. The main function of the traction pad is to provide a greater grip for your back foot, limiting the use of wax. For beginner surfers, it is also very useful to know if they place their back foot in the right area of the board. The traction pad is sticked on the surfboard, is self-adhesive, is placed once and can not be removed later.

But if you explore the traction pad section of our online store, you will find hundreds of differents models, each one with its technical characteristics and design. That´s why we will explain here the main criteria to consider when choosing your next traction pad.

1. The number of pieces

Traction pads can be made of a single piece, or of 2, 3, 4 and up to 5 pieces. Single piece traction pads are for shortboard surfboards, boards with a relatively narrow tail.

On the other side, multi pieces traction pads are made of different pieces. They have the great advantage of being able to adjust to the tail of the board. You can separate more or less the pieces, leave more or less space between each piece, and orient the pieces as you want. The multi-pieces surf pads are perfect for all other types of surfboards: fish, hybrid, funboards, where the shape of the tail can vary depending on the model.

2. The Kick tail

The kick tail is the back of the traction pad, higher than the rest of the pad. It’s like a foam heel, which allows you to block your back foot. It allows you to push hard on the tail of your surfboard, for powerful cut backs and radical maneuvers. It is ideal for advanced level surfers. The thickness can vary, from about 12mm to about 25mm. It is really difficult to tell that there is an ideal thickness, it is a matter of taste.

If most traction pads have a kick tail, some are flat, they have no kick tail. It is usually the case of traction pads designed for retro surfboards, where the grip is not so important, but where you need to keep a good feeling with the board.

3. The Arch Bar

The Arch Bar is the central part of the grip, higher than the rest. Its thickness can vary from 5mm to 12mm. The higher, the more grip you get, the more you can push on your back foot in the maneuvers. But you also lose sensibility with the board, having a thicker piece of foam between your foot and the board.

As for the Kick Tail, some grip do not carry Arch Bar, in order to get a better feeling with the board.

The more skills you have and the more radical your surfing is, the more you need to have a pronounced Arch Bar. On the opposite, on retro surfboards, or if you do not have as much skills, it´s better to keep a close feeling with your surfboards. Then you may be interested in a low Arch Bar, or no Arch Bar at all.

4. The surface

The surface of the traction pad can be in diamond shape, squares, perforated, grooved, etc … There is a high diversity of texture and design. The purpose of the texture is to provide grip, while the grooves and perforations aim to reduce the weight of the grip.

There is a difference between cheap traction pads and high end traction pads. Quality of the materials and designs influences the grip and comfort of the traction pads.

5. Colors and design

Last but not least, and in many cases the main criteria. Many of us are like that, we like hat the colors of the grip are according to the color of the leash and fins, or we like to add a touch of color to our surfboard … And with the variety of traction pads we have in the online store, you can get bored of watching traction pads.

If 99% of the traction pads are designed for the back foot, there is now traction pads for the front foot. They are flat, very thin, designed so that you can totally eliminate the use of wax on your surfboard. As it happens for the rear grip, it’s a matter of taste.

Another question that beginners ask us a lot is whether they should put a grip on their funboards. A beginner does not need as much grip, so it might seem an unnecessary extra to use a grip. But beginners always make the same mistake, which is not placing the back foot forward enought on the board. The rear foot must be placed over the fins, otherwise the board does not turn. The traction pad is great to help correct this mistake. As the traction pad is placed just above the fins, it gives you a reference of where to place your back foot. When you have done the take off (stand up on your surfboard), if you do not notice the traction pad under your back foot, you know that you have to correct your position.

Given the immense diversity of traction pads we offer in our online store, and with the aim of making it easier to choose, all the traction pads can be filtered by part number, thickness of the arch bar, thickness of the kick tail, color, brand, price . You only have to use the filters, define your search criteria, and the web will show you only traction pads that match with what you are looking for.

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