Surfboarding is an exhilarating water sport. Summertime would be more enjoyable for surfers to put on their surfing wetsuits, bring along their surfboards, and head to the sea where thousands of waves are rushing to the shores.
However, it’s such a nightmare sliding on the slippery surface of your surfboards. It’s like you’re walking on the ice. That’s why a surfboard traction pad comes in handy.
The surfboard’s slippery surface is supposed to trouble most beginners and even expert surfers. Useful accessories like surfboard traction pads are born to help locate and maintain your most proper foot stance while riding.
To help you pick out your most surfboard traction pads, I’ve done loads of research and ended up in this article. The 15 surfboard traction pads I picked are the most high-quality products with ideal grips for your optimal surfing performance. Let’s flick through.
Table of Contents
- Why You Need a Surfboard Traction Pad?
- My Top Picks
- Comparison Table
- The 15 Best Surfboard Traction Pads Reviews
- 1. Ho Stevie! Premium
- 2. Astrodeck Sk2 Arch Bar
- 3. Abahub 3pcs Surfboard Deck
- 4. Punt Surf 3pcs
- 5. Abahub 9pcs Surf Deck
- 6. Oceanbroad Surfboard EVA
- 7. Dakine Front Foot
- 8. Punt Surf Front
- 9. Dakine John John Florence Pro
- 10. Dakine Launch
- 11. Dakine Superlite
- 12. Gorilla Skinny Three
- 13. FCS Juloan Wilson
- 14. RSPro Cork Front
- 15. Creatures of Leisure Mick Fanning
- How to Choose the Right Traction Pad for Your Surfboard?
- How to Put a Traction Pad on Your Surfboard?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- WindSurfingMag Overview
Why You Need a Surfboard Traction Pad?
Some surfers wonder why they need to invest in a surfboard traction pad. Will this accessory add any benefits for their surfing experience? For example, a surf watch is responsible for predicting tides while surf sunglasses help protect your eyes underneath the water.
Actually, a surfboard traction pad is one of the two most useful methods to provide grip to keep your feet stick to your surfboard.
The surface of a surfboard, typically covered with layers of fiberglass cloth, is very slippery. Therefore, your feet might find it hard to stay firm and balanced on the deck. Thereby it’d be a tough challenge for you to control your surfboard while making sessions.
To prevent this, you can either apply surfing layers of surf wax to your board’s surface or install a traction pad to increase friction between your feet and the board’s surface. However, the surf wax might get melted under the sun and requires frequently applying.
Besides, while you’re surfing, your feet might easily move away from their proper stances. To fix this problem, some grooved pieces of traction pads are stuck into your board so that your feet can easily and quickly locate their appropriate placement.
Moreover, due to being made of foam with thickness ranging from 2-10 mm, these padded stickers will add extra protection for your surfboard, preventing it from encountering dents and compression on its surface.
Now you might wonder whether these traction pads are hard to install? Actually, installing them is just like you stick some big stickers on your board’s surface to decorate them as well. I’ll show you the most straightforward way to install them at the end of this article.
My Top Picks
Do not let you wait any longer, I’ve shortlisted some of the best surfboard traction pads available in various sizes and designs with some of their most outstanding features. Let’s scroll down.
- Best Overall: Ho Stevie! Premium
“Soft on your knee yet grippy on your feet, middle arch support, for foam surfboard, wakesurf boards, and skimboards, consist of 3 expandable pieces of powerful 3M adhesive.”
- Best Budget: Astrodeck Sk2 Arch Bar
“A well-padded piece of parallel gripping, lightweight, simple design.”
- Best for Fish Surfboard: Abahub 3pcs Deck
“Made of premium and lightweight EVA foam with authentic 3M adhesive, fit for fish boards and skimboards, better drive with the 25mm thick steep tail kicker.”
- Best Traction Pads for Skimboards: Punt Surf 3pcs
“Made of ultralight diamond grooved EVA foam, provide ultimate grip for your feet, fit any surfboards and skimboards, consist of 3 expandable pieces for wider boards.”
