Skimboarding is all fun and exciting until you slide on your board while trying to take it out over the waves. Annoying, isn’t it?
If you search for what you can do to avoid slipping and sliding, you are in the right place. Whether it is flatland or ocean skimboarding you are into, we have the best skimboard traction pads reviewed for you.
Read more and find out the traction pads you need on your next skimboarding session and:
- What skimboard traction pads are
- Wax vs. traction pads
- Where to put traction pads on a skimboard
- What to consider in picking the best skimboard traction pad
What Are Skimboard Traction Pads?
Traction pads are what you use to make your skimboard’s surface slip and water-resistant. It is considered a game-changer and an excellent investment in achieving the ultimate riding experience. Traction pads keep your feet from sliding on a wet board and keeps you from constantly having to reapply wax.
Skimboard traction pads offer the riders more grip and control than just wax. In addition, it provides a foot placement that allows you to feel when your feet are in the right spot. Something that simple waxing doesn’t arrange for.
While skimboard traction pads aren’t the critical must-haves when starting to skimboard, it is a good investment if you are a beginner and can afford it.
Top 5 Best Skimboard Traction Pads
Between catching waves and sticking to the board, the latter can be the toughest to do, especially for beginners. Catching waves, performing wild cutbacks, neat bottom turns are easy to do if only your feet don’t slip and slide off the board.
We’ve reviewed 5 of the best skimboard traction pads in the market to help you get started with sticking yourself one with the skimboard.
- Punt Surf 5 Piece Skimboard Traction Pad
- Abahub 9 Piece Surf Deck Traction Pad
- Ho Stevie! Premium Surfboard Traction Pad
- Hammer Traction Skimboard Kit
- Surf Squared Surfboard Traction Pad
1. Punt Surf 5 Piece Skimboard Traction Pad – Our Top Pick
The Punt Surf’s 5-Piece Skimboard Traction Pad kit lets you stand out on every ride with everything you need to for a good grip on your board. All of its five pieces can be used to add the required grip on your skimboard.
You can position three pieces back at the tail and a few other details out front. All designed to hold the perfect place you can plant your feet on as you push against the waves. Its EVA foam construction adds up to the traction pad’s gripping power.
In addition, the construction and materials are very light that they won’t weigh you or the skimboard down. These traction pads are the perfect addition to your skimboard with their extra coverage for the grips. With them, you can confidently ride your board without slipping or falling.
|Can be positioned according to your preference||Not for foam or soft top skimboard|
|Comes with multiple valuable pieces|
|Decent profile for sticking|
2. Abahub 9 Piece Surf Deck Traction Pad – Best Value for Your Money
Sometimes, you just have to get that maximum grip coverage possible. This is what makes the Abahub 9 Piece Surf Deck Traction Pad your great choice if you are looking for that extensive amount of traction coverage on your board.
This traction pad set comes with nine valuable pieces you can use to cover your skimboard from head to tail. You may think that nine parts are too many, but in reality, it helps you choose exactly how much of your board you want to cover.
Aside from the guarantee of a slip-free ride, there are different things you will love about this traction pad set. It is designed with each piece different from one another, making it easier for you to distinguish which part goes to the best spot on the skimboard.
|Full grip coverage||Extensive coverage may conceal the board’s original aesthetics|
|Easy to install|
3. Ho Stevie! Premium Surfboard Traction Pad – Best for the Advanced
This isn’t the first time you’ve heard of Ho Stevie! Yes, this brand has it from surfboards to surfboard racks and even traction pads. Considering their extensive experience in water sports, you wouldn’t be surprised at how effective their traction pads are.
The Ho Stevie! Premium Surfboard Traction Pad set is designed in such a way that they make it so simple to get that added grip to your board. This set is composed of a large pad that comes in three segments. That way, you can choose how wide the grip on your skimboard’s going to be.
These traction pads are made of materials that make them easy to put on and take off. This doesn’t mean you have to worry about them coming off as you ride. They won’t. No amount of ocean water can remove it from your board.
|Soft and comfortable on feet||More expensive than most brands|
|Comes in different designs|
|Various ways to set up|
4. Hammer Traction Skimboard Kit – Best for Beginners
One of the best ways to keep your skimboard ready for longer times out on the water is to pump it up with the Hammer Traction Skimboard Kit. This entire kit comes with different pieces that can wholly cover your board with safe and fun grippy details.
The three-piece tail can be made wide according to your preference. Moreover, it has two arch bars that can line up along the middle or the front of your skimboard. This positioning allows for a dedicated place to place your feet.
The Hammer Traction Skimboard Kit is made up of very light pieces that you can easily make the most when sliding through the waters. With each piece weighing only less than four ounces, you won’t notice any difference with or without them at all.
|Color and design won’t fade easily||More expensive than most brands|
|Light but durable pieces
|Full set of pads|
5. Surf Squared Surfboard Traction Pad – Most Lightweight
At 11.75 x 11.75 inches, the Surf Squared Surfboard Traction Pad fits most skimboard sizes perfectly. It features a marine-grade 3M adhesive that offers superior attachment to the board’s surface, plus a quality guarantee that ensures a worry-free ride.
The engineers of Surf Squared considered the environment by coming up with an environmentally conscious design, packaging, and shipping. Not only does it promise a fun ride, but it pledges to keep the oceans healthy for future riders.
This eco-friendly traction pad kit comes with a 45-degree beveled tail pad, a center curve, and a diamond-grooved traction deck. When brought together, these features offer a stable and comfortable ride for long hours under the sun.
|Eco-friendly design||Not available in different colors|
|Durable 3M adhesive|
|Beveled tail pad|
Wax vs. Traction Pads
Wax and traction pads have always been compared to each other, and a long debate about which is better is still ongoing. So, which is better between these two? And, should you get yourself traction pads, or should you settle on putting wax instead?
