Traction Pads

Surfboard Traction Pads / Deck Grips / Tailpads

Surfboard traction pads, deck grips, tailpads. There are several names for this piece of grippy foam that most shortboards and a few longboards have on the end of the deck.

Put simply, traction pads give your rear foot a bit more grip on the board, allowing you to pull harder maneuvers without having to worry about whether or not your wax is sticky or bumpy enough. Some surfboard traction pads have ridges at the back that allow your foot even more control over the board for harder snaps and aerial maneuvers.

There are several brands of surfboard traction pads on the market, and it’s tough to go wrong since traction pads are a relatively simple piece of equipment.

I personally recommend DaKine tail pads, however Gorilla Grip and OAM produce good tail pads as well.

Color: This is up to you. One word of advice, however, don’t get a white traction pad. The guy at the shop said it wouldn’t get dirty, but it did. He was probably trying to get rid of it! Now it looks a little trashed, but it still works fine.

HOW TO APPLY A SURFBOARD TRACTION PAD

Applying a tail pad to your pristine surfboard can be a little nerve-wracking, but there is a very simple way to do it.

FIRST: Make sure there is NO wax on your board. If it’s brand new, take a cloth and wipe away any fiberglass dust that might be on the board from production. If you’ve had wax on it, leave it in the sun for a few minutes to soften the wax, or pour hot water on it. Then scrape away the wax from the area with a wax comb or other soft plastic edge (your old credit cards work well) and finish with a wax remover. If it’s winter, you can take a hairblower on a LOW setting and blow the wax until it is soft enough to remove. Make sure that you wipe away all the wax remover and bits of wax.

  • Cut the plastic around the edge of the tailpad and remove the cardboard backing—but leave the pad itself in the plastic so it stays together.
  • Put the tail pad on the board (still in the plastic) and figure out where you want it to go. Some surfers like to have the rear kick-up ridge positioned either directly over the front of the centermost fin, others like to have it right in front of the leash plug. If this is your first traction pad, a safe bet is to put the rear ridge over the center of the middle rear fin.
  • Mark off the position of the pad with a pencil. Use the stringer to make sure you’ve got your pad centered.
  • Peel off the adhesive paper on the pad, being careful not to let the glue stick to anything.
  • Take the entire pad and carefully place it onto the area marked with your pencil.
  • Press down firmly for about 20-30 seconds to bond the adhesive.
  • Carefully peel away the plastic packaging.
  • It’s advised to wait a day to use the board, but I’ve heard of people going in the water right away. It’s up to you, but I’d recommend waiting at least 12 hours.

That wasn’t so hard now, was it? Some people like to spread the pieces of their traction pad around wider or tighter than the factory “preset.” If you want to do this, just take a pencil and trace the different pieces individually. You can use a little piece of double stick tape so they don’t move around as you arrange them.

REMOVING A SURFBOARD TRACTION PAD

This is difficult, and is easier on epoxy boards than fiberglass boards. If you want to remove a tail pad from a fiberglass board you run the risk of delaminating the board, pulling the fiberglass away from the foam. This could ruin your board, so it’s not recommended.

If you MUST remove the pad, do it very, very slowly and carefully, a little at a time. If you’re going to put a new pad on, don’t worry about a little sticky adhesive left over. If you just want to get rid of the thing completely, a small amount of paint thinner on a rag or paper towel should take care of the adhesive.