- Best for Long Board Surfboards: Abahub 9pcs Surf Deck
“Consist of 9 pieces of diamond grooved EVA foam and 3M adhesive backing for superior traction, fit for SUP boards and surfboards, shock-absorbent to reduce foot fatigue.”
- Best for Short Board Surfboards: Oceanbroad EVA
“3 pieces with mall diamond grooves made of UV-resistant EVA foam for excellent grip, treated to be dust-free before being coated with the marine grade 3M adhesive.”
- Best Front Foot Traction Pad Surfboard: Dakine Front Foot
“6 pieces of front traction pads, made of biodegradable foam, easy to apply, add surefooted grip with the low-profile pattern and isolated cutouts.”
- Best Rated: Punt Surf Front
“Consist of 4 pieces of front traction pads, featuring the marine-grade, ultralight diamond grooves made of EVA foam with unbeatable quality and long-time commitment.”
- Best Value for the Money: Dakine John John Florence Pro
“Made of friendly biodegradable EVA foam, feature the vert wedge tail kick and triple cut positraction grid Pattern for enhanced grip, plastic-free packaging.”
If you’re confused about loads of information related to each product’s features and functions, this table below covering some technical criteria of the 15 best surfboard traction pads will help you better differentiate them.
|Surfboard Traction Pads||Dimension (inches)||Weight (Ibs)||Color||Tail kicker||Piece(s)|
|Ho Stevie! Premium - Best Overall|
|Astrodeck Sk2 Arch Bar - Best Budget||2x18||0.2||Black||No||1|
|Abahub 3pcs Surfboard Deck - Best for Fish Surfboard||11.75 x 11.75||0.19||4||Yes||3|
|Punt Surf 3pcs - Best for Skimboards||10.5 x 11.75||0.19||5||Yes||3|
|Abahub 9pcs Surf Deck - Best for Long Board Surfboards||12.8 x 7.7||0.88||Brown/Orange||Yes||9|
|Oceanbroad Surfboard EVA - Best for Short Board Surfboards||11.75 x 11.75||0.25||Black/Light Gray||Yes||3|
|Dakine Front Foot - Best Front Foot Surfboard||20 x 8||0.13||Black||No||6|
|Punt Surf Front - Best Rated||16 x 14.5||0.2||3||No||4|
|Dakine John John Florence Pro - Best Value for the Money||13 x 12.5||-||5||Yes||5|
|Dakine Launch||13 x 8||-||3||Yes||3|
|Dakine Superlite||19 x 14||-||2||Yes||3|
|Gorilla Skinny Three||-||-||Black||Yes||3|
|FCS Juloan Wilson - Best Stylish||17 x 15||-||9||Yes||3|
|RSPro Cork Front||20.4 x 15.3||-||Brown||No||4|
|Creatures of Leisure Mick Fanning - Best Lightweight||12.2 x 11.8||0.3||2||Yes||3|
The 15 Best Surfboard Traction Pads Reviews
Below are my detailed reviews of the top 15 best surfboard traction pads currently available on the market. Let’s check them out!
See more related reviews:
1. Ho Stevie! Premium
(Best Overall – Editor’s Choice)
This Ho Stevie! Premium Surfboard Traction Pad promises to bring you the best experience because its premium quality will not let you down. Possessing all the best features that a traction pad can bring, this pad deserves the title best overall without doubts.
Three pieces are laid side by side with a full-size pad that helps you spread apart and adjust as full as you like. The middle arch supports your foot and the Kicktail that enables your knees to feel soft and comfortable when you are surfing on your surfboard.
Moreover, the powerful 3M adhesive will ensure the stickiness of your traction pad to your surfboard and help you to avoid slipping and keep balance while surfing. This product is available in four different color designs.
- Has a powerful 3M adhesive that makes it super grippy
- Easy to adjust as full as you like thanks to 3 pieces are laid side by side
- High-quality materials
- The middle arch supporting your foot
- Avoid slipping and keep balance
- A little challenging to install
2. Astrodeck Sk2 Arch Bar
People often say that you get what you pay for, but with this unbelievable price, I can be sure with you that you will get a bargain if you have a decision to buy this Astrodeck Sk2 Arch Bar Surfboard Traction Pad because its quality will not let you down.
