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A traction pad, or stomp pad if you’re coming from the snowboarding world, for surfing is the area of permanent deck grip for your rear foot.
It’s placed at the tail of your board, over your fins, to give you some extra grip and leverage so you can dig into turns more powerfully.
A good, properly positioned traction pad can give you some extra control over your board – depending on what you’re trying to do.
Where to put a traction pad on your surfboard?
The best placement for your surfboard’s traction pad is towards the tail, over the center of your fin cluster.
Placing it over the fins will give you more control through turns and provide you with a greater ability to engage your fins at different times.
How to Install Your Traction Pad
The installation of your traction pad is the most crucial part of the process. Do this wrong, and it’ll start peeling off after only a few surfs – regardless of how “marine-grade” the adhesive is.
Here’s the best way to install your surfboard’s traction pad to make sure it sticks and stays stuck:
Ensure the area on your surfboard is completely clean and dry.
Remove any old adhesive (see below).
Before you remove the paper backing, test out where you want to position the pads. Play around with the placement if you have a multi-piece traction pad.
Mark a reference point if necessary.
Unpeel the paper backing from the adhesive and lay down the pad.
Start at one end and lower it down while applying pressure to avoid any potential air bubbles.
Here’s the most important part: WAIT BEFORE YOU SURF IT!
For the adhesive to fully stick, you’ll need to wait at least 24 hours before getting in the water with it. It’d always a good idea to install a new traction pad during a flat spell or when you know you won’t be surfing the board for a bit.
How to Remove Traction Pad Glue
To remove an old traction pad:
Peel off the old pads.
Remove any large chunks of adhesive glue.
Use an adhesive remover, like Goo-Gone, to remove the remaining glue.
Wipe down the area with some warm soapy water and allow to dry complete.
Install your new traction pad.
Best Surfing Stomp Pads: More Good Choices
Different strokes for different folks. Different pads for different lads (or ladies).
The foam was created in partnership with a company called EcoLogic.
The biodegradable foam is created by adding an additive to the EVA foam. When disposed of in a “biologically active landfill,” or a landfill that is operated as bioreactors with regulated microbes that break down complex organic waste, this EVA foam will breakdown into methane gas. The gas byproduct can then be captured and used for energy.
Is it a perfect solution? No, but products and materials like this are a step in the right direction.