The Surfing Handbook only recommends products we like and use, period. Sometimes we get an affiliate comission from links, but this helps us keep the site running!

Traction Pads

Surfboard Traction Pads / Deck Grips / Tailpads

Traction Pads 1

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
Abahub 3 Piece EVA Surfboard Deck Traction Pads with Kicker for Stomp Skimboards, Surf Boards, Funboard, Fish Board, Black
  • Soft and Superb Grip: The ultralight diamond grooved EVA foam is soft and comfortable to stand on. Also maintains textured traction for your feet, strong enough to provide the support needed for all the movements in surfing.
  • Super Sticky 3M Adhesive: Authentic green label 3M high-grade adhesive ensures that the traction pad is stick firmly, this surfboard traction pad is designed for turns and cutbacks.
  • Compatible with All Types of Boards: You can put the traction pad on your board any way you like, spread them out for wider boards or put them together for narrower ones. The 3-piece traction pads could fit for all surfboards, fishboards, skimboards, funboards and longboards.
  • Beveled Tail Kick & Center Arch: The 25mm beveled tail kick provides the place for keeping your foot locked, increases your surfboard’s maneuverability and makes it easier to make turns. The traction pads have a 10mm center arch, which helps guide your foot for better control in surfing.
  • Why Shop ABAHUB: This traction pad is built with top level quality materials at an affordable price. We’ve been making surfing accessories for over 10 years, and we stand by the quality of our products, so we are glad to offer a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty at no additional cost.
Bestseller No. 2
Creatures of Leisure Mick Fanning Performance Traction Pads - White Fade Cyan
  • CREATED BY 3X WORLD CHAMPION MICK FANNING - Stomp designed for lightning speed surfing with Square Loc Traction Pattern, Table Top Kick - 28mm & Teardrop Arch Bar 7mm
  • PREMIUM SURFBOARD TRACTION - Made with 3M adhesive and lightweight EVA technology to provide maximum grip for all wave conditions
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & ULTRA GRIPPY - Customized 3-Piece construction surfboard grip developed by the world's best surfers, L 310mm x 300mm
  • RELIABILITY IN ALL CONDITIONS - Surfboard pad features a super-light EVA composition, and no dye cut holes for reliable all-over traction
  • OUR COMMITMENT TO QUALITY - We strive to meld our experience with cutting edge materials & designs to create highly functional, premium quality surfing accessories that are built to last
SaleBestseller No. 3
Dakine Bruce Irons Pro Surf Traction Pad
  • Dakine Friendly Foam EVA foam
  • Plastic free packaging
  • Positraction grid pattern
  • Five piece pad
  • 7mm center arch
SaleBestseller No. 4
Dakine John John Florence Pro Surf Traction Pad - Blue
  • Working in partnership with EcoLogic, Dakine has developed Friendly Foam, EVA traction with EcoOne.
  • Plastic free packaging
  • Triple cut Positraction grid pattern
  • Five piece pad
  • 7mm center arch
SaleBestseller No. 5
Surf Squared Arch 3-Piece Tail Traction Pad w/Tail Kick - Diamond Maximum Grip, Super Strong 3M Adhesive - Fits All Surfboards: Shortboard, Fish, Skimboard - Stomp Pad
  • 🔲 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 x 5mm thick, with an additional 8mm arch. Use it as a skimboard or fish traction pad, or as a grip pad on any long board or surf board.”
  • 🔲 GLUE GUARANTEE - Super strong 3M Green bonds permanently to your board with proper prep. Designed by 2 dedicated surfers in California, USA who stand behind their products. 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. Let's go surfing!
Bestseller No. 6
WOOWAVE Surfboard Traction Pads 3 Piece EVA Surfing Traction Pad Premium with 3M Adhesive and Tail Kicker for Surf Board Skimboard Longboard, Orange
  • ☞【SUPERB GRIP WITH COMFORT】Premium lightweight EVA traction pads cut with small diamond grooves, hard brushed all over the surface provides ultimate grip and soft comfort to the feet, support needed for all the movements in surfing.