Being specially designed like a long bar with lengths up to 18″, this traction pad will ensure maximum comfort and keep you balanced while surfing and protecting your surfboard.
Furthermore, the durable, high-quality materials and easy-installing also become plus points of this product.
- Being made with durable, high-quality materials
- The lengths up to 18″ with parallel gripping
- Provide with maximum comfort
- Slip-resistant and soft
- Only two colors available
3. Abahub 3pcs Surfboard Deck
(Best for Fish Surfboard)
Suppose that you own a fish surfboard and do not know which traction pad is appropriate to it. In that case, the Abahub 3pcs Surfboard Deck Traction Pad will be ideal for you, thanks to its Premium Materials and significant designs.
This traction pad could fit all boards, including surfboards, skimboards, longboards, fish boards, and funboards, and provide you with extra comfort for all the movements in surfing thanks to its 3-piece-design.
Besides, this product is also very light, soft, and durable thanks to its authentic green label 3M adhesive, 25mm thick, steep tail kicker, and 3 oz weight that enhanced drive in surfing and minimum weight added to your board.
- The ultralight diamond grooved EVA foam helps your movement become smoothy
- Three-piece surf traction ARCH pad that is easy to widen
- Lightweight and durable
- Suitable for all board and easy to apply
- Soft with super grip
- Sometimes this traction pad may not be sticky enough
4. Punt Surf 3pcs
(Best Traction Pads for Skimboards)
With a unique design that is suitable for skimboards and a reasonable size about 10mm center arch, 25mm tail kick that fits any kind of surfboard and skimboard, this Punt Surf 3pcs Surfboard Traction Pad becomes an excellent ideal for someone who loves surfing.
This traction pad comes with three pieces that you can spread out or put them together based on your board’s size and high-quality materials, including premium 3M adhesive, marine-grade, and ultralight diamond grooved EVA foam that enhances durability and adhesion.
Moreover, this product is also environmental protection that they will donate a portion of every sale to nonprofit organizations to protect our oceans and environment.
- Easy to adjust thanks to 3 piece traction pad
- Protect the environment
- High-quality materials enhance durability and comfort
- Suitable for every skimboard
- Lightweight and easy to apply
- Front pieces are a little bit higher than other ones
- No cushion
5. Abahub 9pcs Surf Deck
(Best for Long Board Surfboards)
As the product name, this Abahub 9pcs Surf Deck Traction Pad includes nine pads separated into an upper section and tail section with excellent 3M self-adhesive that comes with everything you need for your longboard surfboard.
This traction pad is made of elastic A-grade closed cell EVA foam along with marine grade 3M self-adhesive backing that will ensure durability, softness, superb stickiness and make you feel comfortable when riding your board.
Moreover, this product is also light and slip-resistant, which is very suitable for someone who starts learning surfing.
- Easy to adjust thanks to 9 piece traction pad
- Suitable for the longboard surfboard
- High-quality materials ensure the durability and softness
- Light and slip-resistant
- Lots of pieces and superb stickiness
- Not ideal for the skimboard
6. Oceanbroad Surfboard EVA
(Best for Short Board Surfboards)
This Oceanboard Surfboard EVA Traction Pad fits the shortboard surfboard, thanks to its 3-piece template design and, an overall size of 11.75″ x11.75″ (30cm x 30cm) can be appreciated to almost all kinds of short surfboards.
With the small diamond grooves that are hard brushed all over the surface, this traction pad will provide you with absolute certainty, anti-slip, and soft comfort to the feet when surfing.
Moreover, the stickiness of this production will not let you down thanks to the 3M adhesive, and the 25mm beveled tail kicker belongs with a 10mm fading center arch with holes, making it look fashionable and beautiful.
- Suitable for shortboard surfboard
- Provide with absolute certainty, anti-slip and soft comfort to the feet
- 3M adhesive
- Resistant from the elements
- Cushion is a bit thin
7. Dakine Front Foot
(Best Front Foot Traction Pad Surfboard)
Coming from a brand with more than 40 years of research and development in the field of surfboard accessories, this Dakine Front Foot Surf Traction Pad deserves high marks from users thanks to its perfect quality.
