How to Choose a Traction Pad for Your Surfboard?

Surfing is a sport where having the right grip makes all the difference. If you've ever been to a store to purchase a new surfboard, you'd have noticed how slippery the board is. This makes traction pads a valuable and highly sought after addition to surfboards.

What are Surfboard traction pads?

 Traction pads, also known as stomp pads, are made of grippy, water-resistant foam and they began gaining momentum in the market in the early 1980s. Because of the superior grip it provided to the surfer, they were quick to replace wax which was previously applied on the board for grip.

Due to their superior gripping and water resistance, traction pads can provide surfers more stability than wax while they stand on the board preventing them from sliding over, adding to its popularity.

That being said, installing a traction pad on the surfboard is entirely a personal choice. If you are so confident about your skills and foot positioning, you can choose not to have one. But experts recommend that you have got a traction pad on your surfboard as it can come in handy when you are popping up, executing tricks or moving your feet.

Now that we’ve discussed what traction pads are and their importance, let’s have a look at how to choose a traction pad for your surfboard.

Choosing the right traction pad for your surfboard

As with any aftermarket product, surfboard traction pads too come in a lot of varieties, and choosing the right one from the lot can get tricky. To give you a better idea of choosing a traction pad, let’s first have a look at the factors you need to consider while choosing a traction pad.

1. Kick

Kick in a surfboard is the degree to which the "kick" in the traction pad sits. You can find pads with a kick that ranges anywhere between 20 degrees to 90 degrees. Ideally, the steeper the easier it will be for you to blow out a wave.

Note that when it comes to traction pads there is no one size that fits all. Depending on your purpose and the type & size of the board you use you will have to choose different pads. For instance, if you are a performer, you’d need a pad with 45 degrees to 90 degrees kick. Whereas, if you ride a retro board, you’d only need a flat tail pad.

2. Arch

Arch is another major factor you need to consider while investing in a traction pad. As with the kick, there is no one size that fits all. Your decision has to be based on the width of your board, your foot size, and how much movement you are expecting.

For instance, if you have a longer foot, you’d need an arch that covers your entire foot. Similarly, for a smaller foot, you’ll have to invest in a small one.

3. Number of Pieces

Traction pads come between 1, and 5 pieces and they are all compatible and can be easily installed on all boards. Single piece boards were once common but they are not popular anymore; they still have a separate fan base due to their reliability and ease of installation.

As always, choosing the number of pieces is entirely a personal choice. But if you were to ask us for a recommendation, we’d ask you to invest in a three-piece traction pad as it offers good grip, versatility and universal compatibility.

4. Traction

Traction refers to the grip the pad can offer. Most pads come with diamond shaped grooves and the higher end pads come with multi layered grooves offering superior traction.

Ideally, you need a pad with deeper grooves and a rough texture as it’ll give you maximum grip reducing the chances of slipping.

5. Material

Surfing traction pads irrespective of the manufacturer are made out of waterproof material. But depending on the type of material, the grip offered by them might vary. Ensure that you invest in a pad that offers the best grip in the water while still staying intact.

6. Aesthetics

While aesthetics has got nothing to do with the performance, you need to invest in a board that goes well with the overall look and feel of your board.

So how do you choose the right traction pad for your surfboard?

As said previously, there is no one size that fits all when it comes to traction pads and it all boils down to personal choice. But yeah, here are our suggestions and recommendations.

Ø  If you prefer riding large waves and using a shortboard, we recommend you invest in three-piece or 5-piece pads.

Ø  Go for a larger arch as it will give you more flexibility and scope for movement.

Here are some traction pads we recommend you buy!

1. Skim Pad Set - White Fade Black - White Arch: 3-Piece traction pad Constructed with ultra-lightweight THERMO-LITE and 3M adhesive backing.

2. Skim Pad Set - White Fade Black - Green Arch: 3-Piece traction pad constructed with ultra-lightweight THERMO-LITE with White Fade Black - Green Arch

To Sum Up

We hope by now you must have a clear understanding of what traction pads are and their importance. It is important to note that you source your products from a trusted source that hasn’t stored the products for long in a warehouse which makes the adhesive of the traction pad expire, or not work as expected. is one such trusted source of high-quality and durable traction pads. Unlike the other market players, they don’t purchase traction pads in bulk and keep them stored in a warehouse for a long time which results in a lower quality product. 

If you are planning to buy traction pads for your surfboard, feel free to visit

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