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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

Bestseller No. 1
SYMPL Surfboard Traction Pad • 2 Piece Flat Pad for Surfing, Skimboarding • Maximum Grip • 3M Adhesive • Fits Surfboards, Skimboard, Longboard, Fish (White)
  • ✅ HIGH PERFORMANCE: Surf harder, faster & stronger when your back foot doesn't slip off your board . Sympl back traction kick pads
  • ✅ HIGH PERFORMANCE: Surf harder, faster & stronger when your back foot doesn't slip off your board . Sympl back traction kick pads
  • ✅ FITS ALL BOARDS: 3 Piece Surf Traction Pad for all surf boards, skim boards, fish surfboard & long boards. Sympl Grip is better then surf wax and doesn't make a mess like surfboard wax does.
  • ✅ STYLE: Color options for everyone. We make front traction pad surf grip and 2pc. fish grips. Great for long boards, wakesurf board and skim board traction. Sympl traction is for all boards.
  • ✅ MONEY BACK GUARANTEED: Our ultralight EVA foam surfboard grip pad will stick on your board or your money back - contact us within 30 days and we'll make it right or refund your money!
Bestseller No. 2
Dakine John John Florence Pro Surf Traction Pad, Black/Carbon (BLK/CRB), One Size
  • Triple cut Positraction grid pattern
  • A true leader in the world of bags, packs, and accessories, DaKine has a reputation for the best Surf Accessories in the biz. After celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019, DaKine continues to pride itself on developing products for the top professionals in every board sport and building its reputation for innovation and quality for over a quarter of a century.
Bestseller No. 3
SYMPL Surfboard Traction Pad 3-Piece Deck Pad for Surfing, Skimboarding, Maximum Grip, 3M Adhesive - Fits Surfboards, Skimboard, Longboard
  • ✅ HIGH PERFORMANCE: Surf harder, faster & stronger when your back foot doesn't slip off your board . Sympl back traction kick pads will help your surfing by keeping you stuck to your board.
  • ✅ FITS ALL BOARDS: 3 Piece Surf Traction Pad for all surf boards, skim boards, fish surfboard & long boards. Sympl Grip is better then surf wax and doesn't make a mess like surfboard wax does.
  • ✅ ULTIMATE DECK GRIP: Our custom made diamond grooves and corduroy grooves come on ultra-light EVA foam with 3m Adhesive. We provide Premium surfing accessories for surfers and all board riders.
  • ✅ STYLE: Color options for everyone. We make front traction pad surf grip and 2pc. fish grips. Great for long boards, wakesurf board and skim board traction. Sympl traction is for all boards.
  • ✅ STYLE: Color options for everyone. We make front traction pad surf grip and 2pc. fish grips. Great for long boards, wakesurf board and skim board traction. Sympl traction is for all boards. ✖ STYLE: We make front traction pad surf grip and 3pc. fish grips. Great for long boards, wakesurf board and skim board traction. Slash traction pads work great on all boards. ✖ STYLE: We make front traction pad surf grip and 3pc. fish grips. Great for long boards, wakesurf board and skim board tract
Bestseller No. 4
Abahub 3 Piece Surfboard Traction Pads for Skimboards Surf Boards, Black
  • Premium Materials for High Performance: A-grade lightweight EVA with authentic green label 3M adhesive, this surfboard traction pad is designed for turns and cutbacks.
  • Fits All: the 3 piece surf traction ARCH pad design could fit for all surfboards, fishboards, skimboards, funboards and longboards.
  • Ultra Light: A-grade high density EVA foam, weighs just 3 oz, minimum added weight to the board for PRO performance
  • Beveled Tail Kick: 25mm thick steep tail kicker provides enhanced drive in surfing, specially designed for leashes to move smoothly without affecting performance
  • Superb Grip: the ultralight diamond grooved EVA foam is comfortable to stand on while strong enough to provide the support needed for all the movements in surfing.
Bestseller No. 5
Ho Stevie! Premium Surfboard Traction Pad [Choose Color] 3 Piece, Full Size, Maximum Grip, 3M Adhesive, for Surfing or Skimboarding (Black)
  • 🥇 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. 6
Santa Barbara Surfing SBS Front Traction Pad
  • DITCH WAX: Once you use the SBS front traction pad, you will never again want to mess with wax.
  • STICKY 3M ADHESIVE: Applied correctly our traction pad will stay on your board worry free.
  • DIMENSIONS: 15" x 15" - Four (4) 3.5" wide x 15" sections, which when spaced about 1/4" apart = 15x15.
  • LIGHT AND THIN: With a thickness of 2.5mm (1/10th of an inch) and vertical corduroy grooves, this pad is ideal for front traction.
  • ONE YEAR GUARANTEE: Should our traction pad let you down, we will replace or refund you. Just let us know and we will take care of it.
Bestseller No. 7
OCEANBROAD Surfboard EVA Traction Pad with 3M Adhesive Professional Tail Pad with Arch and Kicker for Short Board Long Board