This traction pad will impress you with a six-piece design that enables you to increase the size and placement customization and the Dakine Friendly Foam biodegradable EVA foam material, ensuring durability.
Moreover, with the dimensions 18″ x 15.5″ [ 46 x 39cm ], this product is worth becoming the best front foot traction pad for your surfboard.
- Dakine Friendly Foam biodegradable EVA foam material ensures durability
- Provide with maximum comfort
- Six-piece design that enables you to increase the size
- Suitable for front foot
- Two years limited warranty
- Only one color is available
8. Punt Surf Front
With trendy design comes along with premium 3M adhesive that improves the adhesion and luxurious colors, it is not difficult to understand why many people love this Punt Surf Front Traction Pad.
This traction pad is covered with ultralight diamond grooved EVA foam that enhances the slip-resistant, and four pieces are laid side by side with 16″ tall and 14.5″ wide, which is suitable for any kind of surfboard.
Moreover, the durability and the weather-resistance that means not being melt or unstuck under the sun also bring many plus points to this product.
- Premium 3M adhesive that improves the adhesion
- Four pieces are laid side by side with 16″ tall and 14.5″ wide
- Suitable for any kind of surfboard.
- durable and weather-resistant
- Lack cushion
9. Dakine John John Florence Pro
(Best Value for the Money)
This Dakine John John Florence Traction Pad is created in collaboration with a history-making surfer John John Florence. Therefore, it features John John’s specific dimensions and progressive riding style, while the vertical tail wedge is specially hand-sculpted by John John.
Like other Dakine traction pads, this pro surf traction pad is made of soft biodegradable EVA foam. These 5 pieces are thickly cushioned and deeply grooved to increase grip. They feature the triple-cut positraction patterns. Your feet will hardly be able to fall off your pads.
Besides, its perforated surface will allow water to flow through more quickly and thereby remove drag while surfing.
- Thick cushion for greater comfort
- Made of biodegradable EVA foam
- Feature a 25mm tail kick with beveled edges
- Increased grip with the cutouts
- Come under a 2-year warranty
- Offer a perforated surface for better water flow
- No defection has ever been recorded so far
10. Dakine Launch
Again is another high-quality product from Dakine Dakine Launch Surf Traction Pad. Made of biodegradable EVA foam and arriving in plastic-free packaging, this pad is genuinely an eco-friendly product that is best for people concerned about environmental protection.
The 3 pieces of this traction pad feature maximum cutouts. This unique design allows a more advanced grip and helps decrease weight for the surfers. Besides, your back feet will receive better support and drag will be reduced with the 7mm center arch and the 25mm tail kick.
Moreover, like other Dakine products, this traction pad comes under a 2-year limited warranty so that you will be at ease with any occurring problems once the warranty still works.
- Made of biodegradable EVA foam, friendly to the environment
- Feature the maximum cutouts for superior grip
- Coated with the marine-grade 3M adhesive
- Come under a 2-year warranty
- Better support with the 7mm center arch and the 25mm vert wedge tail kick
- The design is not highly rated in term of aesthetics
11. Dakine Superlite
Dakine is a well-known, a leader manufacturer in surf accessories, and surf traction pad is not an exception.
This Dakine Superlite Surf Traction pad possesses all outstanding features of a premium Dakine product: made of eco-friendly foam, designed in positraction grid patterns, finished with the marine-grade 3M adhesive and beveled corners for reduced drag.
Besides, customers particularly love this Dakine Superlite pad due to its extremely lightweight EVA technology and airy cutout patterns. Dakine states, “More traction, less weight” as the best description of this product.
- Made of biodegradable EVA foam
- Super lightweight
- Feature the positraction grid pattern
- Reduced drag with 7mm center arch and 25mm rolled ramp tail kick
- Coated with marine-grade 3M adhesive
- Easy to apply
- Colors will fade away a bit after a long time of use
12. Gorilla Skinny Three
This Grillar Skinny Three Surfboard traction pad actually features 3 super thin pieces of traction pad with the Gorilla grooves on its surface. This type of pattern, combined with its sanded, rough surface, provides superior friction between your feet and the surfboard.
