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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.


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.


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
Dakine John John Florence Pro Surf Traction Pad - Black
  • Dakine Friendly Foam biodegradable EVA foam
  • Plastic free packaging
  • Triple cut Positraction grid pattern
  • Five piece pad
  • 7mm center arch
SaleBestseller No. 2
Abahub 3 Piece EVA Surfboard Deck Traction Pads with Kicker for Stomp Skimboards, Surf Boards, Funboard, Fish Board, 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. 3
Surf Squared Front Traction Pad, Black, 3-Piece, Corduroy Grip
  • ✔ GO WAX FREE! - Surf Squared’s grippy front foot traction pad is the perfect solution to your messy, sandy, and slimy surf wax. Surf Squared’s surfboard front pad never loses its stick.

  • ✔ STAY GLUED - The corduroy groove deck pad keeps your front foot stuck where you want it. Transform your deck into a grippy surface that has you riding your surfboard, skimboard, or wakesurf board with confidence.

  • ✔ SOFT TOP - Convert your hard fiberglass surfboard or skimboard deck into a forgiving surfboard foot pad that still provides maximum board feel. Be kind to your feet while riding and make paddling more comfortable.

  • ✔ FITS ALL BOARDS - The pad is 14” wide x 17.5” tall laid down side by side and 3mm thick for the best board control. Cover the top of virtually any board with our 3-piece corduroy front traction pad. Spread the pieces apart to fit your shortboard, longboard, fish, skimboard, and wake surfboard. You can even use multiple pads to cover your longboard or SUP.

  • ✔ QUALITY GUARANTEED - Our surf front traction pad bonds to your board or any hard non-porous surface using 3M Green, a powerful, premium adhesive. We’ve taken great time and care to design this surfing traction pad to meet our customer’s high demands. If it doesn't work out for any reason, we will gladly refund your order.

Bestseller No. 4
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. 5
Dakine John John Florence Pro Surf Traction Pad - Blue
  • Dakine Friendly Foam biodegradable EVA foam
  • Plastic free packaging
  • Triple cut Positraction grid pattern
  • Five piece pad
  • 7mm center arch
Bestseller No. 6
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 knowing your back foot won't slip off your board with a Sympl grip pad.
  • ✅ 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. 7
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.
Bestseller No. 8
Dakine Wideload Surf Traction Pad - Black
  • Dakine Friendly Foam biodegradable EVA foam
  • Plastic free packaging
  • Positraction grid pattern
  • Extra large shape for wider tailed boards
  • Three piece pad
Bestseller No. 9
3 Piece Stomp Pad Surfboard EVA Traction Pad with 3M Adhesive Professional Tail Pad/Applies All Boards - Surfboards, Shortboards, Longboards, Skimboards/Multiple Color Choices
  • 【Superb Grip】EVA Foam For Extra Grip when needed while slamming back on the tail Long Lasting Proper 3M Adhesive With Easy Peel n’ Stick Backing.
  • 【Fits All Boards】Surfboards, Fishboards, Skimboards, Funboards and Longboards.
  • 【Size】12.9"*12.9" (33*33cm) & 150g丨Eva thickness: 5mm
  • 【Premium Materials for High Performance】A-grade lightweight EVA with authentic green label 3M adhesive
  • 【WARRANTY】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. 10
SEEKWAY Water Shoes Women Men Adult Quick-Dry Aqua Socks Barefoot Non Slip for Beach Swim River Pool Lake surf SK001 Stripe Navy Blue Size 9.5-10.5 W/8.5-9.5 M
  • SEEKWAY: Not just for protection, but also for company.
  • Amphibious Protection:This shoe was designed for both water use and dry land. The rubber outsole can protects feet from sharp things like rocks, gravel, shells and from being burned by hot sand or boardwalk.The non-slip stripe on the soles can provides superior grip even on slippery surfaces.
  • Lightweight & Flexible:It makes you feel like waering socks.This flexibility allows you plenty the freedom of movement.The lace-free design lets you slip them on and be ready to go in mere seconds;perfect for a go-getter personality!.
  • Breathability & Comfort:Soft and elastic spandex upper can dry quickly and fit snugly to your feet to give you that comfortable tight feel overall.The smooth elastic neck prevents chafing and keeps the shoe from slipping off during exercise.
  • Occasion:River,Pool,Lake,Surf,Rafting,Tubing,Windsurfing,Boating,Kayaking,Snorkeling,Sailing,Creek trip,Water park,Sand volleyball,Water aerobics,Travel,Camping,Canoeing,Wake-boarding,Fishing,Gardening,Home,Yoga,Lawn,Outdoor,Walking dog

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

  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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