  • ☞【FIT ALL BOARDS】3-piece surf traction pads with general size of 12.4” x 11” (31.5 cm x 28 cm), the traction arch pad design fits almost all kinds of surfboards, skimboards, fishboards. Spread the pads apart if you prefer a wider grip on your tail.
  • ☞【PERFORMANCE DESIGN】The surfing traction pad is with 25mm thick beveled tail kicker to enhanced drive in surfing, specially designed for leashes to move smoothly without affecting performance.
  • ☞【POWERFUL 3M ADHESIVE】The 3M adhesive provides maximum stick to your board. Creates a powerful, permanent bond between the surfing traction pad and your board.
  • ☞【1-YEAR QUALITY WARRANTY】Your purchase includes a hassle-free Money Back Guarantee and a free replacement exchange one year. If the traction pads get damaged, just feel free to contact our customer service team with a photo, we are willing to replace it FOR FREE.
Bestseller No. 7
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. 8
PUNT SURF Front Traction Pad for Surfboards & Skimboards
  • Eliminate the Need for Wax: When you add a front traction pad to your surfboard, you don’t need to use wax for grip. This means no messy melted wax on your car or at the beach when you leave your surfboard in the sun.
  • Full Size Pad: 16” tall and 14.5” wide when all 4 pieces are laid side by side. We recommend spreading the pads apart equally across the width of your surfboard, as shown in the pictures.
  • Unbeatable Quality: We only use premium 3M adhesive direct from the source and marine-grade, ultralight diamond grooved EVA foam.
  • Punt Surf Stoke Guarantee: We're a homegrown company from California, and our mission is to provide premium boating, surf, SUP & skim accessories for all. We love being in the water, and are always pushing our products to the limit to ensure they're the best out there. We're confident you'll be stoked!
Bestseller No. 9
Creatures of Leisure Griffin Colapinto Lite Traction - Black Fade Lime
  • GRIFFIN COLAPINTO - Signature 3-Piece Pad is designed for extreme traction with a modern tech look, Stomp pad dimensions: L - 300mm W - 300mm
  • ULTIMATE GRIP - The Diamond Loc II pattern and steep 30mm Alpine Kick is what Griffin wanted for that locked-in feel for his modern surfing approach
  • PREMIUM SURFBOARD TRACTION - Made with 3M adhesive and ultra-lightweight EVA technology to provide maximum grip for a truly elevated surfing experience
  • PURPOSE-BUILT SURF GEAR FOR A LIFETIME OF DISCOVERY. SINCE 1987. - Creatures was started to support the surfing lifestyle and shaped by the coast we call home.
  • OUR COMMITMENT TO QUALITY - We strive to meld our experience with cutting edge materials & designs to create highly functional, premium quality surfing accessories that are built to last
SaleBestseller No. 10
Surfboard Traction Pads, 4Pieces Black Surfing Front Traction Anti-Slip Pad for Surfboards, Skimboards, Shortboards, Longboards and Kayak
  • Non-Slip Surface: The water-resistant and grooved patterned surface of the grip is what gives the pad its non-slip property. The surface is hard-wearing and retains its grip for the life of the pad. No waxing is required!
  • High Quality Material: Made of premium quality EVA foam, it's very comfortable to step or sit on it, it helps reduce your foot fatigue with a perfect balance of traction and comfort.
  • Powerful Adhesive: The strong adhesive provides maximum stick to your board. Creates a powerful bond between the surfing traction pad and your surfboard.
  • Versatile Fit All Board: Approx. 12.2 x 3.15 x 0.2 inch. It's a perfect anti-slip traction pad for your kayak, boat, canoe, pool step, SUP paddle board, surfboard, skimboard, etc.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: The 4-pieces design minimizes weight while the 3-millimeter adhesive makes sure you footing stays sure while you soar across waves.

7 Comments

  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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button