This traction pad offers a lightweight grip with the lightweight EVA foam while ensures long-time commitment onto your board thanks to the ultra adhesive glue.
Besides, plenty of cutouts on its surface will give you a better board feel and add more traction for your feet.
- Made of lightweight EVA foam
- Firmly stick onto your board with the ultra adhesive glue
- Feature the Gorilla grooves and sanded grip
- Plenty of precise cutouts for better board feel
- No cushion
- Only available in one color
13. FCS Juloan Wilson
No further searching for a stylish, high-quality traction pad for your loved surfboard, this FCS Juloan Wlson traction pad will better decorate your surfboard while playing as a useful rug to help your feet locate its proper placements.
If you don’t know, this product is specially designed by the world’s leading surf athletes and surfboard shapers. It comes in a variety of colors and multiple decoration options.
Besides, this pad is super lightweight due to being made of thin EVA foam. The sanded surface allows more advanced grip while the water-resistant channels on its surface will excellently reduce drag for your feet.
This pad, with its multi-directional traction, promises to fit various surfboard models and a wide range of foot angles.
- Made of thinner EVA foam for lightweight pads
- Designed with the collaboration of world’s leading surf athletes and surfboard shapers
- Available in multiple colors and decoration options
- Suit various models of surfboard
- Feature the sanded surface for better grip
- High tail kick
- No defect has been recorded from the product so far
14. RSPro Cork Front
The RSPro Cork Front is an eco-friendly traction pad for surfboards. This pad features the super skinny surface area and the Cork honeycomb-shaped cells, which allow your feet to better navigate their positions and offer impact resistance.
Besides, this deck pad is designed to fit almost all models of surfboard on the market while it requires no special skill to complete its installation. I also inserted a beneficial video below, which provides a more detailed review of this product and hopefully will give you a leg up.
- Made of eco-friendly material
- Super thin surface area for better board feel
- Feature the Cork honeycomb-shaped cells offering impact resistance
- Easy to install
- Fit all types of surfboard
- Slightly water-repellent
- Limited in color options (only 1 color available)
- The grip is not very strong
15. Creatures of Leisure Mick Fanning
This premium Creatures of Leisure Traction pad features the square loc traction pattern with the 3M adhesive backing, ensuring to provide you with superior grip while surfing.
Besides, this traction pad is thickly padded with the extremely lightweight EVA foam and created from exclusive formula. It also features the no die-cut holes and Chisel Cut construction to provide you with reliable traction.
This pad ensures to stick firmly onto your board while keeping your feet super comfortable and better supported once you walk on it.
- Feature square ridged pattern for superior quick surfing
- Utilize the lightweight EVA technology for optimal grip
- Dye cut holes for reliable traction
- Feature the 7mm Tear-drop Arch and a 28mm Table Top kick
- A bit easy to be torn apart
How to Choose the Right Traction Pad for Your Surfboard?
Surfboard traction pads feature some essential components such as styles, pieces, arch, tail kick…etc. To purchase your most satisfactory pads, aside from your personal preferences, consider thoroughly these primary technical factors below.
1. Deck Pads or Tail Pads
The most common type of surfboard traction pads is tail pads. If the pads description do not state anything, there’s a high possibility it implies tail pads. These traction pads are stuck onto your board’s tail and will provide traction for your back foot.
Meanwhile, deck pads or front pads are less popular. They are attached to your board’s deck and thereby will provide traction for your front foot. With these flat pads, you can comfortably lie or sit flat on them.
For traction pads that are available in one piece, it causes you no trouble to stick a big sticker onto your board’s surface. Installation is effortless. Multi-pieces traction pads seem a bit challenging to attach to your board but their most outstanding point is flexibility.
You can spread your pads out by simply increasing gaps between these small pieces. Therefore, you can find your most proper foot placement to achieve optimal performance and comfort.
A typical traction pad commonly consists of 3 pieces. This type of pad is quite easy to install and provides adequate grip and versatility.
