Get the Best Surfboard Traction Pad
Obviously the only reasons you’re not landing those airs or making those XXL drops is because you’ve got the wrong traction pad…
While a traction pad probably won’t make you a better surfer, a good traction pad will last longer and give you the grip and leverage you need to stick different maneuvers and really engage your fins.
Dakine’s Friendly Foam Surfboard Traction pad is an excellent choice for stickiness, grippiness, and (insert your own -iness quality here, I’m at a loss).
If installed properly, this traction pad does exactly what it’s designed to do (give you some traction and leverage over your tail) for a long time.
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Dakine Friendly Foam Surfboard Traction Pad Features
Dakine is certainly one of the leaders in terms of quality surf equipment.
Their Albee Layer Traction Pad is no exception.
Designed with the help of big wave surfer and aerialist, Albee Layer, this stomp pad features everything you could ask for.
- 3-piece construction so you can customize the exact positioning to your liking.
- 25mm wedge kick tail to plant, leverage, and grip your back foot during airs and big turns.
- 7mm raised center arch.
- Biodegradable EVA foam.
- Diamond-texture pattern for added grip.
- Marine-grade 3M adhesive.
Available in a few different color combinations, you’re sure to find one of these that suits your needs and style.
This same line of traction pads from Dakine comes tied to a handful of other pro-surfers with slight tweaks to the designs here and there.
What is Dakine’s Eco-Friendly Foam?
The Albee Layer Traction Pad is made out of a more eco-friendly EVA foam.
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.
What is a traction pad for surfing?
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).
In addition to Dakine’s Friendly Foam Traction Pads, some other great choices for the best surfboard grip include:
- FCS’s T1 single piece traction pads.
- Wave Tribe’s eco-friendly cork traction pad.
- OCEANBOARD’s low cost 3-piece and 5-piece traction pads.
FCS T1 Surfboard Traction Pad
This single piece traction pad from FCS is good for simplicity and ease-of-positioning.
Works well on narrower tails.
Wave Tribe Cork Traction Pad
Looking for a more eco-friendly option?
This Wave Tribe cork surfboard traction pad may be just the thing you’re looking for.
OCEANBOARD Stomp Pad
If you’re looking a simple, cheaper traction pad, the OCEANBOARD 3-piece or 5-piece traction pads will be a good buy.
Okay, start cleaning off your old traction pad glue or dirty surf wax now!
Once your new pad comes, you’re going to have a strong desire to stick it on and surf right away. Resist the urge!
Whichever pad you go with, the most important part of making sure it works well and lasts long is the installation. The biggest part of a proper installation is giving the glue enough time to set.
Will the new traction pad magically make you a better surfer? Probably not, but you can let us know if it does.
Do you have experiences with any of the traction pads described above? Maybe you’re a fan of something we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!