  • SUPER GRIP with COMFORT: A-grade EVA traction deck pad cut with small diamond grooves; hard brushed all over the surface provides ultimate grip and soft comfort to the feet.
  • MARINE GRADE 3M ADHESIVE + DUST FREE TREATMENT: This surfboard traction pad is special treated to minimize dust on them before putting up the 3M adhesive, so the super bonding ability won’t be compromised.
  • PERFORMANCE DESIGN: The surf tail pad is with 25mm beveled tail kicker, and fading center arch (max. height at 10mm) with holes.
  • FIT ALL BOARDS: 3-piece template with general size of 11.75’’x11.75’’ (30cm x 30cm), it's a traction grip pad fits almost all kinds of surfboards.
  • WORRY FREE PURCHASE: OCEANBROAD offers complete customer satisfaction of replacement or refund for any quality issues.
Bestseller No. 8
Slash Surfboard Traction Pad • 3 Piece Front Grip • Surfboard, Skimboard, Longboard Deck • Maximum Grip Stomp Pad • 3M Adhesive • Fits Surf, Skim Board, Long Deck, Wakesurf, Fish Boards
  • ✖︎ HIGH PERFORMANCE: Surf harder, faster & stronger when your front foot doesn't slip off your board . Slash front traction kick pads will help your surfing by keeping you stuck to your board.
  • ✖ FITS ALL BOARDS: 3 Piece Surf Traction Pad for all surf boards, skim boards, fish surfboard & long boards. Slash Grip is better then surf wax and doesn't make a mess like surfboard wax does.
  • ✖ ULTIMATE DECK GRIP: Our custom made diamond grooves and corduroy grooves come on ultra-light EVA foam with 3m Adhesive. Our front traction pad surf grip will keep you stuck on your board!
  • ✖ STYLE: We make front traction pad surf grip and 3pc. fish grips. Great for long boards, wakesurf board and skim board traction. Slash traction pads work great on all boards.
  • ✖ MONEY BACK GUARANTEED: Our ultralight EVA foam surfboard grip pad will stick on your board or your money back - contact us within 30 days and we'll make it right or refund your money!
Bestseller No. 9
SYMPL Surfboard Traction Pads 3-Piece Deck Grips for Surfboard, Skimboard, Longboard Deck - Maximum Grip Stomp Pad, 3M Adhesive - Fits Surf, Skim Board, Long Deck, Wakesurf and Fish Boards
  • ✅ HIGH PERFORMANCE: Surf harder, faster & stronger when your back foot doesn't slip off your board . Sympl back traction kick pads will help your surfing by keeping you stuck to your board.
  • ✅ FITS ALL BOARDS: 3 Piece Surf Traction Pad for all surfboards, skimboards, fishes & longboards.
  • ✅ ULTIMATE GRIP: Our custom made grooves and ultra-light EVA foam is specially designed to work great in cold and warm water. It’s soft so it won’t tear up your knees when surfing in boardies, but will stay grippy through cold water winters when your back in your full suit. Sympl Surf Traction Pads all have premium 3M adhesive to ensure it doesn’t peel off your board - let us help you start surfing or skimming your best by adding some grip to your board.
  • ✅ STYLES & COLORS: We have multiple styles and color options for everyone - We make front traction and flat traction pads with no arch. And our front foot traction works great on fishes, longboards and skimboards as well since it has no kick - it is very versatile! ‣‣‣ Cover the tail of virtually any board with our 3-piece traction pad. Spread the pieces apart to fit your shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard, skimboard, and wakesurf board. 
  • ✅ MONEY BACK GUARANTEED: Our ultralight EVA foam surf traction pads will stick forever on your board or your money back - simply return it within 30 days for a full refund - No questions asked!
Bestseller No. 10
Surf Squared Traction Pad, Flat, Black, 3-Piece, Diamond Grip
  • ✓ GO WAX FREE! - Surf Squared’s grippy surf traction pad is the perfect solution to your messy, sandy, and slimy surf wax. Surf Squared’s surfboard pad never loses its stick.
  • ✓ PRO PERFORMANCE - Transform your tail into a supple, diamond grip sweet spot that has you riding your surfboard, skimboard, kite surfing board, or wakesurf board with confidence.
  • ✓ TECH TAIL KICK - Surf kick goes 45 degrees to vert to lock your foot in place and reduce falls. Beveled edges on the 28mm tall surf kick pad reduce drag to increase your speed.
  • ✓ FITS ALL BOARDS - Surfboard tail pad is 11.75” wide x 11.75” tall and 5mm thick. Use it as a skimboard or fish traction pad, or as a grip pad on any long board or surf board.
  • ✓ GLUE GUARANTEE - 3M Green bonds permanently to your board with proper prep. If it doesn't work out on your surf or skim board for any reason, send us a message and we'll take care of you.

One Comment

  1. By far, I prefer white traction pads,… because they don’t get especially dirty unless you surf in dirty water.
    I surf in San Diego,…. and I don’t surf often, but I surf HPSB’s. Black/dark pads just don’t like right.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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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