The arch height depends on your foot size. Small feet’d better be on pads with small to minimal arch while bigger feet require longer and higher arch.
4. Types of Texture
The grooves on your pads surface differ in shapes: diamonds, single-layer grooves or multi-layer grooves. It totally comes down to your personal preferences to choose your most favorite textures.
However, remember that the deeper the grooves are, and the rougher the textures are, the greater the traction is. Better traction means superior friction between your feet and the pads surface, which allows your feet to move more flexibly and p
How to Put a Traction Pad on Your Surfboard?
Here is the simplest guideline for you to apply a traction pad onto your surfboard. Generally, traction pads are very easy to install and promise to stay fixed on your board for a very long time.
Step 1: Clean your surfboard surface, focused on its tail if your traction pads are tail pads and the same for deck pads.
This step helps remove dirt, dust and possibly surf wax so that your traction pads will stick properly to your board. Simply use some paper towels soaked in a glass cleaner.
Step 2: Some pads consist of smaller components while others are only available in one piece. More pieces mean greater flexibility, but it might trouble you a bit to arrange them in the right positions. Use a string to line your pads up to make sure you won’t misalign them
Step 3: Now simply peel the backing off these big stickers, line them up with the stringer and press them onto your board’s surface. Do not push them down too firmly in case you might need some adjustments. Remember to start with the central pad first.
When you’re pretty sure about their right positions, press them strongly to position them in place and make them firmly stick to your board.
Step 4: Leave the adhesive dry for approximately 24 hours before they are ready to hit the waves.
For more detailed instruction, follow some straightforward guides in this video below:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are some frequently asked questions about surfboard traction pads you might want to know.
What Are Surfboard Traction Pads Made Of?
Surfboard Traction Pads are made from a lot of materials depending on the style and the manufacturer. Traction pads are generally made of water-resistant, grippy foam that is formed into a patterned surface or a grooved to give a firmer grip, keep balance and prevent slipping.
Recently, some brands are using many new environmentally friendly materials such as algae foam, recycled cork, and eco-friendly foam cork that are no harm to your health, help to protect the environment and keep the beach clean.
Where to Put Traction Pad on Surfboard?
A Traction pad is often mounted on the back of the board, in convenient positions for your back foot and to keep balance. When installing the traction pad, you should sticker from the bottom of the board, use the central line to guide it, and leave space between each piece.
Repeat this step with each piece of the grip, remembering that the central line helps maintain symmetry and help adjust the clamp to the surfboard’s width and create the space between each piece.
How Long Does It Take for a Traction Pad to Dry?
Twenty-four hours is how long you have to wait for the traction pad to dry before you can put your foot on it and take your board for a surf.
It’s not a short-waiting period, but try to be patient because if you use the traction pad before it is dry and becomes fixed, you will make it move and waste your time applying again.
How Do You Take a Traction Pad off a Surfboard?
To take a traction pad off your surfboard, you need to prepare hot water and acetone. Firstly, pour some hot water on the traction pad to make the material softer and easy to peel off. Then, use the most potent arm force to peel it off.
After taking the traction pad off your surfboard, you will see glue where the pad used to be. To remove this glue from your board in the most natural way, you should use acetone and pour it on a towel or paper to rub the paste off with no difficulty.
Your surfing experience would be safer and exciting with these valuable pieces of textured foam stuck onto your slippery board’s surface. A high-quality traction pad will provide you with a lightweight grip while ensuring a long-lasting commitment.
Hope with my list of the 15 top-rated products above, you can pick out a qualified and most satisfying product for yourself. If you’re still confused, simply choose the best overall one: Ho Stevie! Premium for its premium design and superior grip.
Besides, if you prefer a cost-effective product for your first-time use, I highly recommend an Astrodeck traction pad, a relatively affordable product which ensures to get things done effectively.
Other products, falling in two types of deck pad and tail pads, also feature their own outstanding points. It comes down to your own preferences to pick out a traction pad which is able to meet your specific demands.
Lastly, if you have any questions related to those traction pads above, feel free to leave your comment below. If possible, press the button share on Facebook and Twitter. It would be a great encouragement for me. Thanks for reading!