Bestsellers According To Amazon

SaleBestseller No. 1
Punt Surf Ripper Traction Pad - 3 Piece Stomp Pad for Surfing and Skimboarding with 3M Adhesive. Grips All Boards - Surfboards, Shortboards, Longboards, Skimboards.
  • SEE THEIR JAWS DROP: Our traction pad provides the ULTIMATE, LIGHTWEIGHT grip for you. Dig your back foot in with confidence on those critical bottom turns and cutbacks.
  • FITS ANY SURFBOARD & SKIMBOARD: You can place this 3 piece traction pad as you please. Spread the pieces out for wider boards, put the pieces together for narrower ones. Dimensions: 10.5" x 11.75", 10mm center arch, 25mm tail kick.
  • UNBEATABLE QUALITY: We only use premium 3M adhesive direct from the source and marine-grade, ultralight diamond grooved EVA foam.
  • PUNT SURF 100% STOKE GUARANTEE: Our traction pads will stick forever on your board or your money back, no questions asked. We're a homegrown company from California, and our mission is to provide premium surf, skim and SUP accessories for all. We love being in the water, and we're always testing our products to ensure they are the best out there. We're confident you'll be stoked!
  • LOVE OUR PLANET, CHOOSE PUNT SURF: For us, making premium products for all isn't enough. We are a highly environmentally conscious company that cares about giving back. As a proud member of 1% for the Planet, we donate a portion of every sale to nonprofits dedicated to protecting our oceans and environment.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Dakine Surf Andy Irons Pro Pad
  • Cut-outs enhance board feel and increase grip.
  • 20mm routered tail kick.
  • 7mm center arch.
  • Three piece pad, 3M High Grade Adhesive.
  • Dakine Positraction, 12 x 13.75 inches, 26.75 x 31 cm.
Bestseller No. 3
Premium Surfboard Traction Pad [CHOOSE COLOR] 3 Piece, Full Size, Maximum Grip, 3M Adhesive, for Surfing or Skimboarding (Black with White Palm Trees)
  • PREMIUM QUALITY - Other traction pads on Amazon claim to be high quality, but they are smaller and the adhesive is not as good. You know you are getting quality with Ho Stevie!
  • SUPER GRIPPY, yet soft on your knees if you surf in boardshorts.
  • FULL SIZE PAD - 12"x12" when all 3 pieces are laid side by side. Spread the pads apart if you prefer a wider grip on your tail.
  • POWERFUL 3M ADHESIVE provides maximum stick to your board. (Some cheaper products claim to use 3M adhesive, but you can check their reviews and see that the pads often come off the board)
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: As with all of our products, if you are not completely satisfied for ANY reason, simply return it within 30 days for a full refund.
Bestseller No. 4
DAKINE John John Florence Pro Surf Traction Pad (Black/Green)
  • Dakine Positraction TripleCut
  • Five piece pad
  • 7mm center arch
  • 25mm vert wedge tail kick with beveled edges
  • Drilled holes through kick to enhance water flow
Bestseller No. 5
HexaTraction Clear Surf Grip
  • Waxless Surf Traction
  • Clear
  • Easy to install with included jig for consistent spacing between hexagons
  • Nonaggressive nonskid structure so it won't tear you up while paddling
  • Thin and Lightweight
Bestseller No. 6
DAKINE Bruce Irons Pro Surf Traction Pad (Carbon)
  • Dakine Positraction
  • Five piece pad
  • 7mm center arch
  • Vert wedge 25mm tail kick with beveled edges
  • 3M high grade adhesive
SaleBestseller No. 7
ABAHUB 9 Piece Surf Deck Traction Pad Premium EVA with Tail Kicker 3M Adhesive for Shortboard Gray
  • SUPERIOR ANTI-SLIP TRACTION: In 3mm depth diamond grooves, this trimmable EVA pad provides a nice textured surface with excellent grip.
  • CUSTOMIZE TO FIT: It has 9 pieces and separates into upper section and tail section (comes with arch and kicker). It's suitable for both SUP boards and surfboards, by adjusting the space of the pieces. Taking out the 2 middle pieces of the upper section, it's perfect for narrower surfboards.
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: Along with the brand new A-grade EVA material, all Abahub traction pads utilize certificated resin and original marine grade 3M self adhesive backing. Our processing experience also guarantees the superb stickiness won't be compromised by EVA dust generated during production.
  • SOFT AND COMFORTABLE: Made of elastic A-grade closed cell EVA foam, it's also an absorber of weight and shock. It helps reduce your foot fatigue with a perfect balance of traction and comfort.
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: We've been manufacturing traction pads for over 10 years. We know what we're doing and we stand by our products. If you're not happy with our products, we'll offer you replacement or full refund with "No Question Asked" guarantee.
Bestseller No. 8
Ocean & Earth surfboard tail pad traction grip Pixel 3 piece 13" long 25 mm kick, 7mm arch
  • Ocean & Earth surfboard tail pad traction grip Pixel 3 piece 13" long 25 mm kick, 7mm arch
Bestseller No. 9
Dakine Unisex Superlite Surf Traction Pad, Black, OS
  • Dakine Positraction
  • Three piece pad
  • 7mm center arch
  • 25mm rolled ramp tail kick with beveled edges
  • Cut outs enhance board feel and increase grip
SaleBestseller No. 10
Punt Surf Surf Traction Pad - 2 Piece 3M Stomp Pad for Surfboards & Skimboards - Pro II Model by Superlite EVA & Industry Leading 3M Adhesive (Black)
  • SEE THEIR JAWS DROP: Our 2 piece traction pad provides the ULTIMATE, LIGHTWEIGHT grip for you. Dig your back foot in with confidence on those critical bottom turns and cutbacks.
  • FITS ANY SURFBOARD & SKIMBOARD: You can place this 2 piece traction pad as you please. Spread the pieces out for wider boards, put the pieces together for narrower ones. Dimensions: 11.75" x 11.75", no center arch, 25mm tail kick.
  • UNBEATABLE QUALITY: We only use premium 3M adhesive direct from the source and marine-grade, ultralight diamond grooved EVA foam.
  • PUNT SURF 100% STOKE GUARANTEE: Our traction pads will stick forever on your board or your money back, no questions asked. We're a homegrown company from California, and our mission is to provide premium surf, skim and SUP accessories for all. We love being in the water, and we're always testing our products to ensure they are the best out there. We're confident you'll be stoked!

6 thoughts on “Traction Pads”

  1. wait 24 hours if you can!!!!! usually the leash pulls on my pad , usually tie my laces to longm but!!! pad will stick if you wait!!!! make sure you hold when it bonds! i am super impatient and surf my new boards as soon as the pad is on that is why they eventually will fall off. and i most certainly surf more than you. cuss your vagina probably hurts and they waves ‘arent good enough” . the waves are always good. you aint broke you just broken hearted <3 <3 mIm

  2. use a air dryer and heat the pad a little and make sure your board is at least 72 degrees Fahrenheit. then stick it on and press down all over it and especiallyt the edges.

  3. What can I do if the traction pad does not want to stick to the board? Can I stick it back on or something? If yes, what glue should I use? Thanks
    max

  4. Thanks Guys for the infos.
    The only problem I have with my traction pad(which came with the board) is that it does not stick too well to the board. What can I do, or with what can I stick it back on again? I have a TrenchTown TT Pro 6.0 if that should matter.

  5. Thanks for an informative article. Up until now i have been sitting here looking at my new traction pad and wondering where exactly I should put it lol. Just one question tho before i go ahead and stick it on, does the placement remain the same for longer boards? I have an 8′ minimal.

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