Whether you are new to skimboarding or have been doing it for a while now, it is essential to know the pros and cons of both wax and traction pads. From there, you’ll get a better idea of whether or not traction pads are worth investing in.
Generally, skimboard traction pads offer you more grip and control than a simple brush of wax. Moreover, traction pads help you find the proper foot placement on the board. As was mentioned above, a traction pad isn’t a requirement when you are starting but can be helpful when you have it.
One of the critical benefits of traction pads over wax is the increased grip on your board, letting you maneuver easily and giving you more control over your skimboard. A good number of skimboarders use the front arch bar – a thin strip running up the center of the board.
This cure bar grips the arch of your foot and gives more grip and control, something that a regular wax can’t extend. Still, wax offers a decent amount of grip that can also let you ride with your skimboard without falling or slipping.
Skimboard tail pads also come with a back kicker allowing you more control at the back of the board while shifting your weight back quickly. The benefit of having a back kicker on the tail pad is how it makes moving more manageable than a flat board with wax only.
We also have to mention how traction pads are cleaner than wax – and it’s longer-lasting! If you plan to skimboard for an extended period, a traction pad kit is a good investment. They are cleaner, and they undoubtedly last longer.
Some people simply don’t enjoy having to periodically strip the old wax off your board to replace it with new wax. This step has to be done a few times a year to make sure a non-slip ride. If you also aren’t a fan of this, you can skip and pick up some grip pads.
But, you have to understand that even with traction pads, you will still need wax. Traction pads don’t cover the board wholly, so it’s just practical to wax the rest of the board that doesn’t have pads on it. Also, traction pads may not be a worthy investment if you stick them on a cheap skimboard.
Ultimately, the battle between wax and traction pads comes down to personal preference. As you progress, you will most likely find which is more comfortable for you.
How To Put Traction Pads On A Skimboard
Putting traction pads on a skimboard is almost like sticking a cool sticker on a surface you want to look nice. Except, you are putting them on your skimboard to help you with better grip instead of adding aesthetics.
Putting traction pads to a skimboard, you will need:
The first step is to make sure the surface you will stick the traction pads on are clean. Put some alcohol on a rag and clean right around the spots you plan to put the traction pads on. Let the board sit and completely dry after cleaning.
With tape, outline how you want to stick your traction pads. Put a long piece down from the tip to the tail, and center it. Without peeling the adhesives on the traction pads yet, place them on the board to figure out how you’d like them to spread out.
Remember that the tail pad part should be as far back on the board as possible. The arch bar should be 3 to 5 inches from the tip of the skimboard. The outline you made using the tape will let you make sure the pads are centered.
Outline the traction pads position using the pencil. Pencil marks will quickly come right off, so don’t worry about leaving a mark.
Remove the long piece of tape you used to outline everything. Peel off the adhesive covering the back of the traction pads and place the peeled pads within the outlines you drew with the pencil. Press down firmly to get them stuck.
Allow curing overnight. This should be enough time to harden the glue to make sure the traction pads stick and won’t come off.
Buying Guide: What to Consider in Picking the Best Skimboard Traction Pads
By now, you should have already targeted a skimboard traction pad from the list we reviewed. To make sure you picked the right one, here are a few factors that you can use to cross-reference the characteristics of the traction pad kit you picked.
Ease of Use
Riders who prefer traction pads aren’t fond of the constant waxing off and on of skimboards. Thus, their preference. Traction pads are easier to use, but not all of them have the same level of ease of use. When looking for easy to use traction pad, check if they are:
- Easy to install
- Comes with an interlocking design with the other pads they come with
- Super sticky, you won’t have to re-attach every time.
Aside from being able to stick to your board effectively, be sure that the materials used can withstand the harsh conditions of the sea. The adhesives should do an excellent job at not unsticking themselves in one of the most solvent surfaces there is. And, the foam should not deteriorate nor fall off the board due to exposure to water.
Before picking out a traction pad kit, make sure to get the proper measurements of your skimboard. You wouldn’t want to go too big or too small. It has to be the right fit. With the correct fitting, the attachment will feel perfect on both your feet and the board.
The pattern and the profile of the traction pad are the most significant considerations when it comes to the right fit, too. It should offer your feet lots of ridges to keep themselves attached to and rest at the heel of your back foot.
The amount of time you spend on the waters is the same as the amount of time you will spend on the traction pads, too. Skimboarding may throw you off the water or keep you balanced and straight on the board. Be sure that the places won’t cause any injuries as you enjoy the ride.
The design should have the ridges in the right places, plus some arches nicely placed with the correct measurement. Its foam should have the right level of sponginess as well. The sponginess should be between like that of the bed but firm enough to give you the support you need.
Compared to wax, the additional cost for purchasing a traction pad is significant. But, the aid it brings in keeping you balanced and stuck to your board makes up for it. Although you can ride well with wax alone, traction pads are recommended for beginners and if you need to experience a high-performance ride.
As you improve as a skimboarder, be sure also to be familiar with skimboarding without traction pads. You won’t know when someone might challenge you for a ride on a skimboard with only a few strokes of wax on it.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: Do traction pads leave ugly marks on the skimboard when taken off?
A: Some of the adhesives used for these traction pads are extremely sticky that it concerns skimboard owners about the mark it will leave when taken off. The truth is, these adhesives are incredibly sticky that you can’t just peel or rip them off.
To remove these traction pads safely, find a solution that will break down the adhesive. This procedure may take a while but, it won’t leave any nasty mark on your board. Turpentine or vinegar breaks down bond after overnight soaking. You may try these or other acidic solutions, too. The more acidic it is, the more effective the removal will be.