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How to choose a surfboard traction tail pad

“don’t grab the coolest tail pad, grab the best one for you…” – surffanatic
Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels

How to choose a surfboard traction tail pad as surf begginer

When choosing a surfboard traction tail pad as a surf begginer you might be tempted to say “I’m just gonna get this really cool one”, right? Well, as cool as it looks it might not help you at all. Think about the following when you decide to buy a surf pad:

1. Size

The size of your surfboard traction pad should match the width of your surfboard’s size. If you choose a tail pad then the pad should cover the entire tail of your board and have a bit of overhang on the sides to provide ample grip.

2. One piece of multi-pieces? How much of the board you need to cover?

When it comes to picking the best traction pad for your surfboard think about it: do you want your board covered all over or not really? Depending on how much you love waxing, maybe you want to cover just the tail? Or the tail pad and a deck grip? Or a tail pad and a front pad? Think about it!

3. Kicktail or no kicktail?

The kick is the raised section of the traction pad at the tail end. It helps you to keep your back foot in place while surfing. Kick is great but can also be uncomfortable. A smaller kick go as low as 20 degrees and a high kick can be totally vertical. Now, with a steep kick it’s easy to push on an aggressive turn, that is why advanced surfers go for kicks with degrees between 45 and 90. But, you’re not there yet! You got the answer!

4. Arch or no arch?

The arch of the traction pad refers to the curve or contour of the pad. A higher arch can provide better control and grip but may be uncomfortable for some surfers, while a lower arch may be more comfortable but offer less grip.

Arch helps a lot, no doubt about it. The main criteria here is your feet size. Beig feet=big arch, small feet=small arch, happy feet=happy arch.

Another criteria is your surf style. If you move a lot then arch helps you; if you cruise a lot you can do it without the arch. No style yet? No worries! It’s on the way!

5. Traction

You want to be able to stay on that board. The traction recommended – as high as your budget can buy! Yes, as anything else in life you get what you pay for.

Wrap up!

There are plenty of colors and styles when it comes to choose your surfboard traction tail pad; you do have to keep in mind your board size and style and how much you want to cover of it. Think about yout surf level and your surfing style when choosing the kicktail and arch style. Finally, depending on your budget, go with the best traction possible!

So, what tail pad should I buy?

Are you beginner to intermediate surfer level? I’d go with a three piece design and maximum 45 degree kick. If you ride a lot, you might go for a five piece one. The tail kick and arch depend on your riding style.